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Country News - 2003

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More help needed for farm reservoirs

Tuesday 22 July 2003

DESPITE several days of heavy rain showers, Northern farmers are worried that this could turn out to be a drought-summer - and are being urged to create emergency reservoirs on their land.

Most farms use domestic supplies for water intensive tasks like washing down milking parlours but, should we have a drought, they could take the pressure off the mains by using their own stored water supplies.

This would also create more valuable wildlife habitats, says the Country Land and Business Association (CLA). Once, farms were dotted with ponds, which provided home and food to a huge range of wildlife like newts, frogs, toads, dragonflies and small fish like sticklebacks.

However, tens of thousands of these ponds have been filled in. New farm reservoirs would help bring such creatures back in large numbers - but there is a snag.

The regulations for farm reservoirs under an Act passed in 1975 places too much red tape - and expense - on farmers and landowners.

Now, the CLA is asking for changes to the law and grants through Rural Enterprise Schemes to encourage the creation of new emergency reservoirs.


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