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Title: The use of fertilizer-free buffer strips to protect dyke flora from nitrate pollution on Walland Marsh S.S.S.I
Author: H. Moorby
Author: F.C. Cook
Document Type: Monograph
Romney Marsh is an area of 150 square km of reclaimed coastal marshlands and beaches. The landscape is very flat with an intricate pattern of dykes, some following the natural drainage pattern, others man made. Since the Second World War much of the grazing marsh has been ploughed and deep drained for arable cropping. There has been a reduction of the grazed area from 90 per cent of the total land area before the war to 32 per cent by the mid 1980s. As a consequent of this reduction most of the scientific interest in terms of the flora and fauna now resides in the dykes. To try to protect the dyke water from fertilizer runoff and leaching a series of management agreements have been set up by English Nature in the Walland Marsh SSSI. This 3 year project reported here aimed to evaluate these management practices. In addition an experiment was done to quantify the effectiveness of 5m fertilizer free strips in protecting the dyke water from nitrate leaching. Four contrasting farming practices were evaluated, permanent pasture, restored pasture from arable, permanent arable with 5m buffer zone and permanent pasture without a buffer zone. During the 1990,91 and 1991,92 leaching seasons, water movement and nitrate leaching were measured on these four sites. During the 1992,93 season work was concentrated on the arable site with 5m fertilizer free strips. An experiment was set up in which nitrate was applied to the land in November, leaving differing widths of fertilizer free grassland between the dyke and the crop. The aim of this experiment was to measure the downward movement of the nitrate into the saturated zone and its consequent movement through the saturated zone into the dyke.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: 1993
Publication Place: Ashford
Subject Keywords: Site of Special Scientific InterestMarshesWetlandsFertilizersPollutantsRunoffNitrates
Geographic Keywords: Walland MarshRomney MarshKent (county)East Sussex
Extent: 58
Total file downloads: 273

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