Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Merry Christmas - and here is Calendar for 2013

In collaboration with my colleagues in EdenDTC and The Catchment Change Network, we have produced a funky new Calendar for next year that shows some pictures (from myself, Keith Beven and Clare Benskin) from in and around the Eden Valley and critically helps communicate some top tips about diffuse pollution control.  Click here for a copy of the Calendar and here for a bit more context.  Happy New Year!  Phil

Friday, 19 October 2012

Happy away day!

Untitled by Soil & Water Science
Untitled, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

On Wednesday we all popped up to the Eden Valley to do some soils sampling and some general CSWM team bonding and soil sampling. here's a snap of some of the happy samplers!

Chris Turner on the Environmental Virtual Observatory

Untitled a video by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.
Last week we did a demonstration of the EVO portal to farmers and other stakeholders in the EdenDTC centre at Newton Rigg.  Chris Turner, our local expert (Natural England Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer) gave us some helpful feedback in this short film on how it is looking......

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Prize winners

BSSS_2012_P2 by Soil & Water Science
BSSS_2012_P2, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

Congratulations to Kirsty Ross and Micheal Knott pictured here either side of me, receiving their prizes from the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) for the best undergraduate Soil Science Performances at the Environment Centre, Lancaster University. Thee photo was taken at the National Space Centre, at the dinner of the BSSS annual meeting. Thanks to Karl Ritz for taking and supplying the photo.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

On the role of Art in Catchment Science

John Fox of Dead Good Guides talks at the Catchment Change Network Conference June 2012

Monday, 28 May 2012

North Wyke - a Piece of Cake!

Untitled by Soil & Water Science
Untitled, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

Just back from a terrific launch of the North Wyke farm platform. The approach taken in Devon is to instrument the entire grassland farm in 3 contrasting long term experimental systems - the ultimate systems biology of the landscape. Really impressed with the way the have done this - akin to the approach adopted in the UK DTC projects and complimentary to the EVO pilot framework. Well done North Wyke - live long and prosper (and jolly good cake art too!). If you click on the picture you will get a link to more pictures taken on the day.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cool new video on the River Eden

The Eden Rivers Trust just made a funky new film to help raise awareness of the Eden River and its potential plight....

Monday, 14 May 2012

Exploring opportunities for knowledge exchange

  by Soil & Water Science
, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

Today I have been with colleagues from the Defra DTC programme at Lancaster University exploring opportunities for knowledge exchange for catchment science. We identified that the immediate need was to produce a policy guidance note for helping Defra communicate issues of diffuse pollution to wider stakeholders. A longer term opportunity, needing more funding, is to make a short film to help communicate the issues. More on that later......

Friday, 11 May 2012

A meeting of minds

Untitled by Soil & Water Science
Untitled, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

I have just spent the day with colleagues from Lancaster University, Liverpool University, POL and CEH in a workshop thinking about new opportunities in water science. What was so exciting was that this particular grouping seemed to have the whole water cycle covered - from the soil pore through to the deep ocean (the only glaring 'hole' we identified was a lack of expertise on estuaries). I cannot remember a grouping of people that has ever had so much potential. We need to find a way to turn it into something.....

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The polluter pays principle: But who is the polluter?

Originally uploaded by Soil & Water Science
Currently sat in a workshop with Defra, EA and other colleagues discussing measures for diffuse pollution control. The debate focussed on the polluter pays principle. All well and good but who IS the polluter? Is it right to lump that blame on the farmer? I'm not convinced, we all have a role to play up the food chain, we all consume the food and the agricultural products. Maybe this highlights the importance of identifying the role of the food chain for understanding the complexities of diffuse pollution.....

Friday, 27 April 2012

Catchments and stakeholders - its not all science in a test tube

Untitled by Soil & Water Science
Untitled, a photo by Soil & Water Science on Flickr.

My team and I are just back from an informative few days presenting and discussing at the European Geosciences Uniion meeting in Vienna. We mostly took part in a session that explored the challenges and solutions to catchment science problems, working across the boundaries of biophysical science and softer stakeholder interactions. It is my firm believe that the real solutions to diffuse pollution will ultimately be delivered through catchment stakeholders, but I was intrigued as to why so much of this high profile meeting (our session excepted) placed so much emphasis on finessing minute details of biophysical science or model building. Of course I too am a scientist, but it is increasingly obvious that my science will have little impact unless i work with those who know and manage the catchments. Step by step.....

Friday, 13 April 2012

Prof Phil Haygarth on Radio 4's Farming Today

Yesterday I was interviewed at rather short notice via an ISDN line at Lancaster University by Caz Graham at the Farming today team. The subject was farm pollution following the dry weather; it went reasonably well (you can go to the Radio 4 web and listen yourself but I was a little perturbed by Caz's edit about 'the sea'. Most of the effects that I was referring to were actually associated with fresh and possibly estuarine waters, they are not commonly sea issues. Nonetheless, good to get the message out there...