SAVED: PAGE: ACTIVE AREA:

NFU Scotland update on water abstraction in Fife and the Borders

SEPA, based on recent rainfall, has reinstated surface water abstraction licences in the Eden catchment in North Fife today but also confirmed that for those abstracting from the River Tweed (except for soft fruit growers) that licences will be suspended.

NFU Scotland’s Horticulture Chair Iain Brown, who grows soft fruit and broccoli at Anstruther, said: “For vegetable growers in Fife, the reinstatement of abstraction licences after a week of wet weather will come as a huge relief and potentially stave of significant financial losses for those growing broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce.  At the same time, the suspension of licenses in the Tweed will be damaging to vegetable growers in the Borders.

“SEPA’s commitment to constantly review water flows and alter licencing arrangements as quickly as it can is appreciated.  Farmer cooperation and compliance with the abstraction restrictions will have played a significant part in water levels in the Eden recovering so quickly. That said, the situation remains incredibly fragile.

“NFU Scotland remains opposed to blanket abstraction bans and maintains that where abstraction is to be suspended, highly vulnerable crops such as broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce should be prioritised to support vital food production. We continue to seek a way to allow irrigation to continue for the crops most at risk when water is unavailable.  Irrigating at reduced rates to prevent complete crop failure has been permitted in the past.

“Those who abstract from the River Tweed are now in the daunting position of seeing their licences suspended and the catastrophic consequences that may have for their vegetable crops.  We will continue to work with our members in the area to support them at this worrying time.

“Those who abstract from the Tyne have also been placed on notice that water levels are still falling, and, without significant rainfall, there is the potential for abstraction licence suspension in the future.

“This is an incredibly delicate and concerning time for many of our members who rely on water abstraction to put quality Scottish fruit and vegetables on the table.

“We continue to remind those that abstract to follow best practice and ensure all equipment is leakproof; abstraction is coordinated with other farmers and irrigation is carried out at night to minimise evaporation.”  

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:


< Article List

Close

Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):



Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment

Share

Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

About The Author

Bob Carruth

A dairy farmer’s son, I joined NFU Scotland in 1999 after 13 years as an agricultural journalist. Following spells as a regional manager and policy lead on milk, livestock and animal health and welfare, I became Communications Director in 2008.

Quick Contact

 
 
Which Region do you live in?  
Are you a member of NFU Scotland?  
 
 

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.

Registred Address

NFU Scotland
Head Office
Rural Centre - West Mains
Ingliston, Midlothian
EH28 8LT

Place of registration: Scotland

Company Registration Number: SC214564

Tel: 0131 472 4000
Email: info@nfus.org.uk

NFU Mutual Logo

Get the App

NFUS App QR Code

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in

Close

Contact Us

 

 

 

No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.