A novel aspect of this project has been its ‘ground upwards’ approach involving land owners and managers, as well as farming and environmental organisations, government agencies and researchers, using local expertise to solve local problems.

This community of interested parties – the ‘Wensum Alliance’ contributed to the design of the research and in identifying the most relevant mitigation measures.

Wensum Alliance membership diagram

Information from the extensive monitoring programme was shared between the three catchment projects to compare experiences and develop best practice guidance for land managers and policymakers that can be applied nationwide.

State-of-the-art measuring devices were used to undertake long-term monitoring to both identify and record pollutants and to evaluate the effectiveness of measures to reduce it. The study examined the impacts and effects on ecosystems and sustainable production to improve understanding of how to predict and control diffuse pollution from agriculture.


The project was  led by Prof. Kevin Hiscock and Prof. Andrew Lovett from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, supported by a team of researchers. For further details please contact Dr Richard Cooper: richard.j.cooper@uea.ac.uk

Pictures of UEA Team members

The Wensum Alliance comprises -

  • An International Advisory Group of respected scientists and representatives from watershed alliances from other parts of the world.
  • Local stakeholders – land owners and managers and local representatives from a wide range of organisations that work in the Wensum area.
  • A team of researchers drawn from universities, research organisations and private consultancies.
  • The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Virtual Observatory initiative which will establish an integrative data infrastructure for collaborative analysis by the wider research community.