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This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

waves - issues_best_practice


Agriculture dominates land-use in the United Kingdom and throughout much of the last century land has been cultivated under ever increasing levels of productivity to ensure adequate food supplies.

The environmental impacts of intensive agriculture on water courses and their associated areas can be broadly summarised as:

  • loss of habitat and biodiversity
  • deterioration in water quality due to contamination with organic wastes and to increased levels of sediment and nutrients, sometimes leading to eutrophication.

Over the last few years society has developed changing expectations of farming and this is reflected in government policy. For example, farmers are encouraged to incorporate environmental considerations into farming techniques through a switch from production related subsidies to payments for land stewardship. Under the new CAP reform, compliance with the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) will contribute to the Single Farm Payment.

The aim of this and other such policies is to better balance the need for a successful and profitable farming industry with a healthy environment and a thriving rural community. Through 3Dee Vision we are working with rural communities and farmers to provide a showcase of best practice and of what can be achieved by using simple measures.

For further information about guidance on good agricultural practise and the environment, click here.


Farmland in the Dee catchment
Agriculture dominates land-use in the United Kingdom.