Water pollution conference

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Educating land managers in how to reduce pollution in waterways is the aim of a conference near Peebles on Tuesday.

Climate change minister Paul Wheelhouse will make the keynote speech outlining how the Scottish Government works in partnership with farmers and land owners to improve water quality now, and how it plans to in the future.

‘Mind the Gap, River Basin Management Planning’ at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel has been organised by Scotland’s Rural College, SRUC.

A college spokesperson said the event would chart the progress Scotland has made in implementing the Water Framework Directive, adding: “It will also consider how farmers have reacted to, and applied, the required changes, which in some cases have been significant.”

Other speakers will include National Farmers Union of Scotland vice president, Lilliesleaf farmer, Rob Livesey, Tweed Forum’s Luke Comins and SEPA representatives.

She continued: “SEPA staff, with help from Scottish Water, have walked over 5,800km of watercourses within these priority catchments to identify exactly what’s happening on the ground and have found that one of the most common issues on livestock farms is poaching within 5m of a watercourse, and, in arable catchments, cultivation too close to the watercourse.

“Scotland is at the forefront of implementing measures to mitigate diffuse pollution and has been working closely with rural stakeholders.”

The meeting takes place from 10am at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel.