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Agriculture 2013, 3(4), 684-699; doi:10.3390/agriculture3040684

Managing Soil Erosion in Northern Ireland: A Review of Past and Present Approaches

School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, England, UK
Received: 25 June 2013 / Revised: 18 September 2013 / Accepted: 30 September 2013 / Published: 15 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion: A Major Threat to Food Production and the Environment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [572 KB, 16 October 2013; original version 15 October 2013]   |  

Abstract

In recent decades, the off-site transport of sediment and nutrients from agricultural land into the neighbouring natural and built environment has become a more pressing environmental sustainability issue than the on-site threats of soil erosion in many of the world’s temperate regions. In the temperate region of Northern Ireland, recent studies have highlighted the off-site issue of soil erosion by water in the present day, and projected that the problem may become more widespread and serious in a changing climate. This review paper examines how this problem is being managed in the present day, and draws on examples of policy in other countries to consider how the role of policy needs to be modified for more effective management. Farmers are generally not adhering to present-day policy and “keeping their land in good agricultural and environmental condition”. A range of suggested changes in policy and practice is offered, ranging from educating farmers on erosion mitigation and remediation to developing specific policies aimed at targeting soil erosion and conservation as their sole objective. An increase in the evidence base from measured erosion rates in the field is postulated to be the most likely route to achieving policy changes.
Keywords: soil erosion; muddy floods; off-site impacts; policy; farmers; agriculture soil erosion; muddy floods; off-site impacts; policy; farmers; agriculture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mullan, D. Managing Soil Erosion in Northern Ireland: A Review of Past and Present Approaches. Agriculture 2013, 3, 684-699.

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