Filtrexx Filtration System
North Doddington, Wooler, Northumberland
Another of the key issues for the farm holding of North Doddington, as identified in the Farm Resilience Plan undertaken with Cheviot Futures, was that of surface water management across the farm.
Surface water runoff presents a range of issues throughout the holding, including erosion of soil resources, standing water, damage to infrastructure and flood risk to the steading, including the infamous Doddington Dairy.
Another issue is that of runoff from the farm yard, with the potential for increased nutrient loading within runoff waters leaving the steading. This is an issue the farm business were keen to address in partnership with Cheviot Futures as part of wider environmental management efforts.
Engagement with the Catchment Sensitive Farming initiative as well as Cheviot Futures has seen improvements made to the steading infrastructure to separate clean rainwater from dirty yard water, reducing the volume of lightly contaminated water to be dealt with - a combination of rainwater harvesting system improvements and roofing over collecting yards.
Cheviot Futures, in partnership with the farm business and Catchment Sensitive Farming have taken this work a step further, installing an innovative compost-based filtration system using the Filtrexx approach used for riverbank stabilisation at Clifton.
Filtrexx can be installed for it's filtration properties, with claims that over 60% of pollutants can be removed from contaminated water put into the system.
The filtration system at North Doddington has comprised improvements to the capture and settlement infrastructure to separate liquids and solids from yard runoff, ahead of it entering the Filtrexx filtration system.
The filtration arrangement itself comprises a swale feature, dug out and lined with Filtrexx soxx - compost filled and pre seeded to allow regeneration of vegetation which assists the filtering and nutrient stripping from the runoff waters. The system ends with a final settlement area, planted with native reeds.
The installation was completed in February-March 2013, with final connection of the system being made in June.
It is planned to complete a programme of water sampling analysis to ascertain the level of nutrient stripping achieved by the system once it is fully functional. These samples will be taken on a monthly basis for 6 months, offering an opportunity to see how the system operates through a variety of seasons and weather conditions.
This project represents the first installation of its kind in an agricultural context in the UK.