SCaMP - Sustainable Catchment Management Programme
The initial phase of the SCaMP aimed to address land management issues negatively affecting both wildlife and water quality by treating the problems at source as opposed to 'end of pipe solutions'.
Common problems encountered included air pollution, overgrazing by sheep, historic drainage of internationally important blanket bog, large areas of bare eroding peat and the almost complete loss of native trees from our upland cloughs.
Much of the raw water in the uplands is gathered through upland heath and blanket bog habitats where oxidised, exposed peat causes the water to become discoloured, which then needs to be chemically treated before it can be supplied to our taps.
Since the inception of SCaMP, the important issues surrounding climate change has meant the inclusion of a carbon driver in the second phase. The undesignated deep peats of blanket bog habitats are known to be an internationally important store of CO2. The vegetation and birdlife they support are nationally and internationally recognised.
The restoration of this important resource is vital to maintain the carbon store and its CO2 sequestration capability. It will also instil resilience in the habitat to adapt to the effects of climate change.
- Meet PSA targets for SSSI condition
- To improve raw water quality
- Deliver UK Biodiversity Action Plan Targets
Key dates so far
- Developed whole farm management plans, which identified how land can be restored and managed for water and wildlife benefits, but critically retain economically viable farming operations.
- Agreed plans with the UU tenant farmers and other stakeholders including OFWAT and DWI.
- Successfully applied for appropriate agri-environment schemes such as Higher Level Stewardship and English Woodland Grant Scheme for each plan, which enabled funding of capital works and remuneration for farmers for managing the land during the scheme.
Work planned or underway
SCaMP 2 is planning to deliver across the two remaining UU estates (30,000 ha) in the Lake District and West Pennines:
Over one million trees planted across nearly 600 hectares in the West Pennines and Lake District catchments
Over 130 km drainage grips blocked to restore peat hydrology and promote recovery of blanket bog habitats
Over 40 tenant farmers and commoners in agri-environment schemes
Over 3,750 ha of deep peat moorland under restoration or maintenance through Higher Level Stewardship
Over 2 square kilometres of bare peat to re-vegetate and restore
- Two thousand sheep removed to allow vegetation to recover
- Over 100 km of drainage grips blocked to improve raw water quality
- Five square km of once bare peat has now re-vegetated
- Half a million deciduous trees planted on stream sides and steep cloughs
- Twenty tenant farmers in agri-environment grant schemes
- Over 95 % of UU's SSSI's now in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition
Who to contact
Dove Stone Warden
PartnersUnited Utilities plc (UU) is the largest landowner in northwest England, owning over 500 square kilometres of the uplands where drinking water for the people of the north-west is gathered.