Improving river water quality together

Layer Brook, Essex

Steve Derbyshire is our catchment adviser in the Layer Brook catchment. Steve has worked extensively in the Stour catchment since 2009. Steve will deliver Pesti-wise, via a programme of intensive farmer engagement and on-farm interventions.

Layer Brook Catchment
Adviser: Steve Derbyshire
Tel: 07792169566 Email:

These will include farm appraisals to identify existing practices, equipment and pesticide handling facilities and to provide best practice suggestions and solutions to any issues identified.

Pesti-wise in Layer Brook is currently supported by our equipment grants which farmers within the catchment may be eligible for:

Within the Layer Brook catchment, Steve will identify potential users of metaldehyde and other pesticides, with the objective to reduce peak concentrations at the sub-catchment level and to raise awareness that these actives presents to Essex & Suffolk Water. This is especially important as Layer Brook is the natural catchment of Abberton Reservoir and all flows from the Brook enter the reservoir.

In support of this work, we are monitoring metaldehyde and other pesticide concentrations in the Layer Brook and a control catchment to evaluate the success of the Pesti-wise project.

Within the Stour catchment more generally, we will continue to undertake “abstraction management” each autumn to actively try to take water from the river into the reservoir when metaldehyde concentrations are lowest, to blend with the water from Layer Brook, to continue to ensure we provide our customers with clean, clear water that tastes good.

In addition to addressing the elevated metaldehyde and pesticide levels, Steve will also look at the levels of sediment coming from within the Layer Brook catchment and steps farmers can take to reduce this.

Pesti-wise Grant Scheme

As part of the Pesti-wise initiative, we are offering a range of grant funded items to improve field operations. Contact Steve to find out more.

Sprayer Filling Area Options
Bunded Sprayer Filling Area £60/m2
Roofing of Sprayer Filling and Washdown Areas £93/m2
Lined Biobed with Bunded Filling Areas £177/m2
Biofilters £1485/unit
Precision Equipment Options
Precision Slug Pellet Applicator 75% of cost (excluding VAT) up to maximum of £15,000
Sprayer Auto-Section Shut Off 75% of cost (excluding VAT) up to maximum of £10,000
Straw Rake 75% of cost (excluding VAT) up to maximum of £10,000
SuDs Options
Various options including sediment ponds and traps, earth banks and soil bunds, silt filtration dams or seepage barriers, swales, check dams Grant funding dependent on project
Pesti-wise Pro-active:

This section provides you with the latest information on the Pesti-wise work within the Layer Brook and an update on the metaldehyde results for this sub-catchment.


combine harvester in field  

Working with farmers and growers within specific target sub-catchments to address the issue of elevated pesticide levels in streams and rivers, from which water is taken to produce drinking water. Find out more

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