RMA staff have been retained by Vitacress Salads Group since 2003 to carry out routine biological and chemical monitoring of watercourses at Lower Link Farm near St Mary Bourne in Hampshire. Lower Link Farm is the largest watercress farm in Europe and the farm is also used to wash, sort and pack a range of other salads.
The purpose of this monitoring programme is to assess the biological quality of the watercourses into which the farm discharges and to use this information to provide on-going advice on improvements to environmental management measures.
As a result of the routine monitoring programme at the farm, a range of environmental improvements have been made since 2005 which have resulted in an improvement in the biological quality of the Bourne Rivulet to levels which are significantly better than those first recorded in 2002.
Monitoring is proposed to continue in the spring and autumn each year to ensure that environmental management measures at the farm continue to provide positive results.