Factors Influencing Farmer Uptake of Water Pollution Mitigation Measures: The Role of Farm Advice

Vrain, Emilie (2015) Factors Influencing Farmer Uptake of Water Pollution Mitigation Measures: The Role of Farm Advice. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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A range of interventions are available to influence the uptake of farm practices which mitigate
water pollution. Deciding which are the most appropriate for particular mitigation measures
poses a challenge to policy makers. Whilst many measures remain voluntary, implementation
will only be effective with the co-operation of stakeholders and evidence regarding the factors
influencing measure uptake is crucial to aid policy design.
The research conducted for this PhD explored the factors influencing farmer adoption of water
pollution mitigation measures through three related surveys. Over two hundred farmers and
farm advisors participated in interviews from three contrasting regions of England: the
grassland dominated North West; the arable dominated East Anglia and the mixed and dairy
farming of the South West.
Results from the two farmer surveys provided a baseline of current agricultural practices,
insights regarding farmer attitudes to the adoption of other mitigation measures in the future
and understanding of the motivations and barriers to the adoption of specific measures. Results
from the farm advisor interviews revealed the types of mitigation measures recommended by
various advisors, which mechanisms (regulatory advice, financial incentives, signposting or
voluntary approach) were being used to influence the uptake of measures, and whether
differences occurred between sources of advice.
The results illustrate the great diversity amongst the farming community, the range of factors
influencing mitigation measure uptake and the differing complexities of farmers’ decisions to
change their behaviour. Different combinations of interventions are required not only for each
mitigation measures but also within the different regions surveyed. The importance of advice
is illustrated but knowing which advisors are most suitable to deliver information and how is
highlighted as being essential for policy design. Policy recommendations are provided as to
what needs to change to influence adoption of specific mitigation measures to improve
catchment management and advice provision.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Users 7376 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 12:59
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 12:59
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59403

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