‘Cattle drink a lot of water in a day, especially on a hot day in the summer…’

Mark Smith of FWAG talks about the make up of farming in the Brisol Frome area and how cattle in particular can get through a lot of water on a hot summer day. Mark also recalls working on a farm and the difficulties of tracing leaks from troughs and pipes.

My name’s Mark Smith. I work as a senior Farm conservation advisor for the farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Farming in the Bristol Frome catchment is predominantly livestock based, still a fair number of dairy farms in the catchment compared to other areas that I work in. A few big quite large dairy units along with some sort of smaller dairy Holdings just milking sort of 70 or 80 cows. So quite a range there.

Also quite a lot of beef and sheep farming as well, little arable, a bit of mixed farming. Livestock need to drink and cattle in particular drink a lot of water in a day, especially in a hot day in the summer they’ll drink, you know, vast quantities of water. I guess most farmers nowadays are sort of mains; some have boreholes. But otherwise on mains so keep a close eye on water use on the farm, especially sort of mending leaks and things like that.

I remember when we went on the mains on a farm I used to work on we spent probably 12 months trying to track down leaks from water troughs and water pipes just to reduce those costs. So I think yeah a lot of mains water use. I’m not aware of a huge amount of sort of reservoir storage in the Bristol Frome catchment to the further afield I think upon to the Cotswolds, maybe get a bit more of that, but I’m not really aware of much that in the Bristol Frome.


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