The Sustainability Manager will conduct annual surveys of each PPZ using the maps described above. The condition and management of each PPZ will be scored using a ‘traffic light’ system – red for poor, yellow for good and green for excellent. Individual results will be combined to provide a farm level PPZ status (i.e. red, yellow or green). Farms achieving yellow or green status will be eligible for annual ‘Water Protection Payments’. The Sustainability Manager will then provide guidance on any works which may be needed to improve the farm-level PPZ status and associated payments. Farmers will be given the freedom to choose and design which measures they want to implement on their own farm. This gives the farmers freedom to implement actions in ways that suit them and their environment, whilst also providing expert involvement via the Operational Group.
With the assistance of the project-appointed Sustainability Manager and the farmer’s adviser, farmers will be helped to develop simple farm maps showing pollution potential zones (PPZ’s) in their farmyards (e.g. silage pits, slurry storage facilities) and on their land (e.g. cattle access points, hydrologically sensitive areas). The aim is for these maps to be used as education and engagement tools to show farmers in a simple visual way, the water-quality risks specific to their farms. The PPZ land maps will use the latest technologies (e.g. 2 m Digital Elevation Models, NMP online) to highlight certain risks in the landscape such as hydrologically sensitive areas and phosphorus Index 4 soils.