6 December 2016
On the evening of 29th November, The College was alerted to an emergency with one of its slurry storage systems, which inadvertently led to waste water and slurry running off the college fields and into one of the water courses. The College is naturally devastated by the continued impact this will have on the local environment.
Action was immediately taken to ensure this was effectively contained on site, meaning there has been no further contamination into the stream since Wednesday morning and the watercourse is now running clear.
The College has been working proactively with the Environment Agency (EA) over the last 6 months to improve the impact of its farming activity on the local environment. It has worked closely with the EA over the weekend to implement an action plan with its contractors to pump the majority of slurry out of the river Bevern before it reached the Ouse. The EA have recognised that this has had a significant impact on helping to reduce ammonia levels in the water.
The College Management Team are currently conducting an internal investigation into this matter and will be working with their new Farm Manager to commission a full review of the farming practices and system at Wales Farm. This recent episode in no way reflects the teaching and learning practice across The College’s land-based provision.
They will continue to work with the EA and their ecological consultants to monitor the streams on site and are planning to meet with representatives from the EA, the Ouse and Adur River Trust and other local groups in the coming week to discuss further ways in which they can proactively support the restoration of those areas affected.
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.