Cathal Flood, a postgraduate researcher at Maynooth University in Ireland, takes part in monthly water quality testing in the Emyvale catchment as part of the local FreshWater Watch team. However when the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the routine testing taking place, Cathal found other ways to utilise the skills he had learned.
“As a water quality enthusiast it is hard for my mind to switch off water. One day on the farm (I am also a part-time farmer), an epiphany came to me. What if I test here? I’ve always had a great belief that farmers are part of the solution to our environmental conflicts today.”
Armed with his FreshWater Watch equipment, Cathal set about monitoring nutrient levels in the farm’s streams before, during and after the grazing of livestock to explore the impacts of grazing on water quality. He plans to use the results to inform nutrient management systems on the farm and to demonstrate to other farmers that they too can learn about their local catchment and adapt their management practices to support the environment.