Yorkshire Water is supporting its tenant farmers to manage the land sustainably through its Beyond Nature scheme and by investing in The Farm Carbon project.

Five Beyond Nature farms recently completed a carbon audit, as part of The Farm Carbon project, which looks at information on feed, fertiliser, slurry and fuel use, as well as other consumables such as plastics and fencing materials to understand the farm’s current carbon output.

The data is analysed along with an assessment of carbon sequestration opportunities, which included work on understanding soil carbon levels.  

One of the farms involved was Bents House Farm, which has been part of Yorkshire Water’s Beyond Nature scheme since 2021.

Sarah Nelson, who farms on the dairy and sheep farm between Harrogate and Otley, said:

“The offer from Yorkshire Water to understand more about our farm’s carbon footprint was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss.”

For all the farms involved, the project has led to further work on soil carbon stocks and the reduction of soil compaction as well as scoping out the potential for more on farm renewable energy generation.

Once the audit is complete, each farm is provided with a tailored plan that allows them to reduce carbon emissions and embrace opportunities for carbon sequestration.

The plans include proposals for issues such as livestock management; fuel use efficiency; grassland diversity; fertiliser management; and soil management.

Neil Pickard, Beyond Nature farming officer at Yorkshire Water, said:

“Farm businesses can’t manage their carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions without first understanding and measuring them.

"Through this project they’ve been presented with clear and comprehensive information to inform their future plans.

“We’ll be continuing our work on carbon reduction and sequestration and will be supporting more of our tenant farmers to understand their carbon footprint this year.”