Maintaining your land drainage is an essential tool for maximising the workability of your soils and will help improve both crop development and soil quality by helping to improve aerobic condition, particularly in wet conditions.
Where land is drained, extra care should be taken when applying fertilisers, manures and pesticides so that the field drain network does not act as a conduit for pollutants to water caused by these inputs. Remember to check your field drains annually; clearing and repairing any blocked or collapsed pipes will maximise their effectiveness.
However, in certain locations wetter fields can provide biodiversity and flood risk benefits, therefore it is important to consider these impacts when considering draining your fields.
You must not drain wet grassland that is used or designated as an important site for breeding and overwintering birds such as waders unless advised by Natural England. You must also avoid draining those fields that are designed as flood storage areas unless advised by the Environment Agency.
© NFU 2018