Water is generally plentiful in the United Kingdom; however, there is an emerging water quality issue driven by agricultural intensification. Poor land management over generations has contributed to the degradation of upland peat deposits leading to discolouration of potable water and the loss of valuable habitats. Employing agri-environmental schemes operated by the UK Government and private Capital One water company in the North West of England is achieving water quality gains as well as landscape, conservation and habitat benefit at the same time as supporting tenant farm incomes. We describe the pressures on the uplands and how innovative partnerships are achieving sustainable change.

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