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  • Matthew & Kata

Algae in Water

Kata and I have been on a family reunion in England this week, and it was interesting (and a bit saddening) to see the farming practice. We stayed in mid-Suffolk, which is part of the English "alföld"- with large arable fields (not dissimilar) to the farming practice around Zsámbok. Whilst there were plenty of birds and bees, with hedgerows and trees blossoming, the state of the water courses was depressing. Over the last years, just like in Hungary, artificial fertiliser use has just increased, and it is noticeable how polluted the ditches, small ponds and rivers are. Run off from the agricultural land, drains fertilizer rich water into the ditches, and nearly everywhere you can see green algae blooms - a sure sign of nitrate and phosphorus pollution (eutrophication). The algae grows luxuriantly, but this quickly uses up all the oxygen available in the water, so that aquatic plants and wildlife are starved of oxygen, and the water coarse effectively dies. Where we were staying was an agro-

forestry farm, and there was a pond which was noticeably clean - simply by diverting the polluted drainage water from the neighbouring farms.

The sad fact is that it would only take fairly straightforward changes in farming practice to stop this pollution. Artificial fertiliser use can be replaced by fertility building leys (grass and clover) which can provide the necessary nutrients for crops and soils. If you choose to buy organic flour, you are encouraging a switch to more environmentally friendly farming practice. What we choose to buy we support those practices. Let's just ask ourselves what we would like to leave to our children and grandchildren, to the generations to come - polluted waters and wildlife or a planet abundant in biodiversity?

Algában gazdag víz Suffolk megyében, saját fotó.

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