The NFU are in conversation with the Centre of Hydrology and Ecology (CEH) are requires sites for their COSMOS project which aims to provide a long-term network of soil moisture monitoring stations for the UK. Anyone who gives permission for a new station on their land would get access to all the information which the equipment collects.
Warwickshire and Worcestershire are in the middle of the area they are looking to establish. If you would like to get involved or can think of anyone who may like to, please contact Luke Ryder luke.ryder@nfu.org.uk or Ceris Jones Ceris.Jones@nfu.org.uk on 024 7685 8538.
The site requirements are quite particular – uniform land cover (ideally grassland) and reasonably flat within 350 m radius, absence of significant surface water within 350 m radius, avoid areas of water management (irrigation, drainage ditches) etc.
Ideal site requirements for COSMOS-UK
• Site location:
• Uniform land cover and reasonably flat within 350 m radius* absence of significant surface water within 350 m radius*
• Avoid shallow groundwater
• Avoid areas of water management: irrigation, drainage ditches
• suitably exposed for meteorological equipment (more details available)
• low likelihood of vandalism/theft
• Good mobile phone coverage (GPRS, for data feed)
• accessible by vehicle for installation work
• Installation includes:
• two 50 mm diameter stainless steel posts (1.6 m and 2.2 m above the ground) secured by postcrete (to 0.5 m depth).
• Concrete pad to secure rain gauge (50 x 50 x 50 cm)
• Area covered by installation 12 m by 3 m, preferably fenced off with post and wire (stock netting and two strands of barbed wire) – could potentially be shared with existing installation.
* subject to review