European policy consultants
Rural development and renewable energy

Grants for farmers under the Catchment Sensitive Farming Initiative:

Catchment Sensitive Farming grant scheme opens on 1st March

Grants of up to £10,000 will be available again this year for carrying out practical works on farms that will boost the health of England's streams, rivers, meres and mosses by improving water quality and reducing pollution from agricultural activity. The scheme opens on Friday 1st March and applications have to be returned by Tuesday 30th April. For more information about the scheme, click on the following link. www.naturalengland.org.uk

Farmers in 75 priority catchment areas of England submitted more than 3,000 applications for funding from the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) capital grants scheme in 2012.

9 out of 10 submitted to Natural England were successful and grants totaling £21.5m have now been allocated.

The CSF Capital Grants Scheme offers up to 50% funding for carrying out practical works that improve the health of streams, rivers, meres and mosses in England, by improving water quality and reducing pollution from agricultural activity. More than 40 types of project are eligible for funding and the grant scheme is open to farmers and land managers in the CSF scheme's priority areas.

The grants will help farmers in England to roof over livestock feeding areas, separate clean and dirty water in farmyards, install new livestock and machinery tracks, fence off water courses to exclude livestock, and install rainwater harvesting equipment.

Grants are also available to create sediment ponds and install bio beds and sprayer wash-down areas to reduce pesticide run off into watercourses.

Some of the works that farmers will be carrying out as a result of help from the grant funding include:
■ Building over 220 new above-ground rainwater tanks;

■ Constructing over 80 new sprayer or applicator loading and wash-down areas;

■ Installing roofing over the sprayer/applicator loading and wash-down areas on about 60 farms

■ roofing over livestock gathering yards (over 19 sq km covered to date);

■ Roofing manure storage areas;

■ Erecting fencing alongside farmland watercourses to prevent livestock entering the water (over 10o km so far);

■ Installing rainwater harvesting equipment;

■ Other improvements to farmyards.

Work funded by this scheme over recent years is providing cost savings for the farmers concerned, and enhancing local environments throughout England by improving water quality.

Catchment Sensitive Farming is a joint project between the Environment Agency and Natural England, funded by Defra and the Rural Development Programme for England, working in priority catchments within England.

In addition to the grants scheme, specialist training and advice is offered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming project. The advice can help farmers to save costs and improve business efficiency while at the same time bringing positive environmental outcomes. Advice is free and covers a wide range of topics from providing information on nutrient management, planning and soil husbandry, to details of the latest developments in fertilizer spreader calibration and soil and water management.

The Capital Grant Scheme will be available again in March and April 2013 (closing date 30th April 2013).

All claims must be received by Natural England by close of business Thursday 28 February 2013.

Applications should be submitted to Catchment Sensitive Farming Customer Services Team, Natural England, Apex Court, City Link, Nottingham NG2 4LA,
email: catchmentsensitivefarming@naturalengland.org.uk, telephone: 0300 060 1111

www.naturalengland.org.uk