Act now to secure grants and advice to reduce water pollution
Published June 7th, 2016
Capital grants, free advice and training are available through the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) project but farmers and land managers should act quickly if they are interested as funds are limited.
Catchment Sensitive Farming is run by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and Defra to raise awareness of diffuse water pollution from agriculture and improve the environmental performance of farms in selected priority catchment areas in England.
The Catchment Sensitive Farming grant is available either as a standalone grant application or as part of a Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme application.
The deadline for applying for either the standalone grant application or a Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship application is September 30, 2016.
“The scheme has changed from previous years, with some of the Countryside Stewardship capital items and items within the standalone grant application requiring endorsement from the local Catchment Sensitive Farming officer (CSFO)” said Vicky Price, a surveyor with Berrys in Herefordshire.
“With regards to the standalone grant applications we are urging farmers to register their interest as soon as possible as there is already a high demand for funding and if farmers leave it too late they may get turned away,” she said.
In addition endorsement of a Mid-Tier application by a CSFO will increase the chance of success for holdings targeted for water quality outcomes. Applicants who require this support must contact and arrange a pre-application visit with their local CSFO by August 12, 2016. After this date CSFO’s cannot guarantee support during the 2016 application round.
Items which require endorsement from a CSFO include; contracting yard areas, livestock and machinery hardcore tracks, cross drains, pipework and roofing over areas such as sprayer wash down areas, manure storage, livestock gathering areas, slurry stores and silage stores.
There are 114 capital grant items available in total under Countryside Stewardship, including 48 grants specifically available for water quality enhancement. A full list of the capital grant items available can be viewed online at the GOV.UK website under Countryside Stewardship Grants (www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants)
Payments for the water quality grant items include;
Concrete yard renewal at £27.14 per m2;
Roofing over sprayer wash down areas, manure storage areas, livestock gathering areas, slurry stores and silage stores at £62 per m2;
First flush rainwater diverters and downpipe filters at £125 per unit;
Livestock and machinery tracks at £33 per m;
Resurfacing of gateways at £92 per gateway; and
Livestock troughs at £110 per trough.
For items such as roofing over wash down, manure storage and livestock gathering areas planning permission will be required in addition to applying for the grant application. Depending on the size of the capital grant area the planning permission may fall under the general Permitted Development regulations as opposed to a full Planning Application. The planning fee for a Permitted Development application is around £80.
As an example, if you wanted to apply for a roofed building to cover a yard area used for gathering livestock, then to fall within the Permitted Development regulations the building must not exceed 465m2 and must not be over 12m in height. In addition the building must not be within 25m of any classified public road.
Certain capital items available under the standalone Catchment Sensitive Farming grant application and Countryside Stewardship applications may also require consent from the Environment Agency. It will be stated within the grant item requirements if advice and or consent is required from the Environment Agency.
Berrys is actively involved in providing advice and assistance for all environment grant and stewardship schemes. To find out if you are with a catchment area, who your local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer is or for further information and help with an application call Vicky Price at Berrys on 01544 598080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org