Catchment sensitive farming and water capital grant payments

How to get free advice and training to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture and claim for capital grants under the Countryside Stewardship water capital grants scheme.

What is Catchment Sensitive Farming?

Catchment Sensitive Farming is a project run by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and DEFRA which aims to raise awareness of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) by giving free training and advice to farmers in selected areas in England. The aim of the advice is to improve the environmental performance of farms.

 Who is eligible to receive advice and funding on Catchment Sensitive Farming?

Advice is only available in high priority areas for water quality. These areas will contribute most to meeting Water Framework Directive objectives. To find priority areas and local data on MAGIC:

  1. Select ‘Countryside Stewardship Targeting & Scoring Layers’, then ‘Water’, then ‘Countryside Stewardship Water Quality Priority Areas (England)’ in the Table of Contents
  2. Enter place or postcode in ‘Map search’
  3. Use the ‘Identify’ tool under ‘Feature Tools’ to get local data.

Catchment Sensitive Farming and Countryside Stewardship

The Water Capital item element of Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship is the replacement for the former Capital Grant Scheme which was previously available through Catchment Sensitive Farming.

Support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer is needed for some options (see table in section 4.3.3 of the Mid-Tier manual). Endorsement of a Mid-Tier application by a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer will increase the chance of success for holdings targeted for water quality outcomes.

Mid-Tier application packs must be requested by 31 July for a start date of 1st January 2018. The application deadline is 30 September 2017.

What advice is available on Catchment Sensitive Farming?

All Catchment Sensitive Farming training and advice aims to give practical and cost-effective solutions to improve water quality through:

  • Workshops
  • Demonstrations
  • Farm walks
  • Farm events
  • One-to-one advice on solutions from groundwater protection to whole farm appraisals

What Capital Grants are available?

Water capital items are available in combination with multi-year options, or as a standalone two year capital agreement. Mid-Tier agreements with both multi-year options and capital items will last for 5 years (with a 2 year capital programme to be delivered in the first 2 years of the 5 year agreement). The maximum agreement value where only water quality capital items are included is £10,000.
Capital items include:

  • Watercourse fencing
  • Hard bases for livestock drinkers and feeders
  • Yard   works   for   clean   and   dirty   water separation (including replacement rainwater goods, yard concreting and renewal of yard drainage).
  • Resurfacing of gateways
  • Roofing of manure storage and livestock gathering areas.
  • Roofing for slurry and silage stores
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Bunded pesticide handling areas
  • Bio-bed/bio-filters to treat pesticide washings

 I am interested.  What do I do?

If you are in a priority catchment area, it is important to start planning now so that the best possible case can be made to Natural England.

At Batcheller Monkhouse we are working closely with farmers and landowners to present an early list of priority cases to Natural England to achieve the best chances of grant funding in 2018.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

Kate Richards MRICS FAAV

01892 509280

or visit the Natural England Government website on: