The Catchment Sensitive Farming Capital Grant Scheme has been offered to land managers in priority catchments in England since 2007 to support the improvement or installation of facilities that would benefit water quality by reducing diffuse pollution from agriculture.
The scheme is part of the Catchment Sensitive Farming project which provides advice to farmers to help them implement changes in farming that reduce the risk of water pollution, and reduce the risk of regulation being applied to farming to achieve required water quality standards.
Scheme administration is handled by Natural England and funding will continue to be drawn from Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). Inspections are carried out by the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) on behalf of Natural England.
The Capital Grant Scheme is available in 2013/14 in the existing priority catchments as well as several new catchments and catchment partnerships and is targeted more specifically at holdings within target areas of these catchments. There are a range of capital items available for example watercourse fencing, roofing for manure stores and pesticide loading and wash down areas and each one has a guide price. Potential applicants should note that they should make a 50% contribution towards capital works.
The Capital Grant Scheme is a competitive scheme based on catchment-level priorities as identified in the relevant Funding Priority Statements. Securing an agreement is therefore not guaranteed and acceptance depends on the quality of all applications. If the total amount of grant applied for by all applicants exceeds the available budget, grants will be allocated to those applications which best meet the scheme’s priorities, are within a target area and which deliver the greatest environmental benefit.
It is expected that the funding mechanism will allow £15.5 million in capital grants to be awarded for 2013/14. The application window has now closed for new applications.
The scheme operates according to the catchment funding priority statements.
Catchment Sensitive Farming Customer Services Team
Natural England, Apex Court, City Link, Nottingham NG2 4LA
Tel: 0300 060 1111
The single biggest threat of diffuse water pollution is from agriculture. This is unsurprising, as agriculture covers 70 per cent of the land area of England and sources of diffuse pollution, including nutrients from fertilisers and manure, are essential parts of farming. Increases in nutrient levels can result in toxic algal blooms, resulting in adverse impacts on the food chain which supports fish, animals and birds.
Farming is not the sole cause of diffuse water pollution, but it does contribute approximately 60 per cent of nitrates, 25 per cent of phosphorus and 70 per cent of sediments entering our waters, amongst other pollutants.
What is a Priority Catchment?
Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) offers free, practical advice and training to farmers and land managers on how to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA), across 80 Priority Catchments in England.