UK: Farm water projects get �1.36m in aid

NATURAL England has awarded grants totally �21.5million so far - �1.36m of it in the East Anglia region - towards helping farmers carry out improvement works to improve drinking water quality and enhance wetlands.

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 this year. Nine of of 10 of these succeeded in getting a grant. Among these were 207 agreements in the Anglian region.

The grants scheme offers up to 50% funding for carrying out practical works including roofing over livestock feeding areas, separating clean and dirty water in farmyards and installing new tracks.

The grant funding can also be used to create sediment ponds and install bio beds and sprayer wash-down areas to reduce pesticide run off into watercourses.

Geoff Sansome, Director of Land Management for Natural England said: “It’s great news not only for the environment but also for our regional food producers and local businesses that this year the scheme’s �21.5m budget has been fully committed and will be supporting a total of 2,700 projects throughout England. I would like to thank everyone who has submitted an application for their interest in this initiative.

“Work funded by this scheme over recent years is already providing cost savings for thousands of farmers, bringing work to local businesses and enhancing local environments throughout England by improving water quality. The Catchment Sensitive Farming Project is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working. I am delighted that further work will be carried out on thousands of farms as a result of the funding made available this year.”

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.

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In addition to the grants scheme, the specialist training and advice offered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming project can save farmers’ money, leading to better business efficiency while at the same time bringing positive environmental outcomes. The free, specialist advice on offer 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 & water management.

The Capital Grant Scheme will be available again next year with the application window being between March 1 to April 30 2013 and an expected budget of around �15.5m available to fund new projects.

For more information about Catchment Sensitive Farming visit the website at or email