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Stackyard News Apr 2011

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Farmers Urged to Tap Into Water Quality Improvement Grant

The amount of money available to farmers through the Catchment Sensitive Farming Capital Grant Scheme this year has been increased by £3 million, Natural England said this week.

The fund is open to farmers in 50 priority catchment areas across England and can provide grants for a range of improvements that reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture, including construction of fencing near rivers and streams, installing water troughs, and roofing manure and silage stores.

The total amount of grant funding available from the Capital Grant Scheme has been increased from the £7.5 million announced last month to £10.5 million. The funds come from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

In addition to the funding increase, farmers have an extra week to submit their applications for funding from the Capital Grants Scheme. The closing date for applications to be received by Natural England has been extended from 30 April until Friday 6th May to allow for the bank holidays and giving farmers extra time to submit their bids for funding.

livestock gathering area Western Rother Catchment
Photographs show ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of a livestock gathering area in the Western Rother Catchment near Midhurst, West Sussex which was roofed by the farmer. He received a CSF Capital Grant towards the work which significantly reduced the water entering his slurry storage, helping him meet his NVZ requirements and care for his local water courses.

Since the scheme began four years ago thousands of farmers and land managers in England have received more than £22m in grants for capital works. The grant limit is £10,000 per holding – an increase of £2,000 on last year.

The grants are competitive with high-quality applications from farms in the priority areas standing the best chance of being successful.

Farmers can check whether their land is in a priority catchment, find out more information and download an application pack here. Alternatively application packs can be obtained by telephoning 0300 060 1111.

Ian Fugler, Natural England’s Director of Land Management, said: “The deadline for applying for grants from the scheme is fast approaching and we would urge farmers in the priority catchment areas to act now and put in an application. The increase in the amount of funding available this year is very welcome and we look forward to receiving high quality applications that will achieve the greatest benefits for water purity. Projects funded by this scheme over the past four years are already providing improvements for farmers, the general public and the environment by reducing diffuse pollution at source.”

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