2013-04-17 xml
Farmers Urged Not to Miss Out on Catchment Sensitive Farming Grant Funding Opportunity

Farmers across England are being urged not to miss out on the opportunity to receive a share of the £15.5million in grants available through this year’s Catchment Sensitive Farming capital grants scheme.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for land managers to carry out practical farm work that will boost the health of England’s streams, rivers, meres and mosses by improving water quality and reducing pollution from agricultural activity. The fund, which is administered by Natural England, operates across England and is available to holdings situated within the CSF project's 79 catchment areas.

Cattle shed roofed with grant funding

Cattle shed roofed with grant funding

Natural England is reminding farmers that the deadline for completed applications to be submitted is Tuesday 30th April 2013. Full details to help with submitting an application are available in the online Farmers Handbook or contact the Natural England CSF team on 0300 060 1111

With the deadline for applications to be returned fast approaching, Natural England is urging anyone who would still like to apply for a grant not to leave it too late. To request an application pack please call the CSF grants team on 0300 060 1111.

The grants scheme has a budget of £15.5 million to distribute in 2013/14 to help fund capital works on farms. More than 40 types of project are eligible, including installing water troughs, managing pesticides to reduce groundwater impacts, roofing manure and silage stores and works to keep livestock away from streams.

Grants of up to a maximum £10,000 per holding are available and the scheme can pay 50% of the actual cost of agreed capital works. The Capital Grant fund is a competitive scheme with grants going to applications that best meet the scheme’s objectives.

From the River Aln in Northumberland to the River Exe in Devon and the Tweed to the Tamar, hundreds of farmers have already benefited from the grants scheme and the free specialist training and advice offered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming team.

The project is not only boosting local wetland environments, but also helping farmers to cut costs. 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 and water management.

Case Study 1:

Over the last seven years, the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) project has been working with land managers who farm around the River Axe and River Otter in South West England, providing free advice and offering grant funding to the area’s farmers. Since 2007, the Catchment Sensitive Farming capital grant scheme has invested more than £1.5m of funding in the Axe and Otter Catchments. The main items that have been funded are roofing over livestock yards and manure stores; clean and dirty water separation including concrete yard renewal; new livestock and machinery tracks; and fencing livestock out of water courses.

Stephen Hembrow, who farms near Honiton, is delighted with how the CSF Capital Grant Scheme has helped him roof over livestock yards to significantly reduce the volume of dirty water produced. He said: “The CSF grant has been a wonderful help to my farm and has allowed me to roof over a large area of yard and prevent dirty water running into the river that runs through the farmyard. Without the grants I would not have been able to carry out the roofing works as the investment would have been too great for the business. The covered yards have also been of benefit to the cattle and there have been better weight gains and less waste of feed.”

Case Study 2

At Blackfield End Farm, a 50ha mixed beef and sheep in the River Ribble Catchment in Lancashire, an £8000 capital grant was secured to address specific diffuse water pollution from agriculture problems on the farm. Rainwater gutters were installed on roofs diverting rainwater away from the yard areas and into new underground drainage. The uneven yard which had been difficult to keep clean was concreted, creating an even surface which is easier to maintain. As a result of the grant, run-off from the farm yard has been reduced through a combination of diverting clean rainwater away from the yard area and creating an even base enabling the yard to be kept clear of mud and muck.

Natural England

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