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Countdown to start of Catchment Sensitive Farming grant scheme
From north Northumberland to south Cornwall and from East Anglia to west Cumbria, farmers in England will be able to apply for grants of up to £10,000 when the Catchment Sensitive Farming capital grant fund opens for applications on Friday 1st March 2013.
Grants will be available again this year for carrying out practical works on farms that will help 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.
This year’s grant scheme will open for applications on Friday 1st March and the deadline for completed applications to be returned to Natural England is Tuesday 30th April 2013. The grants scheme has a budget of £15.5 million to distribute in 2013-14 through grants that will 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.
The Capital Grant fund is a competitive scheme with grants going to applications that best meet the scheme’s priorities. Grants of up to a maximum £10,000 per holding are available and the scheme can pay 50% of the cost of agreed capital works. Information for applicants is now available in the online Farmers Handbook or contact the Natural England CSF team on 0300 060 1111 to request an application pack. Since the fund was launched seven years ago, over 6000 farmers and land managers have received around £54m in grants for capital works.
In addition to the grants scheme, the specialist training and advice offered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming local team 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 providing details of the latest developments in fertilizer spreader calibration and soil and water management.
Catchment Sensitive Farming
Catchment Sensitive Farming is a joint project between Natural England and the Environment Agency, funded by Defra and the Rural Development Programme for England, working in priority catchments within England.
CSF is proving successful in reducing diffuse water pollution from agriculture and is important in helping to meet the Water Framework Directive standards. Catchment Sensitive Farming was introduced by Defra in 40 priority catchments in April 2006 to raise awareness and encourage early voluntary action by farmers and land managers to tackle diffuse water pollution from agricultural sources.
The project is part of the national response to meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive and contributes towards achieving Natura 2000 objectives.
Since it began seven years ago over 6,000 farmers and land managers have received around £54m in grants for capital works.
If the scheme is oversubscribed, grants will be allocated to those applications which best meet the scheme’s priorities, are within target areas and will deliver the greatest environmental benefit.