£5,000 grants to help protect water
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to farmers in the Midlands looking to upgrade facilities and management to protect watercourses from pollution.
Farmers in the Severn Trent priority water catchment area, are eligible for the funding. This is available for a range of farm and field improvement works including pesticide handling areas, watercourse fencing, cover crops and much more.
Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS), now in its fourth year, is the organisation’s biggest catchment management funding programme, explains Dr Jodie Rettino, Severn Trent catchment management and biodiversity lead.
The STEPS scheme offers grants of up to a maximum of £5,000 per year, per farm.
“This means in the first year, you could use the funding to build a sprayer filling and washdown area, and then in year two, you could install a roof. It’s all about offering farmers the opportunity to build on the good work they’re doing,” she explains.
Are you eligible?
To find out whether you are eligible visit www.stwater.co.uk/steps and check the farm is located in a priority area, or speak to your local agricultural advisor. “It’s then a case of deciding what improvements you’d like to make, considering the impacts on your farm business and the wider environment,” she says.
“To date we’ve awarded 936 grants worth £4 million and our farmers have also match funded £4.2 million between them. We hope to distribute more funding than ever this year, because we believe working closely with farmers is key to protecting local watercourses, such as rivers and streams, and minimising pollution,” she adds.
“In turn, this will hopefully reduce the amount of water we have to treat and therefore help keep consumers bills down.”
Simon Scott, from Harnage Estates, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, has benefited from the scheme every year since it began in 2014.
“We’ve installed a water catchment tank, built an enclosed sprayer washdown area, constructed a biofilter and landscaped a wetland to act as a natural filter for the farm drains that filter down into the River Severn,” explains Simon.
“STEPS is ideal for us, because while we have the knowledge about what’s best for our farm’s water and environmental management, sometimes we don’t have the funding to make it happen.”
Grant applications for 2018/19 are open now and close on 31st January 2019.
For full terms and conditions of the scheme, and to apply, contact your local agricultural advisor or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
- Visit stwater.co.uk/steps to find out if your farm or land is in a priority catchment
- Read the STEPS options list brochure to see the wide range of options you can apply for, or, contact your agricultural advisor to arrange a visit to discuss what is best for your farm
- After deciding on the most suitable options apply online stwater.co.uk/steps
- Severn Trent will contact successful applicants by 31 March 2019.
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