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7.5m worth of grants come on stream to help farmers tackle water pollution

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Farmers can now apply for grants of up to 10,000 from the Catchment Sensitive Farming Capital Grants Scheme, which is open for its fifth year.

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

The grants are competitive with high-quality applications from farms in target areas standing the best chance of being selected for funding.

At least 7.5m is available for the scheme this year, with funds coming from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). Since it began four years ago around 3,000 farmers and land managers 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.

Helen Phillips, Natural Englands Chief Executive, said: Reducing diffuse pollution at source brings significant benefits to people and wildlife downstream and means less public money has to be spent on water treatment. Im delighted that a fifth year of the capital grants scheme has now begun because it will support farmers and land managers involved in this vital work.

The window for this years applications opened on 1 March and will close on 30 April 2011. Farmers can check whether their land is in a priority catchment using the following link http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/landmanage/water/csf/grants/index.htm. The best way to receive an application pack is by emailing catchmentsensitivefarming@naturalengland.org.uk or downloading it from http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/landmanage/water/csf/grants/capital-grants-scheme.htm . Alternatively, packs can be obtained by telephoning 0300 060 1111 or writing to:

Catchment Sensitive Farming Team

Incentive Scheme Services

Natural England

Block 7, Government Buildings

Chalfont Drive

Nottingham

NG8 3SN

For more information about how the capital grant scheme is being targeted locally, or to find out what else is on offer from the wider Catchment Sensitive Farming project (1:1 farm visits, advice on machinery use, slurry handling etc.), contact your locally based Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer using the following link:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/landmanage/water/csf/catchments/csfos.htm

 

Catchment Sensitive Farming Project

The Capital Grants Scheme is an important component of the Catchment Sensitive Farming Project in England.

This partnership between Natural England and the Environment Agency, funded by Defra, aims to reduce the pollution of surface water caused by farming operations.

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 and the SSSI PSA target.

A network of expert advisers (Catchment Sensitive Farming Officers), operating in 50 priority catchments, are on hand to help farmers tackle the causes of harmful water pollution.

About Natural England

Natural England is the governments independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing Englands wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

We establish and care for Englands main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.

We work to ensure that Englands landscapes are effectively protected, designating Englands National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Marine Conservation Zones, and advising widely on their conservation.

We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over 400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of Englands farmland.

We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of Englands species and habitats.

We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.

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