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13 August 2013 14:12:42 |

Most popular year yet for Natural England grant scheme

Machinery wash down area funded by a CSF grant

Machinery wash down area funded by a CSF grant

From Northumberland to Cornwall, farmers in 79 priority catchment areas of England have submitted more applications than ever before for funding from this year’s Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) capital grant scheme, making this the most popular year of the scheme so far.
By the end of July, over £11 million of grant awards have been offered to farmers for capital works that will help reduce water pollution from agricultural activity.
But with more than twice the number of applications received than in previous years, the grant scheme’s budget of £15.5 million has been oversubscribed and grants will be allocated on a competitive basis this year. The funding will be allocated to the applications that best meet the scheme’s priorities and that provide the greatest benefits.
The CSF Capital Grants Scheme, which is run by Natural England, offers up to 50% funding for farm improvement works that will help land managers to take practical action to reduce diffuse water pollution.
Bob Middleton of Catchment Sensitive Farming said: “We are delighted that there has been so much enthusiasm and interest from land managers in the grant scheme this year and we know that applicants will want to hear if they have been successful as soon as possible. Most applicants will have heard if they have been successful or not by the end of August. The intention is to inform all applicants on the result of their application by the end of September at the very latest. However, given the large number of applications received, it’s inevitable that some people will be disappointed, as it will not be possible to offer a funding agreement to all applicants this year”.
All applications will be assessed and prioritised in terms of their ability to address diffuse water pollution problems and additional criteria have been used to assist with the prioritisation of grant applications.

In addition to the grants scheme, the specialist training and on-farm advice offered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming project 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 details of the latest developments in fertilizer spreader calibration and soil and water management.
For more information about Catchment Sensitive Farming in England or to contact a local CSF Adviser, please email or call 0300 060 1111.
Catchment Sensitive Farming is a joint project between the Environment Agency and Natural England, funded by Defra and the Rural Development Programme for England, working in priority catchments within England.


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