Defra will significantly increase the number of inspectors visiting farmers to reduce diffuse water pollution, the government has announced today.
The Environment Agency will be allocated £1.2m to increase the number of inspectors, with 50 additional full time employees expected to be recruited.
The move is part of a wider announcement unveiled on Monday (2 August) which will see the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) programme receive more funding.
Funding will now be almost doubled, with an additional £17 million over the next three years.
The new annual budget will be £30 million, up from £16.6 million in 2020 - 2021.
The CSF programme provides advice to farmers to help them reduce water and air pollution through management of farmyard manure and soils, among other measures.
The government said every farmer in the country would be able to access pollution advice and support by March 2023.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, welcomed the increase in the number of inspections farmers will face in the future.
"We have said before that additional investment in our monitoring and inspection capability is fundamental to delivering the government’s priorities on the environment," he said.
“The announcements made today will help us continue to engage with farmers to reduce the risk of pollution incidents and work towards cleaner and healthier rivers for all."
Defra Secretary George Eustice added that the CSF programme had been 'hugely successful' in tackling water pollution.
“Today we are doubling the funding available and we aim to have every farmer in the country taking part by 2023.”