RP20: Relocation of sheep dips and pens

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the relocation of sheep dips and pens item.

How much will be paid

£3,675 per unit.

Where to use this item

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier


  • in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution from agriculture
  • with support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) officer

Where this item cannot be used

  • to build new, permanent sheep dips and holding pens on a farm where there are no existing dipping facilities
  • to replace existing equipment in the same location
  • without relevant advice or consents from the Environment Agency (EA) or Local Planning Authority

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will install replacement sheep dips in new locations. Pollution from sheep dips can cause damage to people and aquatic wildlife. Relocating sheep dips can help reduce the risk of diffuse water pollution.


  • install a new sheep dip bath and holding pens
  • dip baths must be impermeable, have no drain outlet and must comply with the Groundwater Protection Code
  • dip baths and drain pens must be installed at least:

    • 10m from watercourses (including streams, ditches, land drains and wetlands)
    • 30m from watercourses that drain into protected conservation sites (such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs))
    • 50m from any spring, well or borehole
  • meet relevant British Standards - examine copies of the most up-to-date standards for guidance

Do not:

  • install the dip baths and pens on a slope, or at the top of one, where there is a risk that spillage might drain to a watercourse, road or track

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Mid Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • photographs of the completed work

Before applying, applicants must seek advice from the EA and Local Planning Authority to check if consent is required to carry out the planned work.

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • a copy of any advice, permit or consent received from the EA or Local Planning Authority
  • photographs of the existing site and current dipping facilities
  • written support from a CSF officer

This item can be used on the same area as the following items:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this item.

How to get a permit to discharge sheep dip

Agreement holders will need an environmental permit to discharge sheep dip to land. A variation to an existing permit may also be required if the location of the discharge area has changed.

How to construct the dip baths

The most effective dip baths should:

  • be circular or rectangular
  • be of one-piece construction
  • be UV-resistant if they are made of plastic
  • have splash screens and lips, if needed, to prevent splashing
  • have a roof to prevent clean water from yards, roofs or land running into them

More information is available on designing dip baths

How to construct the drain pens

The most effective drain pens should:

  • be large enough to hold sheep for at least 10 minutes after dipping
  • have properly sealed floors and built-in slopes (allowing excess dip to drain back to the bath, rather than soaking into the ground, soil or a surface water drain)
  • have concrete areas that are impermeable, with watertight sealed joints
  • have a filter or trap to prevent dirt and dip draining back into the bath

How to avoid polluting the water supply

The back-siphoning of dip during filling can lead to water pollution. Make sure the hose for filling the bath:

  • is not submerged in the bath
  • has a double check valve to prevent back-siphoning
  • is not used for domestic water supply purposes

How to protect the historic environment

Agreement holders should avoid using this item:

  • close to a historic farmstead or listed building (get advice on listed building consent)
  • on sites of archaeological or historic importance as identified in the HEFER (get advice on Scheduled Monument consent from Historic England, before using this item on such sites) Agreement holders should also consider the character of the landscape when constructing new fencing lines. This particularly applies in designated landscapes or historic parkland.

Agreement holders must consult Natural England if intending to install the dip on an SSSI.

Further information

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) operates in parts of the country where there are water quality issues linked to farming. The scheme provides farmers with free advice and training. See guidance for further information on CSF support.

See the Mid Tier manual or Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 29 March 2016 + show all updates
  1. Information updated for applications in 2016
  2. First published.