WN7: Restoration of large water bodies

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the restoration of large water bodies item.

How much will be paid

Up to 100% of actual costs.

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier


  • on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) with ecologically degraded water bodies of 1 hectare or more
  • if other land management options are included in the agreement

How this item benefits the environment

It will restore the wildlife value of large water bodies that have become degraded.


  • agree a specification for the works with Natural England
  • complete the works as set out in the approved specification and within the agreed timescale

Keeping records

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

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • photographs of site before works start
  • item specification, if required
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail

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

  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is not available
  • photographs of the completed work

Before applying for this item applicants should contact the Environment Agency for advice and any permits. You do not need to provide this with your application, but you will need to submit any consents with your payment claim.

The detailed requirements for this item will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Higher Tier applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

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.

This item can be used to support the implementation of lake restoration plans. It may also cover one or more of the following:

  • water management
  • scrub management
  • management of invasive non-native species
  • fish removal
  • bird control
  • desilting

Further information

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

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.