RP7: Sediment ponds and traps

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the sediment ponds and traps item.

How much will be paid

£10 per square metre.

Where to use this item

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier


  • in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution from agriculture
  • in conjunction with a Feasibility Study or a CSF commissioned design plan for ponds or traps over 25 square metres

Where this item cannot be used

  • to collect dirty water, effluents and slurries
  • on historic or archaeological features or areas of existing wildlife interest identified on the Farm Environment Record (FER), the Environmental Information Map or the HEFER
  • where it will restrict the movement of migratory fish or eels
  • without relevant advice or consents from the Environment Agency (EA), Local Planning Authority or flood defence consenting authority

How this item will benefit the environment

A sediment pond or trap will provide an area where muddy run-off from fields or tracks is allowed to pond so sediment will settle out. This will help reduce the risk of sediment and other pollutants entering a nearby watercourse.


  • ensure that all work meets relevant British Standards - examine copies of the most up-to-date standards for guidance

For sediment ponds or traps (less than 25 square metres)

  • excavate to an appropriate depth, creating gently sloping banks
  • spread any excess soil thinly across the land, away from the excavated pond area

For larger sediment ponds or traps (greater than 25 square metres):

  • follow the requirements set out in the Feasibility Study (PA2) or CSF design plan (Water-Holding Feature Management Plan).

Do not:

  • place spoil on any historic or archaeological feature or wildlife area identified on the FER, the Environmental Information Map or the HEFER

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 site during the different stages of construction or contracts, invoices or other documents confirming the technical specification for the completed works
  • photographs of the completed works in place and installed

Before applying, applicants must seek advice from the Environment Agency, Local Planning Authority and where relevant the Internal Drainage Board 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 or consent received from the EA, Local Planning Authority and (where relevant) the Internal Drainage Board
  • photographs of the existing site
  • a copy of the Feasibility Study or CSF design plan (Water-Holding Feature Management Plan) for ponds or traps over 25 square metres

This item can be used on the same area as the following options and 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.

Using this item with other measures

This item should be used with other farm measures to reduce surface runoff and water pollution. Good soil management will encourage the filtration of surface water and minimise runoff. This will reduce the need for sediment ponds on the farm.

How to construct barriers

The CSF design plan (Water-Holding Feature Management Plan) may provide site-specific information, including where to place barriers and how to construct them.

Creating multiple ponds or traps

It is likely that several ponds or traps will be needed for successful reduction of sediment loads to the watercourse.

Checking ponds and traps for silt

Sediment ponds and traps can collect a considerable amount of silt and need to be regularly checked and de-silted.

Further information

The management of water on the land can be improved by using Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems.

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.