RP22: Sheep dip drainage aprons and sumps

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the sheep dip drainage aprons and sumps item.

How much will be paid

£18.25 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
  • with support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) officer

This item can be used to move a static holding pen used in conjunction with a mobile sheep dip.

Where this item cannot be used

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

How this item will benefit the environment

It will install a new sheep dip drainage apron and sump in new locations. Pollution from sheep dips can cause damage to people and aquatic wildlife. Relocating sheep dips and pens can help reduce risk of diffuse water pollution.


  • design the drainage aprons to redirects drainage water from the pen area back to the dip bath
  • the apron must be is made of impermeable concrete
  • design the residue sump to catch debris, such as wool and faeces, and prevent it from re-entering the dipping tank
  • construct the sump of engineering brick walls set on a concrete base
  • install a drainage apron and sump which complies with the Groundwater Protection Code
  • meet relevant British Standards - examine copies of the most up-to-date standards for guidance

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.

Where to install drain pens

New drain pens should be located 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

Dip baths and pens should not be installed on a slope, or at the top of one, where there is a risk that spillage might drain to a watercourse, road or track.

How to get best results

Drain pens should preferably have a roof to prevent clean water from yards, roofs or land running into them.

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. 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, the 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

Further information

Follow this guidance when designing dip baths

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.