FG15: Water gates

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the water gates item.

How much will be paid

£240 per gate.

Where to use this item

Available for Mid Tier, Higher Tier and woodland creation grant


  • in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution caused by farming
  • on fence lines across streams in conjunction with other stock control items

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will prevent livestock from entering watercourse channels. It will also stop livestock from trampling waterside banks and will leave bankside vegetation lush and unbroken by livestock paths.


  • fit a gate across the river or stream, and ensure that the gate:

    • is framed and made of wood
    • fits the profile of the river or stream
    • matches the height of the fence next to it
    • uses timber that is fully peeled and tanalised or treated with an approved preservative
    • can float up and down as the water levels rise and fall
    • has an approach fence that is either post-and-rail or fixed netting
    • is separate (along with the approach fencing) from the main fence line
    • meets the relevant British Standards - examine copies of the most up-to-date standards
  • the gate must consist of a series of wooden droppers attached to a length of wire cable, or a round wooden rail suspended horizontally between straining posts. The droppers must be:

    • at least 50mm square in cross section
    • made from sawn, untreated timber that has been drilled and then threaded on to the cable or rail
    • separated by 150mm lengths of plastic pipe
  • if the stream gully is more than 1.5m deep, the gate can be constructed in several sections. The droppers must be:

    • made of untreated timber
    • at least 70mm square
    • hung on round wooden poles using loops of fencing wire

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

Applicants must contact the Environment Agency before applying for this item. Applicants will have to send a copy of their advice, and any permits, with their application. Applicants will also have to send:

  • photographs of the existing site

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.

Flood defence consent (FDC) may be needed to use this item near a watercourse or within 10m (this varies with some local byelaws) of the top of a riverbank.

Get FDC from:

  • the Environment Agency (for main rivers)
  • local flood authorities (for ordinary watercourses)

If applicants think they need FDC they should contact the Environment Agency first.

Further information

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

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 18 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Capital item now includes woodland.
  2. Update to 'keeping records' section.
  3. First published.