Catchment Sensitive Farming: reduce agricultural water pollution
How to get free advice and training to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture and claim for capital grants under the Countryside Stewardship water capital grants scheme.
Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) raises awareness of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) by giving free training and advice to farmers in selected areas in England. The aim of the advice is to improve the environmental performance of farms.
Advice is only available in high priority areas for water quality. These areas will contribute most to meeting Water Framework Directive objectives. To find priority areas and local data on MAGIC:
- select ‘Countryside Stewardship Targeting & Scoring Layers’, then ‘Water’, then ‘Countryside Stewardship Water Quality Priority Areas (England)’ in the Table of Contents
- enter place or postcode in ‘Map search’
- use the ‘Identify’ tool under ‘Feature Tools’ to get local data
CSF is a project run by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It’s staffed by trained, qualified and experienced advisors. The advice is confidential and not disclosed to other parties.
CSF complies with Article 22 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 on how it gives advice. The amount of aid given for advisory services is limited to 1,500 euros per farmer per advisory theme.
CSF supports farmers applying for Countryside Stewardship to improve water quality and biodiversity and to reduce flood risk. Funding to improve water quality is now available through the Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier application process. See the Mid Tier page for more information.
Some Countryside Stewardship capital items require written support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming officer (CSFO) as part of an application’s evidence requirement. Check the capital item requirements on the Mid Tier page to find out when this is necessary.
Endorsement of a Mid Tier application by a CSFO will increase the chance of success for holdings targeted for water quality outcomes. Applicants who require this support should contact CSF and arrange a pre-application visit.
Training and advice
All CSF training and advice aims to give practical and cost-effective solutions to improve water quality through:
- farm walks
- farm events
- one-to-one advice on solutions from groundwater protection to whole farm appraisals
You need to be in one of the high priority areas for water quality to qualify for training and advice. Contact your Catchment Sensitive Farming officer for more information.
Topics are tailored to the area and farming sector but include:
- manure management
- nutrient management
- soil condition
- pesticide management
- farm infrastructure
You’ll also learn about:
- silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oils regulations (SSAFO)
- cross compliance
- Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ)
Get further CSF information by downloading one of the related publications and documents.
For details of CSF farm training events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0208 026 8780.
CSF is working with partners in the farming and water industries, government agencies and environmental bodies.
National partners share information about reducing DWPA through joint events and websites:
- The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
- Professional Nutrient Management Group
- The Rivers Trust
- The Voluntary Initiative
- Soil and Water Management Centre - Events
CSF provides support and advice on Countryside Stewardship through:
long-term catchment partnerships (PDF, 299KB, 1 page)
short-term collaborative projects with partners such as rivers trusts, universities, Campaign for the Farmed Environment and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
In collaboration with East Devon AONB we are helping farmers reduce sediment and phosphate loads in the River Axe, a site of special scientific interest and Special Area of Conservation.
Catchment Sensitive Farming customer services
Telephone 0208 026 2018
Published: 9 September 2014
Updated: 4 April 2016
- Replaced catchment partnerships attachment with updated version.
- Details of new Countryside Stewardship water grant scheme added.
- reminder that final Capital Grant Scheme claims need to be submitted by 31 January 2015.
- added details of new Countryside Stewardship scheme
- Updated Catchment Sensitive Farming officer contact list
- First published.