Guidance

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.

Countryside Stewardship

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 for Mid Tier 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:

  • workshops
  • demonstrations
  • 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.

Training topics

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:

Get further CSF information by downloading one of the related publications and documents.

Training events

For details of CSF farm training events, email farm.events@naturalengland.org.uk or telephone 020 8026 8780.

CSF partnerships

CSF is working with partners in the farming and water industries, government agencies and environmental bodies.

National partnerships

CSF works with national partners to run joint events and share best practice:

Long term catchment partnerships

CSF provides support and advice on Countryside Stewardship through the following partnerships.

Isle of Wight

Partners: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency
CSFO: Lucy Temple, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Contact: lucy.temple@hiwwt.org.uk, 01983 760016 / 07739 312930

Downs and Harbours Clean Water Partnership

Partners: Portsmouth Water, Environment Agency
CSFO: Alastair Stewart, Portsmouth Water
Contact: a.stewart@portsmouthwater.co.uk, 023 9224 9215 / 07714 132949

Nene and upper Welland

Partners: River Nene Regional Park, Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Wildlife Trust, Welland Rivers Trust
CSFO: Georgina Wallis, River Nene Regional Park
Contact: georgina@rnrp.org.uk, 01536 526438 / 07921 941734

Yorkshire Dales

Partner: Yorkshire Dales National Park
CSFO: Jane Le Cocq, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Contact: jane.lecocq@yorkshiredales.org.uk, 07818 048748
CSFO: Hannah Fawcett, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Contact: Hannah.Fawcett@yorkshiredales.org.uk, 01969 652391

Nidd

Partners: Nidderdale AONB (Harrogate Borough Council), Yorkshire Water
CSFO: Marian Wilby, Nidderdale AONB
Contact: marian.wilby@harrogate.gov.uk, 01423 712950

Loddon

Partner: Affinity Water (working with South East Water)
CSFO: Amanda Ingham, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Contact: amanda.ingham@hiwwt.org.uk, 01256 381017 or 07796 387872

Hertfordshire and Essex catchments (Roding, Beam & Ingerbourne, Colne & Upper Lee)

Partner: Environment Agency
CSFO: Emma Boyle, Environment Agency
Contact: emma.boyle@environment-agency.gov.uk, 020 8474 7304 or 07760 408196
CSFO: Rosemary Robinson
Contact: rosemary.robinson@naturalengland.org.uk, 07500 793028

Short-term collaborative projects

CSF also collaborates on projects with partners such as rivers trusts, universities and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). For example, 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.

Contact

Catchment Sensitive Farming customer services

Natural England
PO Box 247
Cambridge
CB2 2WW

Published 9 September 2014
Last updated 4 April 2016 + show all updates
  1. Replaced catchment partnerships attachment with updated version.
  2. Details of new Countryside Stewardship water grant scheme added.
  3. reminder that final Capital Grant Scheme claims need to be submitted by 31 January 2015.
  4. added details of new Countryside Stewardship scheme
  5. Updated Catchment Sensitive Farming officer contact list
  6. First published.