Environmental management – 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) is a project run by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It raises awareness of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) by giving free training and advice to farmers in selected areas in England. The selected areas are called priority catchments. The aim of the advice is to improve the environmental performance of farms.

CSF is staffed by trained, qualified and experienced advisors. The advice is confidential and not disclosed to other parties.

Advice is available in priority catchment areas only. The selected catchments are those where improvements in water quality will make the greatest contribution under the Water Framework Directive objectives.

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

Catchment Sensitive Farming is now working with farmers in selected areas to provide Countryside Stewardship grants. 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 the application 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 must contact and arrange a pre-application visit with CSF by 12 August 2016. After this date CSFO’s cannot guarantee support during the 2016 application round.

How to apply for 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 priority catchment areas 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.

Attend a training event

For details of CSF farm training events, please email farm.events@naturalengland.org.uk or telephone 0208 026 8780.

CSF partnership training

National partnerships

CSF has 4 national strategic partnerships to help share resources, knowledge and best practice on (DWPA) more widely. Details are available in the links below:

Catchment partnerships

In addition to the priority catchments there are also catchment partnerships (PDF, 185KB, 1 page) in the CSF scheme continuing to provide advice to farmers on the Countryside Stewardship water capital grants.

Contact the CSF team

Catchment Sensitive Farming customer services

Natural England
Apex Court
City Link