Water grants 2015: check dams (RP12)

Eligibility and requirements for check dams.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Capital items for improving water quality are now available through the Mid Tier of Countryside Stewardship.

Farmers and other land managers can apply for water grants.

Read the accompanying guidance to find out more about Countryside Stewardship water grants 2015.

How much will get paid

£42 for each dam.

Where the item is available

This item can be used on:

  • Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) target areas; and
  • sites identified in a CSF-commissioned water or woodland management plan

When this item can’t be used

It can’t be used if it will interrupt the free movement of fish, eels or other freshwater migratory species.

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will create dams that slow the movement of water in small natural streams and ditches. They will also slow surface water during heavy rainfall. This will reconnect streams to the floodplain and allow sediment and other pollutants to settle out, helping to improve water quality and reduce downstream flooding.


Before applying for this item, applicants must get any relevant consents, e.g. from the Environment Agency or internal drainage board. Applicants must send a copy of these with their application for this item.

With permission from Natural England, advice and consent can be received up until 29 May 2015; applicants can discuss this with their local CSF officer.

Applicants must also send dated photographs of the existing site with their application.

On the land

Successful applicants will need to follow the requirements set out in their water management plan, provided through CSF.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • any receipted invoices and bank statements associated with the work (show these on request); and
  • dated photographs of the site while the work is taking place and after it’s completed (submit these with any claim).

How to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully.

Use several dams

It’s likely that several dams will be needed to manage water flows successfully. A series of multiple dams should be placed on small streams that are between 5 to 7 times wider than the channel. This will prevent woody debris becoming dislodged during floods.

Check the dams for silt

The dams should be checked and silt removed regularly, as they can collect large amounts of silt.

Further information

The management of water can be improved on land by using the Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems guide.

Published 2 March 2015