Water grants 2015: hard bases for livestock drinkers (LV3)

Eligibility and requirements for hard bases for livestock drinkers.

This guidance was withdrawn on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 be paid

£110 per unit.

Where the item is available

This item is only available in Catchment Sensitive Farming target areas. It can only be used on sites where livestock are unable to access stream or surface waters. Use it to create an area where livestock can drink without causing severe poaching (trampling) or soil compaction.

When this item can’t be used

It can’t be used:

  • under houses, roofs or cattle handling facilities that aren’t associated with feeding or drinking;
  • within 10m of ditches, streams or waterways; or
  • on historical or archaeological features

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will provide hard bases where livestock can stand when drinking. This will reduce the risk of runoff and water pollution from mobilised sediments and organic manures.


Applicants must send dated photographs of the existing site with the application for this item.

On the land

To construct the hard base, successful applicants will need to:

  • dig the soil to a depth of at least 150mm, or down to a naturally occurring hard surface;
  • extend the area that’s been dug around the drinking trough to a width of at least 2.5m;
  • lay a geotextile membrane over the area before placing the hardcore;
  • compact the hardcore to a depth of at least 150mm - make sure it’s well compacted;
  • blind the finished hardcore to a depth of at least 50mm;
  • edge the hard base with timber boards; and
  • make sure the base meets relevant British Standards - check copies of the most up-to-date standards.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • dated photographs of the site after the work has taken place (submit these with any claim and show them on inspection); and
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work.

How to carry out this item

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

Successful applicants should:

  • choose an area that’s a suitable size for the livestock;
  • consult the Environment Agency first if road planings, waste or recycled materials as hardcore will be used; and
  • make sure that any additional layer that’s added to the hardcore is no more than 150mm thick and well compacted.

The following items can be used on the same area as this item:

Further information

Find out how to get a U1 exemption to use waste in construction.

Published 2 March 2015