Water grants 2015: relocation of sheep dips and pens (RP20)

Eligibility and requirements for relocation of sheep dips and pens.

This guidance was withdrawn on

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

Applies to England

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

£3675 per unit.

Where the item is available

This item is available in Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) target areas.

When this item can’t be used

It can’t be used:

  • to build new, permanent sheep dip and holding pens on a farm where there are no existing dipping facilities; or
  • to replace existing equipment in the same location.

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will reduce water pollution by relocating sheep dips. Pollution from sheep dips can cause damage to people and aquatic wildlife.


Before applying for this item, contact:

  • the Environment Agency, to inform them about the planned works; and
  • the local planning authority, to check if planning permission is needed

Applicants must send any advice or consent they receive with the 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 Catchment Sensitive Farming officer.

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

On the land

Successful applicants will need to install a new sheep dip bath and holding pens. The dip baths must be impermeable and have no drain outlet. They must also comply with the Groundwater Protection Code.

The dip baths and drain pens must be installed at least:

  • 10m from watercourses (including streams, ditches, land drains and wetlands);
  • 30m from watercourses that drain into protected conservation sites (such as sites of special scientific interest); and
  • 50m from any spring, well or borehole.

The drain pens must:

  • be large enough to hold sheep for at least 10 minutes after dipping;
  • have properly sealed floors and built-in slopes (this allows excess dip to drain back to the bath, rather than soaking into the ground, soil or a surface water drain);
  • have concrete areas that are impermeable, with watertight sealed joints; and
  • have a filter or trap to prevent dirt and dip draining back into the bath.

All capital works must meet the relevant British Standards. Check 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 request); and
  • copies of all receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work.

What must not be done

The dip baths and pens must not be installed on a slope, or at the top of one, where there’s a risk that spillage might drain to a watercourse, road or track.

How to carry out this item

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

How to get a permit to discharge sheep dip

An environmental permit will be needed to discharge sheep dip to land. A variation may be needed to the permit if the location of the discharge area is changed.

How to construct the dip baths

The dip baths should:

  • be circular or rectangular;
  • of one-piece construction;
  • be UV-resistant if they’re made of plastic;
  • have splash screens and lips, if needed, to prevent splashing; and
  • have a roof to prevent clean water from yards, roofs or land running into them.

More information is available on designing dip baths.

How to avoid polluting the water supply

The back-siphoning of dip during filling can lead to water pollution. Make sure the hose for filling the bath:

  • isn’t submerged in the bath;
  • has a double check valve to prevent back-siphoning; and
  • isn’t used for domestic water supply purposes.

How to protect the historic environment

Applicants should avoid using this item:

  • close to a historic farmstead or listed building (applicants should get listed building consent if they do so); and
  • on sites of archaeological or historic importance (relevant consents will be needed, such as scheduled monument consent from English Heritage, before using this item on such sites).

If it’s intended to install the dip on an SSSI, notify Natural England. Applicants should send a copy of any advice with the application for this item.

The character of the landscape should also be considered, this particularly applies in designated landscapes or historic parkland.

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

Published 2 March 2015