Water grants 2015: sediment ponds and traps (RP7)

Eligibility and requirements for sediment ponds and traps.

This guidance was withdrawn on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

£10 per square metre.

Where the item is available

This item is available in Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) target areas. If applicants intend to use it on areas greater than 25 square metres, it must be used with a feasibility study or a CSF-commissioned water or water holding feature management plan.

When this item can’t be used

It can’t be used:

  • to collect dirty water, effluents and slurries; or
  • if it will interrupt the movement of migratory eels or fish.

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will create ponds and traps where sediment is deposited. This will reduce downstream water pollution.


Before applying for this item, applicants must discuss their proposals with:

  • the Environment Agency;
  • their internal drainage board (if appropriate); and
  • their local planning authority (planning permission will be needed for any engineering operations).

Applicants must send the following with their application for this item:

  • copies of any advice and consents;
  • a copy of the water or water holding feature management plan, if applicable; and
  • dated photographs of the existing site photographs of the site.

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.

On the land

If a small pond or trap (less than 25 square metres) is being constructed where most of the soil has been dug and there’s no need for embankments above the ground, successful applicants must:

  • dig to an appropriate depth, creating gently sloping banks; and
  • spread any excess soil thinly across the land, away from the pond area.

If a larger pond or trap (greater than 25 square metres) is being constructed, successful applicants must follow the requirements set out in their water management plan. Successful applicants will usually need to:

  • dig the topsoil and an appropriate depth of subsoil;
  • stockpile soil types separately for re-use;
  • construct embankments using the subsoil, making sure they’re properly compacted and provide a stable structure;
  • create a freeboard by installing an outflow pipe 750mm below the top of the embankment;
  • provide protection (such as stone pitching, slabs or concrete spillway) around the outflow to avoid damaging the receiving ditch;
  • spread the topsoil on the embankments and their outside slopes to allow vegetation to grow and to stabilise slopes and prevent erosion; and
  • establish grass on the pond using a grass seed mix of 25g per square metre.

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
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work

What must not be done

Spoil must not be placed on any historic or archaeological feature or area of wildlife value when carrying out the work.

How to carry out this item

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

Using this item with other measures

Successful applicants should use this item with other measures to reduce water pollution related to surface water and runoff. Good soil management will encourage the filtration of surface water and minimise surface runoff. This will reduce the need for sediment ponds on the farm.

How to construct barriers

The feasibility study or water or water holding feature management plan may provide site-specific information, including where to place barriers and how to construct them.

Creating multiple ponds or traps

It’s likely that several ponds or traps will be needed to reduce sediment loads in the watercourses successfully.

Checking ponds and traps for silt

Sediment ponds and traps can collect a considerable amount of silt, so they need to be regularly checked and de-silted.

Further information

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

Published 2 March 2015