Water grants 2015: sheep dip drainage aprons and sumps (RP22)

Eligibility and requirements for sheep dip drainage aprons and sumps.

This guidance was withdrawn on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 you’ll get paid

£18.25 per square metre.

Where the item is available

  • This item is available in Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) target areas.
  • It can be used to move a static holding pen used in conjunction with a mobile sheep dip (the mobile sheep dip can continue to be used).

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 and
  • 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 from them 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 Catchment Sensitive Farming officer.

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

On the land

Successful applicants will need to make sure:

  • the drainage apron redirects drainage from the pen area back to the dip bath;
  • the apron is made of impermeable concrete and meets the appropriate British Standards;
  • the residue sump catches debris, such as wool and faeces, and prevents it from re-entering the dipping tank;
  • the sump is made of engineering brick walls set on a concrete base; and
  • all work complies with the Groundwater Protection Code.

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, the 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.

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);
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work; and
  • any consents received in connection with the work (show these on request).

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 to the permit may be needed if the location of the discharge area is changed.

Where to install drain pens

Successful applicants should install any new drain pens 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 (SSSIs)); and
  • 50m from any spring, well or borehole.

Pens or dip baths should 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 get best results

Drain pens should have a roof to prevent clean water from yards, roofs or land running into them.

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); or
  • on sites of archaeological or historic importance (relevant consents will be needed, e.g. 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 their application for this item.

The character of the landscape should also be considered 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