As part of a five-year investment plan running from 2015 – 2020, Severn Trent Water (STW) invites farmers to apply for grants of up to £5000, under the Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS). These grants are for changes to land management and infrastructure projects and aim to support improvements that go beyond agricultural good practice, in order to protect and improve watercourses, as well as the wider environment.
Severn Trent Application process
The Severn Trent grant application process is supported by local Severn Trent Water agricultural advisors and a scoring system is used to award grants. This system places emphasis on applications that can demonstrate a clear benefit to water quality. Farmers wishing to apply for the grant funding must have at least 3 hectares of farmed land within a target area, and must also meet the minimum definition of ‘actively farming’.
In addition, the application process requires that applicants supply a brief description of their farming enterprise, as well as an overview of the work planned, showing the environmental benefits of completion and the timescale for the work. Once an application has been approved, STEPS will pay a fixed rate for each item, representing an estimated 50% of the total cost of capital items.
STEPS funding is not available to meet the cost of cross compliance, repairing broken or damaged equipment or to assist in funding capital works which are already underway, nor can the grant be paid if financing has already been received for the same project from additional sources.
Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme: Example Payments
Farmer ‘B’ applied for a STEPS grant to roof (STEPS011) an already existing pesticide wash-down area and to install a pesticide biofilter (STEPS009), which provides a simple low-cost method for on-farm treatment of dilute pesticide wastes. A grant of £1800 for 35m2 of roofing for the pesticide sprayer wash-down area and £950 for the Pesticide biofilter was made available.
Other items available for funding through STEPS include:
The installation of drinking troughs to prevent livestock requiring access to watercourses for drinking water:
STEPS003 Pasture Pumps: £180/unit and STEPS004 Water Supply pipe: £2/metre
An alternative system for the safe management of pesticide washing whereby water is allowed to evaporate leaving a residue which is collected in a removable impermeable liner prior to disposal at an appropriate waste facility:
STEPS010 Disposal of pesticide washings via evaporation: £2500
Rainwater collection, filtration, and storage which can then be used for irrigation or for the washing of farmyards and machinery. Additional treatment would also allow harvested rainwater to be used by livestock as drinking water.
STEPS020a Rainwater harvesting underground tank: £350/m3.
One STEPS application per farm per year may be made to Severn Trent Water, and there is a maximum payout of £5000. Farmers may apply for several grant items at once, but they must all be submitted as a single application. Each capital item must have a minimum design life of 5 years, although, in some instances, this is increased to at least 20 years.
All work must comply with relevant environmental legislation and works on capital investments must not commence until notification of a Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme contract has been issued. Once work has been completed, before and after photographs, along with invoices and receipts, are submitted and the grant payment is made.
Other Grants Available:
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