Farmers and land managers across England have been given additional support to take action to reduce water and air pollution from their land.
Over the past 15 years, the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) programme has been one of the main ways to help farmers tackle pollution which results from manure, fertiliser and soil running off into rivers when it rains.
The programme – which is a partnership between Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency – provides free 1-2-1 advice to farmers to help them reduce water and air pollution through management of farmyard manure and soils among other things.
And now, the funding for the programme will now be almost doubled, with an additional £17m over the next three years. The new annual budget will be £30m, up from £16.6m in 2020 / 21.
This means it will cover 100% of England’s farmland, up from 40% of its current coverage, with every farmer able to access advice and support by March 2023 to help them access a range of solutions to reduce pollution.
The funding will enable farmers and land managers to help sustain the provision of clean water while making key strides to improve the environment, from reducing climate change to reversing wildlife declines.
CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell said:
“This funding boost is a landmark moment for the sector.
“This is something that CLA has been calling on for some time. Without doubt, it is one of the most successful advice and grant programmes available to those within the agricultural sector. The funding will enable farmers and land managers to help sustain the provision of clean water while making key strides to improve the environment, from reducing climate change to reversing wildlife declines. We will continue to champion the advice and grant programme for the long term.”
The extra funding will provide more Natural England advisers to help farmers implement practical solutions to reduce pollution, including planting new grassland buffer strips to improve drainage, establishing river side trees to reduce run off into rivers and using better slurry storage facilities to avoid accidental spillage.
For more information on the funding, click here