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More farmers seeking to protect waterways as conservation grant over subscribed

: News & Articles : Schools and Farming : More farmers seeking to protect waterways as conservation grant over subscribed
Posted on: 2012-09-01

Farmers in 75 priority catchment areas from Northumberland to Cornwall have submitted over 3,000 applications for funding to the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) grants scheme this year.

Natural England, which operates the scheme, announced last week that over 3,000 applications for CSF Capital Grants had been made in the past year. The grant offers up to 50 per cent funding for farm improvement works that will help producers to take practical action to reduce diffuse water pollution.

Natural England said the 3,000 applications for project funding that have been received by the grants scheme this year add up to a combined total of around £25 million. However, despite increases in funding this year and more money promised for next year’s scheme, with a current budget of £21.5 million for 2012, the CSF’s annual budget has been over-subscribed, meaning grants will be allocated on a competitive basis.

The funding will be allocated to the applications that best meet the scheme’s priorities and that provide the greatest environmental benefits within target areas, a spokesperson said. The spokesperson said all applicants will know by the end of August whether or not their applications have been successful.

Geoff Sansome, Director of Land Management (South) for Natural England commented on the scheme’s progress in 2012, “Work funded by this scheme over recent years is already providing savings for thousands of farmers and enhancing local environments throughout England by improving water quality. The Catchment Sensitive Farming Project is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working. I am delighted that further work will be carried out on hundreds of farms as a result of the funding made available this year.

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