Severn Trent's Environmental Protection Scheme
The Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) is familiar to many farmers across our region, having successfully run for many years. It runs annually, each Autumn, and is part of Severn Trent’s Farming 4 Water catchment management programme.
The scheme provides a wide range of options to farmers for infrastructure investments and land management items to improve water quality, soil health and the wider environment.
It’s a voluntary scheme which is solely funded by Severn Trent and delivered in partnership with local Wildlife Trusts, River Trusts, The Wye and Usk Foundation and South Staffordshire Water.
Farmers can apply to fund environmental projects on farm, from a pre-defined list of funding options. View the latest options handbook.
These funds have helped with projects ranging from cover crops, to fencing, to pesticide wash-down areas, and biobeds or biofilters. Applications for items which address the priority water quality issue in your catchment will be more likely to receive funding.
We also consider items that aren’t listed, especially if they’re innovative and support you and the wider goals of the programme, which is to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activities and to protect water quality.
Please note that our range of biodiversity STEPS items will now exclusively be offered in our Spring STEPS 2021 application window.
Tell us about your idea
If you’ve got a great idea then get in touch with our team, who can give you support and guidance to help you apply and get started.
We’ll match-fund up to £5,000 per application. For larger projects, and where possible, we’ll consider spreading the funding across two application years.
Eligibility for STEPS
In order to be eligible for support from STEPS, you must:
- farm or have land in a priority catchment in the Severn Trent Region
- have a minimum of 3 hectares of land, and this can be owned or leased
- be actively farming that land
If you have any questions about your eligibility or the priority issue in your catchment, you should contact your local agricultural advisor who will be able to advise you.
Terms and conditions
If you are hoping to apply for the STEPS programme, please download and read the full STEPS terms and conditions found in our handbook [PDF].
How to apply
The grant scheme is a competitive process and all our applications are assessed and reviewed based on each farm’s individual circumstances and the options you choose to apply for.
We advise you to read the handbook before you apply. This will improve the chances of you making a successful application.
Under normal circumstances, applicants demonstrating a clear water quality benefit to the issues of concern in that area and who have engaged with our local agricultural advisor are most likely to be successful.
Working with your local Agricultural Advisor will also help improve the likelihood of your application being successful, as a collaborative approach provides the opportunity to get your application right first time and to meet mutually beneficial outcomes.
Dry weather advice for livestock farms and farmers in our region
May 2020 saw extended dry spells, with swathes of the UK basking in the hottest days of the year to date.
We have some important advice about planning ahead and what to do in the event of an emergency.