About Us

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, as well as range of biodiversity options to improve soil health, cover crops, herbal leys, wetlands and pond management - improving and enhancing habitats. 

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.

These funds have helped with projects ranging from cover crops, to fencing, to pesticide wash-down areas, and biobeds or biofilters.

We also consider items that aren’t listed, especially if they’re innovative and support you and the wider goals of the programme. 


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.

A special edition of STEPS for Spring 2020

The wet winter of 2019 to 2020 had a large impact on our local environment, with farm businesses particularly hard hit. Plans have been disrupted, cropping schedules and rotations have had to change.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to offer the chance for farms to apply for a specially selected and limited range of options for our STEPS grant scheme in Spring 2020 and we’ve relaxed the application criteria. 

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.

For this edition of STEPS, farms:

  • do not need to apply for a water quality item to be eligible to apply for a biodiversity option
  • can apply for just a water quality item if required
  • can apply for just a biodiversity option if required

Applications are scored as usual. If your application meets the eligibility requirements for the support you’d like, your application should be accepted. However, we cannot guarantee it will receive funding.


Eligibility for STEPS

In order to be eligible for support from STEPS, you must:

If you have any questions about your eligibility, you should contact your local agricultural advisor who will be able to advise you.


Terms and conditions

If you are hoping to apply for support from the special Spring 2020 edition of STEPS, please download and read the full Spring 2020 STEPS terms and conditions before you apply.

If you are hoping to apply for the usual STEPS programme, please download and read the full STEPS terms and conditions found in our handbook [PDF].


Applications for Spring STEPS 2020 close on 22 June

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](LINK REQUIRED). 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. This is not required for the Spring 2020 scheme.

Working with your local Agricultural Advisor will also help improve the likelihood of your application being successful.

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.