Robert Largan MP visits farms supported by Severn Trent STEPS funding
4th September 2023
Robert Largan, MP for High Peak in Derbyshire has seen firsthand the positive impacts to improve water quality being made by farms supported by Severn Trent.
Mr Largan visited two farms in the Edale area of his Derbyshire constituency, the Wainwright family’s Ollerbrook Farm, and Shaw Wood Farm, owned by Andrew Critchlow, both of which have received grant funding from Severn Trent’s STEPS fund.
A part of the wider Farming for Water programme, which offers a range of grants and schemes for different environmental measures, STEPS – or the Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme – offers financial and technical support to famers and landowners to reduce water pollution and protect the environment while supporting farm productivity.
The match funding can be put towards a wide variety of infrastructure and land management projects to help to prevent pesticides, nitrates and cryptosporidium from reaching watercourses. This has included building pesticide washdown areas, covering livestock handling systems and manure stores, planting cover crops and installing new guttering.
Severn Trent also offers free of charge site visits from experts who can provide bespoke advice to landowners around water management.
Robert Largan MP said: “I always enjoy visiting farms across the High Peak and it was great to speak directly to farmers to hear how they are working to improve the health of our local rivers.
“I am really passionate about protecting our environment and improving water quality so it’s fantastic to see the practical steps that are being taken to address this by farmers in Derbyshire.”
The visit was hosted by Margaret Baile, Severn Trent’s senior agricultural advisor.
Margaret said: “It was great to be able to walk Mr Largan around these farms and demonstrate some of the fantastic ways that farmers are being supported through STEPS. The farms that we visited have surface water which runs straight from the moors and across their land, so we were able to see a variety of measures that have been put in place.
“Landowners and farmers are very conscious of the impacts that agricultural run-off can have on neighbouring rivers and streams and it's fantastic that so many of them have engaged with us through the STEPS programme.”
For more information on the support available through STEPS, visit www.stwater.co.uk and search for STEPS.