Severn Trent offers financial support for farmers to improve rivers
Wednesday 4th May
- Farmers offered funding options to protect rivers and the environment
- Severn Trent is delivering on its Get River Positive commitments to support others to protect and enhance river quality
- The package has the potential to reduce agricultural carbon emissions by 20% and enhance over 62,000ha of land across Severn Trent’s regions
Nine thousand farmers in the Severn Trent region are being offered match funding of up to £30,000 to encourage environmentally friendly farming practices and protect water quality.
The move aims to reduce agricultural carbon emissions by at least 20% and is part of four programmes to enhance 62,000ha of land, including Severn Trent’s Trees for Water project which will pay for tree planting and maintenance on agricultural land over 35 years.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO, said: “We’re passionate about making a positive impact on our communities and the environment where we live and work. We’re investing £100m a year as part of our Get River Positive commitments to go even further in improving rivers so that nature can continue to thrive. One of our five Get River Positive pledges is to ‘support others to improve and care for rivers’. Agriculture and land management are the biggest contributors to rivers not achieving good ecological status. As such, we are redoubling our efforts to help farmers have more resources and financial support to care for rivers.”
As part of its Get River Positive commitment to protect rivers and the environment, Severn Trent has launched the new package to encourage regenerative farming practices. “Funding for investments to improve water quality, tree planting and provision of green financing will be made available to incentivise regenerative farming practices.” Liv added.
Looking to reach as many farmers as possible across the region, Severn Trent is confident the package will be welcomed. Warwickshire based farm manager, Martin Downes, explains that he has been working with the company for several years, using Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) funding to protect the environment.
“I’m already using regenerative methods, but with the right funding in place, I’d definitely consider turning more of our conventional practices to regenerative alternatives.
“Given my stress-free and straightforward experiences of applying for STEPS grants, and my great relationship with my Severn Trent agricultural adviser, I’m looking forward to understanding how the new package will continue to support our farming business” Martin added.
Match-funding infrastructural investments
The new package will include increased match-funding, of up to £30,000, for items that help protect water quality as part of the company’s flagship STEPS, which is aimed at the c.9,000 farmers who have a farm or land in a priority catchment in the Severn Trent region.
Hassle free tree planting
Following on from the Commonwealth Forest offer, Severn Trent will now offer the Trees for Water scheme for all farmers and landowners in the region, tying into forthcoming farm legislative requirements. The scheme will fully fund trees, planting and maintenance for 35 years, offering annual bonus payments for eligible sites. After the initial 35-year period, landowners will have the ability to keep or sell the residual carbon credits, making the offering an ideal hassle and cost-free investment for those looking to leave a legacy to their successors.
To support further investment in regenerative farming practices, we have built in two partnership offers. The first partnership with Agreena will help farmers transition to regenerative practices. The second partnership is an ambition to work with NatWest to give farmers in its catchment access to ‘green loans’ for investment in sustainable farming options.
What could this new package for farmers in Severn Trent regions deliver?
- The potential to reduce agricultural carbon emissions by at least 20%
- Reduce nitrate losses by up to 23% and phosphate losses by up to 25%
- Create and enhance over 62,236ha of land
- Reduce nitrogen inputs by at least 15%, saving on average £16/ha
- Give farmers an average profitability boost of 20%/ha
Find out more about Get River Positive at getriverpositive.co.uk