Severn Trent STEPS funding still up for grabs
Tuesday 22 November 2022
With just over two months to go before Severn Trent’s Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) closes, farmers and landowners are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to £30,000 for farm improvements that will help reduce water quality issues.
The scheme, which closes on 31 January 2023, has seen a reduction in the value of applications this year, despite Severn Trent increasing the funding available on key items in priority catchments, largely due to the ongoing financial challenges farmers are being faced with.
Dr Alex Cooke, principal catchment scientist at Severn Trent says farmers and landowners are being offered financial and technical support to invest in solutions that will reduce water pollution and protect the environment while supporting farm productivity.
“For eligible recipients, funding has doubled from £5,000 up to £10,000 across the board. But in catchments where pesticide reduction is a priority, farmers can now apply for up to £30,000 for washdown and disposal areas, and there is also up to 75% funding for watercourse fencing,” says Dr Cooke.
Severn Trent has identified three key concerns in its priority catchments and is urging farmers to pursue funded options that prevent pesticide, nitrates or cryptosporidium reaching watercourses.
“The match funding is available to both arable and livestock farmers, for a wide range of infrastructure and land management improvements,” she says.
“For example, we’ve seen the grants being put towards building pesticide washdown areas, covering livestock handling systems, planting cover crops and installing livestock fencing,” explains Dr Cooke.
“We hope that this added flexibility will encourage more famers to work with us and apply for grants before 31 January 2023.”
To find out more about STEPS funding, visit: www.STwater.com/STEPS