Catchment Sensitive Farming Ammonia event in Wensley

Catchment Sensitive Farming

Introduction to Catchment Sensitive Farming

The Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership (CSF), funded by Defra, is supported by Natural England (NE) and the Environment Agency (EA) and works together with farmers and catchment communities in priority areas across England to improve the quality of our water and air. 

The partnership provides local expert advice, training and grant support to enable farmers to take voluntary action to improve the environment and their farm business.

Since 2006, CSF has worked with nearly 20,000 farms and helped farmers take more than 70,000 positive actions to reduce pollution.  92% of the farmers CSF has worked with are satisfied with its one-to-one advice and by working together; CSF and farmers have achieved reductions in agricultural pollutants – nitrogen levels down by 4%, phosphorus levels down by 8%, and a 12.3% reduction in sediment.

In 2018, as part of Defra’s Clean Air Strategy, the Government committed an additional £3m to CSF, focussing on working with the agricultural industry to improve air quality.

Working with farmers and landowners to improve the condition of rivers is one of the objectives agreed by the Authority and a wide range of local partner organisations in the National Park Management Plan 2019-24.

For more information search www.gov.uk for Catchment Sensitive Farming.

The Yorkshire Dales Catchment Partnership (YDCP)

Our work on CSF began in 2009 as two separate projects covering the Semerwater and Upper Lune catchments. These two projects were then combined to form the Semerwater and Upper Lune Catchment Partnership.  From 2015 the Upper Lune Catchment was declassified as a priority area, however, the whole of the Swale and Ure catchments and parts of the Aire were newly designated as high priority catchments.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) delivers CSF in these areas in partnership with NE. We also work very closely with the EA and other stakeholders. These CSF high priority areas can be seen by using the Countryside Stewardship Targeting layers on the Magic website.

The aim of the YDCP is to reduce the amount of pollution in rivers, groundwater and other aquatic habitats as well as air pollution caused by farming operations. The main pollution targets within the YDCP area are for Phosphate and Sediment in watercourses.  We offer confidential, free advice and events to farmers to help them to improve the water quality of rivers and streams and air quality.

In 2019 the YDCP achieved:

  • 93 one-to-one Countryside Stewardship advise visits for Mid Tier and Water Capital grants
  • 2 Farming update meetings in Hawes and Reeth  for farmers and landowners
  • 27 farmers attended an Ammonia and Slurry event
  • 13 farmers attended an Upper Aire Project event
  • 350 farmers received the CSF bi annual newsletter

One of the most popular parts of Catchment Sensitive Farming has been the access to the stand alone Water Capital Grant under the Countryside Stewardship scheme. This grant gives people the chance to apply for farm infrastructure improvements that would help to reduce the risk of diffuse water and air pollution, and make a real difference on the farm. When successful, applicants can receive funding for capital items towards these improvement works up to a maximum of £10,000. The grant can be applied for online has been extremely effective.

Water capital items can be applied for as part of a Mid-Tier application or as a stand alone grant. More information on this can be found on our Countryside Stewardship pages. If you are interested in finding out more then please contact us.

More details about CSF

To find out more about how we can help you with Catchment Sensitive Farming, please contact us by: