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Farmers in Cheshire can apply for funding through the Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme

Farmers in Cheshire can, for the first time, apply for Severn Trent funding to make on-farm improvements that help protect drinking water quality.

The water company has expanded its Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) to include two ‘priority’ catchments in Cheshire – Tower Wood and Peckforton. 

Farmers in both catchments can apply for funding to make land management changes, which includes planting cover crops or buying precision technology, to help prevent nitrates from leaching into groundwater. 

Over the last decade, more than 2,300 grants have been awarded to farmers and landowners through STEPS, with Severn Trent working with more than 5,000 farmers across its priority catchments since its launch in 2014. 

The most popular funding options have included pesticide washdown areas, precision equipment, livestock fencing and farmyard concreting, as well as establishing cover crops – all of which helps reduce the levels of pesticides, nitrate and cryptosporidium entering raw water. 

All funding options come with advice and support from Severn Trent’s 23-strong team of local agricultural advisers. 

Severn Trent’s Agricultural Advisor for Cheshire Nick Morris said:

“It’s great that we are now able to offer funding in two catchments in Cheshire, allowing farmers to make real changes on farm that help protect water quality across the region. 

“I’ve been out and about, meeting with farmers in both Tower Wood and Peckforton, and they are very pleased that they can apply for funding to make changes that will have a positive impact on the local environment, while at the same time helping make their business more productive. 

“In 2023 alone, STEPS supported over 120 on-farm environmental projects, including more than 2,000 ha of cover crops, and it’s great that we are welcoming more farmers to work with us this year.” 

Applications for 2024 funding is open and farmers and landowners are being encouraged to visit the Severn Trent website at:

http://www.Stwater.co.uk/STEPS

...or contact Nick to investigate their options and eligibility.

Pictured - Severn Trent’s Agricultural Advisor for Cheshire Nick Morris.

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