THE annual Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) has relaunched until January 31st.
This extended window is offering match funding of up to £10,000 for farm improvements that address water quality issues.
Also available for applications for a limited time until April 18th, is additional funding improve biodiversity on-farm under Severn Trent’s ‘Spring STEPS’ scheme, which is exclusively for farmers who have previously received funding for, or have plans to apply for, a priority water quality item in the main STEPS scheme.
Dr Alex Cooke, principal catchment management scientist at Severn Trent, said the major extension to the STEPS application window will give farmers the flexibility to choose a time to suit them to apply and carry out the funded work.
“We know that farmers have had to overcome numerous challenges over the past year, including flooding, periods of continuous wet weather, the uncertainty brought by Brexit, and pressures presented by Covid-19. So, for one year only, we’ve decided to open STEPS applications up for longer. Successful applicants will then have a further 12 months to complete their work after funding is confirmed.
“This match funding is available to farmers in priority catchments to address issues such as nitrates, pesticides and cryptosporidium reaching watercourses. A range of items are available from cover crops and pesticide washdown bays, to livestock fencing and covered handling areas,” she said.
“Spring STEPS works in a similar format to the wider grant programme, but offers funded options specifically for improving farm biodiversity, such as wetland creation, inputting pollinator meadows and margins, or enhancing grasslands.”
For more details visit www.stwater.co.uk/steps