UK growers can still apply for grants

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Severn Trent STEPS funding still up for grabs.

WITH just over two months to go before Severn Trent’s Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS) closes, UK potato growers 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 January 31st, 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  financial and technical support is being offered to invest in solutions that will reduce water pollution and protect the environment while supporting farm productivity.

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“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,” she said.

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.

To find out more about STEPS funding, contact your local Severn Trent agricultural adviser or visit: www.STwater.com/STEPS