river Severn© David Bagnall/Rex/Shutterstock

Severn Trent is offering farmers in parts of the Midlands region grant aid to make improvements to their farm management and infrastructure, which reduces the risk of pollution into local watercourses.

The Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (Steps) offers grants of up to £5,000 a year to farms located within a Severn Trent priority water catchment area.

The money can be used for a range of capital projects including watercourse fencing, hard bases for livestock troughs, pesticide handling areas, biobeds and the purchase of precision farming equipment.

See also: £14m grant funding for water management available

Payments are also available for implementing management options such as the removal of livestock from high-risk fields (£500/ha) or growing cover or catch crops (£60/ha).

Farmers also have the opportunity to propose their own innovative ideas in a farmer innovation option.

The application window for grant applications for 2018-19 opens on 1 January 2018 and closes on 16 March 2018.

Jodie Rettino, Severn Trent catchment manager, said: “The more work we can do with farmers to reduce pollution from their land, the more we’ll protect local watercourses, such as rivers, and the environment.

“In turn it’ll also help reduce how much we have to treat the water we take from these watercourses.”

Over 600 farmers have been awarded Steps grants over the past three years.