Water quality grants on offer in Midlands and Cheshire

Farmers in parts of the Peak District and Cheshire are being targeted to sign up to local grant schemes designed to protect and improve water quality.

Livestock farmers in the catchment of the River Dane are being offered subsidised pesticide and slug pellet application training by United Utilities.

The water company, which covers north-west England, is offering training that normally costs hundreds of pounds for a charge of just £50 a person.

See also: Read more from Farmers Weekly on grants

Qualifying farmers can apply for training to get their PA1, PA2, PA2F, PA4 or PA6 licences.

Veronika Moore, Dane catchment adviser for United Utilities, said: “To qualify, you must farm land in the River Dane catchment.

Specialist work

“On most livestock farms, spraying and pelleting is only done for a few days a year, but it is specialist work and needs to be done correctly.”

The company is also offering an anonymous poisons and pesticides amnesty for farmers in the River Dane safeguard zone needing to get rid of old stocks of sprays or vet medicines.

All agricultural and horticultural products are accepted for disposal, including unlabelled or unknown products and those with a MAPP, MAFF, PSPS or ACAS registration number.

Soil plan

Meanwhile, farmers in the south-west region of the Peak District National Park may be eligible for support to produce a farm water and soil plan, along with funding for a range of capital works to improve water quality.

The Upstream Thinking scheme is available to farmers with a holding on the Upper River Dove/River Hamps/River Churnet or Meerbrook.

The farm water and soil plans will be specific to the holding and written in conjunction with the farmer or landowner.

Capital works for farm water management can include payments for fencing, gates, livestock troughs and resurfacing of gateways.

Funding is also available to support tree planting and the creation of structures such as leaky dams to help with flood management.

For more details, contact SWP@peakdistrict.gov.uk