New £27 million grant scheme to improve watercourses in England

Posted by LindaStenner on April 9, 2018

New £27 million grant scheme to improve watercourses in England

April 09, 2018 at 10:05 AM

Farmers and land managers are being invited to apply for funding from a new £27 million grant scheme to improve the water environment across England.

The Water Environment Grant scheme just launched by Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency will provide £9 million each year over the next three years to applicants applying for funding to restore local eco-systems and deliver substantial benefits to people and the environment.

Potential projects could include river restoration activities, removal of obstacles to help fish moving along rivers and streams or actions to improve the water quality.

Sarah Wedge, a land agent with Davis Meade Property Consultants at Oswestry,  said the scheme is open to eligible applicants until May 11, 2018.

“You can apply if your project lasts longer than a year but it must start by March 2019 and end by March 2021,” she said. “There’s no minimum value for a grant and you can apply for a maximum grant of £2 million for your project.

“The scheme is competitive, being  scored on how it meets the scheme priorities and you can’t carry out any activity that will give you commercial gain or profit.” 

To meet the criteria the application project must:

  1.  Meet one or both of the objectives of; the River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) written in compliance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD) that protect inland surface waters, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater and/or sites that are designated to protect their water habitat are referred to as ‘water- dependent designated sites’
  2. Benefit the rural environment.
  3. Involve carrying out an eligible activity (examples below);

                                             i.     creation and restoration of water-dependent habitats, for example a watercourse, lake or wetland

                                           ii.     restoring ecosystems in water-dependent habitats

                                          iii.      removing barriers to fish movement

                                          iv.     construction of a fish pass, bypass channel, or fish easement to restore fish migration

                                           v.     managing the source of water pollution, especially diffuse pollution in rural areas

                                          vi.     removing or reducing the presence of non-native species, where they’re a problem

                                        vii.      sustainable use of water resources

                                       viii.     support for activities or events that help change agricultural practices to improve the water environment

                                          ix.     carrying out feasibility studies for activities to tackle environmental problems in water-dependent habitats

                                           x.     buying machinery or equipment to carry out any of the above activities for your project

“To be eligible to apply you must be either a charity (including a not-for-profit organisation), a land manager (farmer, forester, tenant, landlord or licensor) or a public body (local authority, parish council, national park authority),” Sarah explained.

“And you must have the authority to carry out all activities in your proposal, so that you can deliver your project,” she added.

The scheme, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, will award grants to non-profit ventures with greater support for projects which enhance water eco-systems. Funding will be awarded in August 2018.

For more information and advice contact Sarah Wedge on Tel: 01691 659658, email



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