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Catchment Sensitive Farming

Introduction to Catchment Sensitive Farming

Catchment Sensitive Farming is a programme of joint working that aims to reduce the amount of pollution in rivers, groundwater and other aquatic habitats caused by farming operations. We have been working in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. We have offered advice to farmers to help them to improve the water quality of rivers and streams.

Our work on Catchment Sensitive Farming began in 2009 as two separate projects covering the Semerwater and Upper Lune catchments. These two projects were then combined to form the Semerwater and Upper Lune Catchment Partnership. During the 5 years that we worked on this partnership we achieved

  • 82 Capital Grant Scheme applications, awarded grants totalling £616,000
  • 108 one-to-one farm visits
  • 52 follow up visits
  • 78 one-to-one consultant visits with associated reports including Farm Infrastructure reports, Nutrient Management Plans and Soil Husbandry Reports
  • Grassland trial plots on two farms and associated events
  • 7 events looking at slurry spreading, nutrient management, compaction, machinery rings and the capital grant scheme
  • 6 newsletters
  • 30 farmers attended sheep dip training
  • 51 farmers attended pesticide training
  • 4 farmers attended PLANET training

One of the most popular parts of Catchment Sensitive Farming has been the access to the Capital Grant Scheme. This scheme gave people the chance to apply for farm infrastructure improvements that would help to reduce the risk of diffuse water pollution, and make a real difference on the farm. When successful, applicants received a grant of 50% towards these improvement works up to a maximum of £10,000. The scheme has been simple yet extremely effective.

The Yorkshire Dales Catchment Partnership

As of 2015 the Upper Lune Catchment is no longer classified as a priority area. However, the Semerwater catchment still is, along with Swaledale, Wensleydale and some areas in the Upper Aire catchment. These areas can be seen by using the Countryside Stewardship Targeting layers on the Magic website. So we are now working on the Yorkshire Dales Catchment Partnership which covers these areas within the National Park Boundary. This is alongside Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust as well as local farmers and landowners.

The capital grant scheme has been incorporated into Countryside Stewardship but can still be a stand alone grant. More information on this can be found on our Countryside Stewardship pages. If you are interested in finding out more then please contact us.

More details about CSF

Details of this project, including downloadable newsletters and fact sheets are available on the Nature in the Dales website. 


To find out more about how we can help you with Catchment Sensitive Farming, please contact us by:

Management Plan

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan is the overarching document for the National Park setting out the kind of place we all want it to be

Agri-environment Schemes

More information about agri-environment schemes and how we can help.

High Nature Value Farming

Find out more about High Nature Value Farming (HNV)

Nature in the Dales

Our Nature in the Dales website contains information about over 150 species and 14 priority habitats found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Wensleydale Project

Wensleydale Project - a catchment scale landscape project within the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Planning advice service

Details of our planning advice service

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