Environmental Farming Scheme – Support available to improve watercourses on your farm

Date published: 03 September 2019

Tranche 3 of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) Wider Level is open for applications until 20 September 2019.

You can apply for grant support to protect watercourses on your farm through the EFS Wider Level. There are five Water Quality options available. These have been popular in Tranches 1 and 2, with over half of farmers including water quality options in their EFS agreement.

  • Creation of ungrazed riparian buffer strips - 2 metres wide or 10 metres wide. These options involve fencing off a strip of land along the watercourse and allowing vegetation to grow. This buffer strip reduces the risk of nutrients, manure, sediment and pesticides run off and prevents livestock accessing the watercourse. It will also stabilise the banks and enhance biodiversity.
  • Creation of riparian buffer strips - 2 metres or 10 metres planted with native trees. These two options include funding for planting native trees and shrubs. They provide additional benefits to the ungrazed options including more biodiversity, reduced peak flood flow and carbon sequestration.
  • Watercourse fencing - prevents livestock accessing the watercourse and reduces poaching, bank damage and sedimentation.

You may also be able to apply for funding for additional capital items with these options:

  • Drinking trough;
  • Drinking trough base;
  • Drinking trough pipe work;
  • Pasture pump and associated pipe work;
  • Gates and gate posts.

These water quality measures will have the greatest impact in areas of intensive grassland where the level of farming activity, soil type and ground conditions are most likely to lead to nutrient run off.

Tranche 3 of the EFS Wider level is open for applications until 20 September 19 2019. Details on how to apply can be found on the DAERA website or by calling 0300 200 7848. Applications can only be made online and you may need to register.

A final awareness event, hosted by CAFRE, covering all EFS options and how to make an application is being held at Loughry Campus on Wednesday 11 September at 7.30pm.

The Environmental Farming Scheme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Notes to editors: 

  1. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook
  2. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.

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