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Water pollution grants deadline is approaching

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

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FARMERS have until the end of the month to apply for financial help under the latest round of Catchment Sensitive Farming capital grants.

The round opened at the beginning of February, offering money to help improve or install facilities to limit the risk of water pollution.

Natural England is managing the scheme with money from Defra's Rural Development Programme.

Any applications have to be for holdings in a specific target area.

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Among the successful applications so far was one by dairy farmer Andrew Allin, of R J Allin and Sons, at Clawton, near Holsworthy.

The farm with 230 dairy cows and 450 acres is in the Tamar Tavy catchment area and the application was for some hard-standing cow tracks to be installed with fencing alongside.

It was supported by an agri-business advisor, Lucy Thomas of Haines Watts, with the necessary forms, arranging meetings with relevant officers and organising its submission.

The application was to reduce soil and nutrient run-off into watercourses from yards and field, to reduce potential damage to soil caused by vehicles and/or livestock movements or grazing during wet conditions, improve field operations to limit sources and pathways for soil wash and run-off into water courses, and reduce the need for spreading manure and slurry at times that can result in run-off.

Andrew Allin said: "The service offered by Lucy at Haines Watts Rural Business was invaluable. She really knows her way around the forms and goes that extra mile by getting in touch with the relevant bodies to gain maximum funding.

"The works had to be completed by February 28 this year. However, due to the severe wet weather conditions, this was delayed as we could not gain access to the land.

"Lucy contacted Natural England on our behalf and successfully negotiated an extension which has given us peace of mind."

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