The scheme is part of the Catchment Sensitive Farming project which provides advice to farmers to help them implement changes in farming that reduce the risk of both water pollution, and the regulation being applied to farming to achieve required water quality standards. Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) delivers practical solutions and targeted support to enable farmers and land managers to take voluntary action to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture to protect water bodies and the environment.
A joint project between the Environment Agency and Natural England, it is funded by Defra and the Rural Development Programme for England, working in priority catchments within England. The Catchment Sensitive Farming Capital Grant Scheme (CGS) is open for applications from 1 February to 31 March 2014 with successful applicants having works completed by 31 January 2015.
Haines Watts Rural Business LLP provide a unique combination of agricultural and financial expertise to rural business in the South West. The firm offers both personal and business support to managers and owners to develop and put in place tailored farm strategies, annual plans and improvement projects together with technical advice. In addition they can provide grant advice and assistance with applications including RDPE grants and offer practical advice on planning applications.
Lucy Thomas, Farming Consultant – Haines Watts Rural Business LLP says: “There are many opportunities to apply for agricultural grant funding and we offer a personal service to our clients to make them aware of what is out there and also help secure funds. The hard-working farmers work very long hours whilst constantly battling against the elements, particularly with the severe flooding in the early part of this year. As a result they may not be aware of what is available for them. Also it’s not easy to find the time to complete the paperwork and this is where Haines Watts Rural Business steps in. My role as farming consultant is to take this extra work off their shoulders and ensure that we put in the best possible bid to give a better chance of securing funding, particularly in such a competitive market with limited funds available.”
One of Lucy’s farming clients who utilised her expertise to gain a successful grant application for the (CSF) 2013 scheme is dairy farmer Andrew Allin of RJ Allin & Sons, based at Clawton, Holsworthy. Lucy assisted Andrew throughout the application process by completing the necessary forms and arranging meetings with CSF officers. She then organised the submission of the CSF form with the items Andrew required and how they would benefit the farm and were most suited to the scheme.
The farm with 230 dairy cows and 450 acres is in the ‘Catchment Sensitive’ area of Tamar Tavy and the application was for some hard-standing cow tracks to be installed with fencing alongside. Lucy worked closely with Andrew to achieve the items of particular interest for funding in this catchment to:
Lucy calculated eligible areas to maximise the grant funding on behalf of her client and even applied for an extension as work was delayed due to some of the worst flooding seen in the area for many years.
Andrew Allin, RJ Allin & Sons, Holsworthy says: “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 28th February 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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