Funded by DEFRA and the Rural Development Programme for England, Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a joint initiative between the Environment Agency and Natural England that has been established in a number of priority catchments across England.
Overall, CSF has two principle aims: (1) to save farms money by introducing careful nutrient and pesticide planning, reduce soil loss and help farmers meet their statutory obligations such as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, and (2) to deliver environmental benefits such as reducing water pollution, cleaner drinking water, safer bathing water, healthier fisheries, thriving wildlife and lower flood risk for the whole community.
To achieve these goals CSF delivers practical solutions and targeted support which should enable farmers and land managers to take voluntary action to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture to protect water bodies and the environment.
Catchment Sensitive Farming Officers work with independent specialists from the farming community to deliver free advice tailored to the area and farming sector. This advice includes workshops, farm events and individual farm appraisals. CSF also offer capital grants, at up to 60% of the total funding, to deliver improvements in farm infrastructure.
As part of the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme, Natural England have also undertaken an evaluation study to demonstrate the benefits that the delivery of advice and measures have realised.
In addition to a summary report (http://tinyurl.com/mzyrpc7), Natural England have also produced a number of case studies and technical reports covering specific areas; such as, advice and education delivery, water quality monitoring and environmental modelling. These can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/pk5rulg.