Severn Trent’s Environmental Protection Scheme

STEPS farm grant

Attention Midlands farmers! Once again funding applications have opened for Severn Trent’s Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS). Severn Trent’s grant is part of their commitment to improving water quality, soil biodiversity and sustainable use of vital resources. Good news for farmers – this year’s grant now includes rainwater harvesting tanks and rainwater filters.

Benefits of rainwater harvesting for your farm & the environment

Above ground rainwater harvesting systems have been made available through the scheme for their distinct environmental benefits including reducing the quantity of water entering slurry stores, running across fouled yards, and entering the property’s dirty water tank. Harvesting rainwater during periods of intense rain also helps with water attenuation – reducing localised flooding by capturing water during heavy rainfall which can be released during dry periods when water is scarce.

rainwater harvesting tank
Two Tuffa 20,000 litre rainwater harvesting tanks at a farm in Suffolk

As well as benefiting the environment, rainwater harvesting is also valuable for farming businesses as a free source of stored water ideal for periods of water shortages, fire fighting and filling sprayers. The quality of rainwater, when compared to mains water, is also better for many agricultural applications such as irrigation or water for livestock. Research from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs shows that rainwater storage is becoming increasingly popular with 8% of farms in England now using rainwater as an alternative source of water.

For more information about rainwater harvesting, including how to harvest rainwater and the quantity of water your roof size will collect, check out our Expert Guide to Rainwater Harvesting Tanks.

Severn Trent Grant – what’s on offer?

Severn Trent is offering to match-fund projects totaling up to £5,000 per application. For higher-cost projects up to £10,000 Severn Trent will consider spreading the funding over two applications years. There is no lower limit for the grant. Applicants can pick projects from a pre-defined list of funding options. However, applications that address priority issues in your farm’s location will be more likely to receive funding.

What rainwater harvesting equipment does the STEPS grant cover?

rainwater capture
  • Water tanks – the scheme pays a fixed grant amount of £60 per cubic meter (1,000 litres) of water storage space. Second-hand tanks aren’t accepted.
  • Rainwater diverting and filter kits.
  • Replacement of downpipes and gutters when used in conjunction with a rainwater harvesting system.
  • Concrete base.

Eligibility for the Severn Trent’s Environmental Protection Scheme

To be eligible for the STEPS grant farmers must:

  • farm or have land in a priority catchment in the Severn Trent Region – view the catchment area map.
  • be actively farming that land.
  • have a minimum of 3 hectares of land, and this can be owned or leased.

In addition, to purchase a rainwater harvesting system:

  • Rainwater systems can only be constructed on existing buildings unless the new roofing is over a sprayer washdown area.
  • The work should meet the relevant British Standards (all of our plastic tanks are CE marked and built according to British Standards).
  • Second-hand tanks are not eligible for funds – however, we do offer competitive manufacturers rates on all tanks and further discounts for farmers under a number of farming groups.
  • Must be sited on a concrete base suitable for the weight on the tank when full and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • ‘Dated’ photographs of existing buildings and guttering may be required as part of your application.
Severn Trent's Environmental Protection Scheme
STEPS catchment area

STEPS grant application

Applications for the grant can be made through the application portal. It is strongly recommended that you read the guide to STEPS which includes information on the supporting evidence required and how your application is assessed. Additionally, you should contact your local agricultural advisor for more information about eligibility and the priority issues in your catchment area. Severn Trent advises working with an advisor as it help you to complete a successful application by demonstrating clear water quality benefits and mutually beneficial outcomes.

STEPS application dates

  • The grant application window opens on 1 November 2020 and closes on 31 January 2021.
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 6 weeks of the closing date.
  • Grants will be awarded to successful applicants no later than 14 March 2021.
  • Work must be completed by 1 March 2022.

To stay up to date with future grants, industry news and Tuffa offers sign up to our monthly newsletter. For rainwater tank and equipment enquiries please email [email protected], call 01889 567700 or use the online enquiry form below.