Water Friendly Farming

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF)

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a partnership between Defra, the Environment Agency and Natural England. It works with farmers and a range of other partners to improve water and air quality in high priority areas. CSF offers farmers free training, advice and support for grant applications.


CSF gives free training and advice to farmers and land managers in high priority areas. The advice and training enables practical and cost-effective solutions that improve water and air quality through:

  • workshops
  • demonstrations
  • farm walks
  • farm events
  • confidential one-to-one advice for priority farms.

Contact your local Catchment Sensitive Farming officer (CSFO) for details.


Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment.

The aim of the scheme is manage and improve the environment by:

  • conserving and restoring wildlife habitats
  • flood risk management
  • woodland creation and management
  • reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture
  • keeping the character of the countryside
  • preserving historical features in the landscape
  • encouraging educational access.

This scheme is intended to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of Defra's 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

Through these schemes, which incentivise providing for the public good, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following:

  • clean and plentiful water
  • clean air
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • protection from environmental hazards
  • reduction of and adaptation to climate change
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first in a package of environmental land management schemes, which will provide a straightforward way for farmers to receive public money for producing public goods for which there is not already a market. These include cleaner water, cleaner air and carbon reduction.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot will start this year with an initial group of several hundred farmers. Then, in March 2022, the scheme will be rolled out to recipients of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

To express an interest, you just need to complete a short, simple online form.



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