12 October 2022, England: Farmers across England are now able to benefit from the advice of Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) advisers following the expansion of the programme.
Local Catchment Sensitive Farming advisers provide confidential on-farm support and advice across the farming community to encourage uptake of new and existing agricultural schemes and help farmers comply with regulation to deliver environmental gains.
Since 2006, 24,000 farms have benefited from CSF advice, helping farmers take more than 80,000 positive actions to reduce pollution. Reductions in agricultural pollutants include nitrogen levels, which are down 4%, phosphorus levels, which have decreased by 8%, and a 12% reduction in sediment.
Jen Almond, Director of National Operations at Natural England, said:
We are rolling out Catchment Sensitive Farming advice to all farmers in England to help them produce food in a way that protects our water, air and soil whilst minimising losses and maximising efficiencies.
Our advisers provide valuable advice on agricultural transition schemes and grants, natural flood management, and how sustainable farming practices can deliver the greatest environmental gains across the whole country.
CSF is led by Natural England, in partnership with Defra and the Environment Agency. Advisers offer a range of support including signposting to relevant sources of advice, offering one-to-one tailored advice, including a visit from an agricultural specialist, or running group training and on-farm events.
Advice on rainwater harvesting is just one of the ways CSF advisers are supporting farmers. They can provide information on the grants available, potential cost savings and benefits to crop yields.
A survey of farmers who had contact with a CSF adviser early this year found that 83% of farmers who had contact with their CSF Adviser agreed they were a person whose advice they could trust.
CSF also works in partnership with a range of organisations including water companies, local authorities, trade bodies and environmental organisations. Their work has included part-funding advisers and tools to reach more farmers, enabling them to increase the resilience of their farm businesses whilst achieving the greatest environmental gains.
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