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Land Management

Volume 692: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which catchments they have designated as priorities for the purposes of the £5 million land management grants; and what criteria were used to so designate them. [HL3918]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme is available in 40 catchments. These catchments were identified jointly by the Environment Agency and English Nature (now part of Natural England) from data gathered for water framework directive purposes on nitrates, phosphorus and sediment pollution, combined with data on sensitive freshwater fisheries, chalk streams, failing bathing waters, groundwaters and lakes designated as special areas of conservation. English Nature prioritisation of designated sites at risk of diffuse water pollution from agriculture was also taken into account. Further local appraisals were carried out to target specific areas and pollutants as set out in a funding priority statement for each catchment. These statements can be found at www.defra.gov. uk/farm/environment/water/csf/grants/capital-grants-scheme.htm. I have also arranged for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What range of new facilities will be available for grant aid under the £5 million land management grant scheme. [HL3919]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme covers 26 sets of items. These are mainly low-cost items and include funding for fences and gates, water provision for grazing livestock, management of run-off, drainage water, dirty water and sediments, and sheep-dip facilities. The full list can be found in the Farmer Handbook at: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/environment/water/csf/grants /capital-grants-scheme.htm. I have also arranged for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to extend the £5 million land management grant scheme to other catchments; and over what timescale. [HL3920]

The England catchment sensitive farming capital grant scheme is part of the England catchment sensitive farming delivery initiative, which runs until 31 March 2008. The future of the initiative depends on departmental spending plans for 2008-09 through to 2010-11, which are currently being considered as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007.