Rural business and farmers

The landscape of the Downs and Harbours project area is shaped by farming.
We work together with farmers and other landowners to reduce excessive nutrients losses to groundwaters, rivers and harbours. The partnership offers a number of free services and grants to support farmers and landowner in the project area to deliver water quality and environmental improvements. Please see below further details on these services and schemes.  

Free Services & Advice 

The partnership can provide a number of free services and specialist advice to farmers and landowners. To reduce the loss of nutrients, pesticides and soils currently entering the water environment. 

Free Services include:

  • Nutrient Management Plans

  • Soil testing

  • Soil Management

  • Infrastructure Audits

  • Pesticide Handling advice visits

For further information on funding support, please see the leaflets below: 


Please contact your local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) to discuss FaLMA options.


For a list of your local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officers visit:

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Scheme

Portsmouth Water is offering payments to farmers and landowners to implement nitrate reduction measures under this scheme. These measures are land management and/or land use changes that reduce nitrate leaching to groundwater and run off to wider water environments.


These measures are predominantly aimed at high priority holdings in Portsmouth Water's 11 Safeguard Zones (SgZs), where the nitrate concentrations at the local public water supply sources are rising and predicted to go above the Drinking Water Standard.

For further information on the measures available click on the handbook below: 


Please contact PW Catchment Management Officer to find out if you are eligible.

Capital Grants

Catchment Sensitive Farming's (CSF) Capital Grant Scheme offers either a number of stand-alone items up to £10,000 or, a much greater number of items and greater funding as part of a Mid or Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship application. These grants are for environmental improvements and much of the Downs & Harbours area is targeted. 

All applications will need the involvement of a CSFO in order to qualify. To read more about the Grant Scheme and how to make an application please click on the following button:

Portsmouth Water Farming Capital Grant Scheme offers grants to targeted farms to help reduce the risk of pollutants reaching groundwater. The scheme offers grants towards standardised capital items e.g. sprayer wash down area and non-standardised items such as precision farming equipment. It focuses its funding on reducing nitrate from priority areas. Click below for more details and an application form.

Farmer Cluster Groups

South Downs Farmers Group

The South Downs Farmers Group is a group of 22 leading farmers working together to share ideas and farm in a way which delivers public benefits, including high quality, affordable food, as well as enhancing the natural environment and local wildlife. To find out more about the group please visit:


The Downs and Harbours Partnership works very closely with this group through Portsmouth Water's Catchment Management Work, in which Portsmouth Water supports the facilitation of the group. This allows Portsmouth Water to work with these farmers to develop and support their catchment management delivery to protect and improve water resources quality.


The Downs and Harbours runs a number of focused workshops for farmers and landowners on important subjects and issues such as soil health. Click here to find out about upcoming and previous workshops.