Lowland Agricultural Peat Water Discovery Pilot
The LAPWDP grant scheme will fund collaboration and investigation that improves the lowland agricultural peat knowledge base. It will fund the creation of new costed plans for peatland water management for lowland peat areas in England that will seek to preserve peat soil carbon and support continued agriculture. These plans will identify how the water table within lowland agricultural peat soils can be raised to enable either: a) a mosaic approach to improving the condition of lowland peat, which includes wetter farming (i.e., farming with higher water levels, either with paludicultural crops or traditional crops), peat restoration where possible and potentially some continued traditional farming on drained soils or b) wetter farming alone.
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The LAPWDP grant will support evidence and knowledge building to create costed plans for lowland peat water management. These plans must promote a change in water management that enables more sustainable activities at higher water tables within lowland agricultural peat soils, including the long-term delivery of those outcomes.
We recognise that the development of new plans for peatland water management will be dependent on our understanding of several environmental, social, economic and practical factors. We encourage projects to be ambitious and look to address as many of these factors as possible. The scheme will support the knowledge building and development of costs for one or more themes as listed in the guidance document.
Guidance document available at the following link: Environment Programme Community - Lowland Agricultural Peat Water Discovery Pilot - All Documents (sharepoint.com). Access is required for the sharepoint site, so please email LAPWDP@environment-agency.gov.uk
Applications to LAPWDP are welcomed from organisations focussed on raising water tables within peat soils. This can include:
environmental groups , local authorities ,charities ,public bodies (excluding Environment Agency, Natural England and Defra) , landowners ,internal drainage boards ,businesses ,commercial enterprises ,other organisations .
A LAPWDP grant can only be issued to a single legal entity, but we welcome applications from a single organisation who is coordinating work with other interested parties.
The LAPWDP scheme has been designed to provide much needed evidence which will help to deliver the recommendations of the Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force Chair’s Report (or Caudwell Report) published on 29 June 2023.
The Caudwell Report’s central finding is that we need to transform water management within the lowland peat landscape to enable raising the water table of, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from, lowland agricultural peat soils.
The LAPWDP grant scheme will provide a pathway for land managers to gather knowledge as they develop new plans for water management on their land. It encourages the collaboration at a catchment scale and supports stakeholders to take a strategic approach to water management within our lowland peatland catchments. The outcomes of the LAPWDP grant will contribute to other Defra initiatives to inform government policy development and future funding.
Once the application window has closed, the Environment Agency will assess all applications. We will provide an update on the outcome of your application in December 2023.
You may be contacted during our assessment if any clarifications about your application are required.
Grant payments will be made in arrears for eligible expenditure you have occurred. Work must be complete and paid for when you submit a claim. There are three windows in which you can submit claims for grant payments. It is not mandatory to submit a claim at each payment window. The payment windows are:
Claim 1: May 2024
Claim 2: September 2024
Claim 3: January 2025 (or when your project completes, if earlier)
How to apply
To apply for a LAPWD Grant, you must complete an LAPWDP application form. Once complete submit your application form by email to LAPWDP@environment-agency.gov.uk, no later than 23:59, 27th October 2023. It is important you provide all the information asked for in the application form, including any supporting documents. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
Your application form, including the mandated supporting documents, will be the single source of information used to score and rank your application. No other information nor documents submitted after the application deadline will be considered.
Any request for clarification regarding the application process should be submitted at the earliest opportunity to LAPWDP@environment-agency.gov.uk and no later than 10th October.