Grant scheme for riverbank repair demonstration sites

This information was published on 6 October 2016 and updated on 27 April 2017

Grant Scheme For Riverbank Repair Process

What is the Riverbank Repair Demonstration Site Grant Scheme?

The Riverbank Repair Demonstration Site Scheme provides funding for sites to demonstrate the benefits of natural bank protection techniques using trees or parts of trees. Examples can be seen in the guidance document: Reducing river bank erosion: A best practice guide for farmers and other land managers.

 As the fund is limited, the scheme will only be able to fund a small number of sites in accessible rivers distributed around Scotland. The applicant must own or lease agricultural land. The bank protection must be installed to help repair and protect banks damaged by flooding between 5 December 2015 and 9 January 2016. For SEPA to be able to fund the work, a funding agreement between the landowner or tenant and SEPA must be in place before any work is commissioned.

A Grant of up to a maximum of £750 for professional design of the bank protection and up to £10,000 of installation cost is available for suitable sites. We will consider whether the site meets the scheme criteria as well as the type of bank protection being installed and the geographical spread of sites when awarding grants and the number of demonstration sites will depend on the value of applications received. SEPA will assess the applications monthly. The work must be completed and the claims submitted before 1 March 2018.

Criteria that must be met by the applicant

The applicant is required to:

  • show that they own the agricultural land or have an agricultural tenancy of the land;
  • get written consent from others that may be affected by the work e.g. the owner of the opposite bank or owner of salmon fishing rights. A complete list is shown in the application form;
  • get written quotes for the work as detailed in the application guidance;
  • enter into a signed funding agreement with SEPA. This funding agreement must be in place before any work is commissioned;
  • have a public liability policy in place to a minimum value of £1,000,000;
  • be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

A design must be submitted to SEPA for both design and installation applications. The level of design required i.e. whether professional design is required, is set out in the table below:

Technique as described in guidance

Design requirements

Willow spiling and willow stakes only

Professional design, or:  

  • Description of work including any bank        reprofiling;
  • How it will comply with the registration/GBR        and how impacts such as silt and oils will be mitigated; and
  • Sketch/drawing.

Brash or small trees only

Professional design, or:

  • Description of work including any bank        reprofiling;
  • How it will comply with the registration/GBR        and how impacts such as silt and oils will be mitigated; and
  • Sketch/drawing.

Large wood solely or included as part of the design

Professional design including:

  • Explanation of how the work will comply with        the authorisation and how impacts such as silt and oils will be mitigated.

Large trees solely or included as part of the design

Professional design including:

  • Explanation of how the work will comply with        the authorisation and how impacts such as silt and oils will be mitigated.

Root wads solely or included as part of the design

Professional design including:

  • Explanation of how the work will comply with        the authorisation and how impacts such as silt and oils will be mitigated.

Criteria that the demonstration site must meet

The bank protection must:

  • be installed to protect only eroding banks;
  • comply with our current authorisation requirements under The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.You will need a registration for the placement of the trees or parts of
    trees (Part N of the application form). You will not be charged for this. Note only work which does not adversely affect fish spawning will be authorised). See guidance document: Reducing river bank erosion: A best practice guide for farmers and other land managers;
  • be to repair riverbanks that have eroded following damaged by flooding between 5 December 2015 and 9 January 2016;
  • be protected from all grazing animals where live trees are used.

Monitoring at the site is required. This will include:

  • installing a fixed point camera which will be supplied by us;
  • the collection of photos and other site information before during and after installation of the bank protection; and
  • providing the photographs to us at agreed intervals.

The applicant will be required to permit, or ensure that the landowner permits, our staff and other interested parties (as notified to the applicant by SEPA) to have access to the site on giving the applicant reasonable prior notice to carry out:

  • site visits organised by SEPA or the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland, for the purpose of training/informing such other parties as they see fit about the project;
  • inspections and monitoring progress of the approved works and the project;
  • checks on whether the applicant is complying with the grant conditions.

Inspections

  • All sites will be inspected by SEPA staff, to confirm the accuracy of information provided in your application and compliance with grant conditions of completed works.

If funding is awarded, it will be paid for:

  • design work, once the design has been completed and evidence of the costs incurred provided to us; and
  • installation, once installation has been complete and evidence of the costs incurred provided to us.

Legal base

The legal base for the Riverbank Repair Scheme is Section 37 Environment Act 1995.

State aid

This scheme is exempt from state aid under the following Articles in the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (EU) No 702/2014:

  • Article 21: Aid for knowledge transfer and information actions.
  • Article 29: Aid for investments in favour of the conservation of cultural and natural heritage located on agricultural holdings.
  • Article 30: Aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters in the agricultural sector.
  • Article 31 Aid for research and development in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Grants are awarded under the conditions of ABER regulation 702/2014.

Regulations and consents

The bank repair work must comply with any requirements of the Water Environment (Controlled Activities)(Scotland) Regulations 2011 and early contact with us is advised.

In all cases, you will be responsible for consulting with all interested parties and for obtaining all consents required.

Health and safety

The work should be planned and undertaken in a safe and sensible manner.

You may wish to refer to the following the Health and Safety Executive guidance:

  1. Farmwise HSG270 highlighting 'section 5 Contractors and family workers'
  2. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

How to apply

Please refer to the detailed guidance on how to apply. An application form must be filled in.

Paper copies of the form are also available, please call 03000 99 66 99.