We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Livestock Tracks, Gates and River Crossings

Option closed to new applications


This Option will improve tracks, gateways and river crossings in order to reduce the possible adverse effects of livestock on the water environment. Note that you can only apply for this option if the need is identified as a need in an associated agri-environment option. Case officers will check that any application meets with this criteria.

Tracks, gateways and river crossings can be significant sources of the loss of soil, nutrients (such as phosphates) and faecal material to watercourses.

Compaction and rutting caused by machinery and animal paths tend to converge at gateways and can channel surface water flows to these areas.

Repositioning gateways to lower risk areas (for example, away from the bottom of slopes and to where run-off may be diverted to buffer areas) can decrease the quantities of potential pollutants entering watercourses.

What will this achieve?

  • It will help prevent soil erosion, loss of nutrients and avoid faecal contamination of the water environment.
  • It will also help improve animal health by removing rough, wet and muddy tracks, gateways and river crossings.

What you can do?

Farmers should identify if they have any livestock tracks, gateways or river crossings that are not suitably positioned or could be improved to prevent soil, nutrient or faecal contamination of watercourses. They should consider the lie of their land and identify buffer strips and areas which will help them decide on more appropriate sites for these features.

Your outline plan must identify the location and nature of the risk factors for all sites (track, gate, and river crossing) that you wish to enter under this option. Your plan must also show which activities you propose to undertake and describe how they will reduce the risk to the water environment.

Who can apply?

This measure is applicable to livestock farms (in particular dairy farms) that have access tracks, gateways or river crossings which may be contributing towards diffuse pollution of watercourses.

Eligibility criteria

You need to be farming in Scotland and have land grazed by livestock that utilise tracks, gateways or river crossings that may be resulting in pollution of water courses.

Please see the Definitions of Land Types page for more details.

What costs could be supported?

There are Capital Items attached to this Option. For a comprehensive list of Capital Items click here. Any cost claimed must be fully justified.

When completing your Proposal, you can select the appropriate capital item(s) from the dropdown list of standard cost capital items for this Option.

Unless it has been otherwise specified the purchase of 2nd hand equipment is eligible providing it meets the following conditions:

  • The seller of the equipment must provide a declaration stating its origin, and confirm that at no point during the last seven years has it been purchased with the aid of national or community grants.
  • The price of the equipment must not exceed its current market value and must be less than the cost of similar new equipment.
  • The equipment must have the technical characteristics necessary for the operation and comply with applicable specification.

In addition to these capital items, financial support of up to 100% of eligible actual costs is available in respect of the following:

Please note that this capital item will not appear in the dropdown list of Standard Cost capital items for this Option and will need to be entered manually in the box for Actual Cost capital items. Only costs for the types of capital works listed above should be entered in the Actual Cost capital items box for this Option. Any other costs entered cannot be considered for funding.

To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Rate of support

Up to 50% of eligible actual costs, except for gates which are a standard cost capital item.


Will be subject to inspection and verification by staff, normally Area Office staff of the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID).

List of links to relevant technical guidance