Countryside Stewardship - Top tips for submitting an application

Farming subsidies in the UK are in a period of significant change, Agricultural Surveyor George Whittaker gives more information on options that might be available as the deadline for one of the last rounds of Countryside Stewardship (CS) applications approaches

Countryside Stewardship - Top tips for submitting an application
  •   Why Consider Countryside Stewardship?

CS can offer agreement holders options to achieve simple and effective environmental benefits in exchange for payment, particularly on non-productive areas of the farm.

The new “Environmental Land Management Scheme” (ELMs) which will replace both the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and CS are currently being designed through a piloting process. These are likely to include options requiring similar management to those offered by CS currently.

Applying for a CS agreement now may act as a useful stepping stone for farmers and land managers to become better at adopting a more environmentally focused management system as is likely to be required by the new schemes to come.

  • Can I still apply for Countryside Stewardship?

Yes, in their most common form, Mid-Tier Stewardship agreements can include both five-year, “management” style options and two-year capital items. Four simplified “Wildlife Packages” are available on a non-competitive basis. These are Arable; Lowland grazing; Upland; and Mixed farming.

The list below is a small sample of the huge number of options offered through Mid-tier-

  • Will having a CS agreement stop my business from being part of an ELMs Scheme?

At this stage, the government have stated that entering into a new CS agreement will not exclude your business from applying for an ELM’s agreement in future years. It will not attract penalty when leaving your CS agreement to enter the ELM’s scheme.

  • Should I apply for Countryside Stewardship?

My short-term advice to all farm and estate businesses is to consider capitalising on the agri-environment funding options currently available whilst we find ourselves in a “golden age” of subsidies. Longer term, businesses should be assessing their reliance on subsidies and be moving forward with “eyes wide open” to the changing world of subsidies (or lack of…).

Symonds & Sampson have a specialist team of agents across the region who can assist with the applications for all rural grants and subsidies.  For more information, email George Whittaker or call him on 01305 236578 

Note : THE DEADLINE FOR THIS YEAR’S ROUND OF MID-TIER CSS APPLICATIONS IS 30 JULY 2021.

APPLICANTS MUST REQUEST AN APPLICATION PACK BEFORE 28 MAY 2021.

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