Countryside Stewardship – 2021 Applications round-up

As we move into August and harvest is in full swing it can only mean one thing. The deadline for Countryside Stewardship has passed and we can reflect on what StephensonsRural and BoultonCooper have submitted on behalf of our clients.

Across the business we were involved in submitting a wide variety of schemes, ranging from large mid-tier schemes comprising complex options to more straightforward schemes, including wildlife offers, and extensions of existing agreements (mirror agreements).

Subject to RPA approval, mid-tier and wildlife offer applications submitted during this round will result in agreements with a combined value of £1 million over their 5 year term and over £580,000 in capital grants.  Where mid-tier applications were taken forward, the deciding factor for clients was the ability to include capital options targeted at reducing water pollution such as concrete yard renewal and roofing.

With the much talked about Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) becoming options from 2022 onwards, we have navigated our clients through the complexity of the various schemes on offer and look forward to hearing the outcomes in due course.

The good news is the interest in ELMS and SFI going forward will be significant. We also welcome the recent DEFRA announcement that the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme will be expanded to cover every farm in England which we hope will enable more farmers to access advice and funding targeted at reducing water pollution on their holdings.

The level of interest in the stewardship schemes has been unprecedented this year and it is advisable to start looking at your options early. The team at StephensonsRural and BoultonCooper are always here to help and advise on all matters as we go through the agricultural transition in the coming months and years.

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