The application windows for the 2022 Countryside Stewardship Schemes are now open

Applications are now open for the 2022 Countryside Stewardship Schemes with the timeframes as follows:

  • Mid Tier – Open until 30th July 2021
  • Wildlife Offers – Open until 30th July 2021
  • Higher Tier – Open until 30th April 2021
  • CS Capital Grants – Open until 30th April 2021
  • Woodland Support Grants – Open all year round

Following customer feedback, some changes have been made to the available schemes this year, including:

  • New options to help improve air quality, reduce ammonia emissions and improve water quality.
  • An improved Countryside Stewardship capital grant offer, making 67 options available which can sit alongside a Countryside Stewardship Wildlife offer
  • Improved woodland options, including bringing bracken control and stone wall options into woodland management and combining Woodland Creation and Woodland Maintenance grants
  • Increased number of capital items that farmers can apply for using the Rural Payments service, covering water capital, hedgerows and boundaries and air quality

Further to the above the RPA has simplified options to make them easier to understand and moved away from penalty charges for non-compliance towards a more collaborative approach to deliver the scheme.

What is on offer?

Management Options

Management options are available to help you to:

1. Manage land for the benefit of local wildlife

  • provide sources of nectar and pollen for insect pollinators
  • provide winter food and nesting habitats for farmland birds

2. Support local priority habitats such as:

  • species-rich grasslands
  • wetlands, rivers, streams, ponds and ditches
  • hedges, orchards, wood pastures and parklands

3. Manage flood-risk in your local area

  • reduce soil erosion and improve water quality

4. Convert and manage land to organic certification standards

5. Manage and maintain landscape features

  • maintain traditional farm buildings
  • manage features of archaeological interest
  • manage Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and scheduled monuments

Capital grants

The Mid Tier allows you to include capital items in your application. Capital grants are available to help you to:

1. Manage and maintain the boundaries on your holding including hedgerows, dry-stone walls, stock fencing and gates

2. Manage water and air pollution and improve water quality in a high water quality priority area for your farm business and your local water catchment, including:

  • providing hard bases for livestock drinking and feeding
  • providing livestock with alternative drinking sources - away from watercourses and ponds
  • installing storage tanks, lined bio-beds, and livestock troughs
  • improvement to yards, gates, culverts and tracks, to reduce soil erosion, and reduce sediment and pollution entering a watercourse
  • improvement to yards and infrastructure to reduce ammonia emissions

If you are in a high water quality priority area, you can make an application that only includes capital items intended to improve water quality. These capital-only agreements have a maximum value of £20,000.

Organic management and conversion options

You can apply for organic management and conversion options in combination with other grants. Or you can make an application that only includes organic options.

Choosing a Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package (WPFWP)

Your farm business could benefit from a WPFWP. This package groups management options together. This will help you to provide farmland wildlife with the essential resources they need to thrive and breed successfully.

The Wildlife Offers

There are 4 Wildlife Offers to help you to support the wildlife on your farm. The Offers group selected management options together, so you can help birds, pollinators and other farmed wildlife thrive and breed successfully.

Wildlife Offers help you to provide:

  • sources of nectar and pollen for insect pollinators
  • winter food for seed-eating birds
  • improved habitats, especially for farmland birds and pollinators.

You receive an annual payment each year for 5 years. The amount you receive depends on the options you choose and compliance with your agreement.

Benefits of Wildlife Offers include:

  • a quicker and easier way to apply for funding
  • applications are non-competitive, so if you meet minimum eligibility requirements for the offer we will make you an agreement offer
  • selected Mid Tier options, so you can choose those most relevant to your farm business and local priorities

Applying this year is the best way to prepare for the government’s future Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme, which will reward farmers for producing ‘public goods’, such as better air and water quality or improved access to the countryside.

If you have any questions about the Mid Tier or require our support in the application process then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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