With the reduction of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) starting in 2021, many farmers may be looking to other income streams to bolster their finances.
If this is you, then don’t delay looking into and applying for Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS). The window is open now for applications for schemes beginning on 1 January 2022, but deadlines for some schemes are tight. See below.
|Scheme||Closing date for application requests||Closing date for application submissions|
|Mid Tier||30 June 2021||30 July 2021|
|Higher Tier||31 March 2021||30 April 2021|
|Wildlife Offers||30 June 2021||30 July 2021|
|CS Capital Grants||N/A||30 April 2021|
There are various grants available for farmers within these schemes. Of course these grants are there to protect and improve natural environments, so unsurprisingly there are conditions and exemptions, but it’s worth a quick look to see if you could benefit from any of these grants. Below is a small selection of common grants available to those in either Mid or Higher Tier Schemes.
|WD3: Woodland edges on arable land||£323.00 per hectare|
|AB8: Flower-rich margins and plots||£539.00 per hectare|
|BN11: Planting new hedges||£11.60 per metre|
|FG1: Fencing||£4.00 per metre|
|RP15: Concrete Yard Renewal||£27.14 per square metre|
|LV7: Livestock troughs||£110.00 per trough|
|ED1: Educational access||£290 per visit|
Whilst on their own these grants may not amount to much, if you can combine a few of them and offset some of the losses from the BPS that can only be a good thing, right? And with the government announcing that anyone in a CSS can leave the scheme, with no penalty, to join the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) once fully up and running in 2024, what have you got to lose?
For a full list of available grants please visit: www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants and,
For more information on Countryside Stewardship Schemes in general please visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/countryside-stewardship-get-paid-for-environmental-land-management