As of Tuesday 9th February the Countryside Stewardship application window has now re-opened.
The individual options available for Stewardship are largely the same as before but there are some key changes to be aware of:
- Greening has been removed so existing greening features such as buffer strips can be used in a Countryside Stewardship application.
- Introduction of the new standalone CS Capital Grant offering funding for Boundaries, Trees and Orchards, Water Quality and Air Quality. The maximum grant you can apply for is £60,000 with a cap of £20,000 for each group of capital items, i.e. you could only apply for £20,000 of water capital works.
- Change in the caps of capital items that can be included in Mid-Tier agreements. A maximum of £120,000 of air and water quality items can be applied for and a maximum of £50,000 for boundaries, trees and orchard items. Annual management options on the land must be included and a ‘value for money’ check will be done.
- Introduction of air quality funding which funds items to improve air quality, reduce ammonia emissions and improve water quality. This funding is only available to those in a High Priority area for Air Quality.
The Countryside Stewardship application window has only just opened and there is plenty of time to design a scheme that works for your farm. The application window closes on the 30th July 2021. Key dates to remember are:
- Request Mid-Tier application packs by the 28th May 2021;
- Request Natural England endorsement for priority habitats by the 28th May 2021;
- At least 6 weeks before you submit your application for water capital works you must have made a request for Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer endorsement. Water capital works are popular so it is recommended you start this process as soon as possible.
For further advice on any of the Countryside Stewardship schemes or to see if you are eligible for any of the specific capital funding items then please do not hesitate to contact either Ellen Cottrell or Mike Cluley on 01684 853400 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com