Countryside Stewardship

With Basic Payment gradually reducing from 2021 onwards, income from environmental schemes is set to become increasingly important for landowners to make up this shortfall of income. Carver Knowles are able to advise on all aspects of Countryside Stewardship including;

  • On farm advice – what options would work for you
  • The Countryside Stewardship application process
  • Mid-tier and Wildlife Offer agreements
  • Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants
  • Annual revenue claims
  • Capital work claims

Countryside Stewardship provides financial rewards for farmers for adopting certain land management practices or undertaking investments in farm infrastructure that benefit the natural environment. This can be for biodiversity gain, the provision of habitats, improvements to water quality or improvements to air quality.

There are five different types of schemes with 150+ different options offering payments for looking after the environment. Options include permanent grassland with very low inputs (£95/ha), concrete yard renewal (£27.14/m2) and winter bird food (£640/ha) to name a few. The broad range of management and capital options provides ample opportunity to secure an additional income stream and mitigate the gradual reduction of BPS.

Why is now a good time to apply?

Payments made under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be reducing each year going forwards. By 2024, payments will be 50% of that received in 2020 with payments being eradicated in 2027. This decrease in annual subsidy could be alleviated by Countryside Stewardship income.

With the emergence of ELMS and the Sustainable Farming Incentive being fully rolled out in 2024, funding from the Countryside Stewardship Scheme could be an extremely useful grant to not only provide an alternative stream of income, but also starting the process of adapting to a more environmentally friendly future. In addition, Natural England have confirmed that any scheme commencing post 1st January 2021 will have the ability to be ended early, without penalty, subject to successful entrance into ELMS.

What scheme could I enter?

There are five different forms of Countryside Stewardship. Which is most appropriate to apply for depends on farm type and eligibility. For further information relating to each type of scheme click below: