With the unusually hot and dry weather conditions, Natural England and the Rural Payments Agency have made adjustments to some options for those farmers who have experienced difficulties. These include issues with failed establishments for Wild Bird Food Plots, Catch Crops and the capacity to allow grazing where there may be a fodder shortage.

The following schemes have had adjustments made:

  • Basic Payment Scheme
  • Countryside Stewardship
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Woodland Grant Scheme
  • English Woodland Gran Scheme including Farm Woodland Payments

Basic Payment Scheme

Greening: Ecological Focus Area

You do not have to inform the RPA if you are struggling to establish a Catch Crop that you have declared as an Ecological Focus Area. You should still take all reasonable steps to establish your catch crop and you must keep all evidence.

If you are inspected the officer will allow you to use alternative EFA features such as hedges or buffer strips even if they have not been previously declared. Alternatively if you do not have additional EFA features you must keep evidence that you have taken all reasonable steps to establish the catch crop such as invoices.

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship

Natural England have adjusted the prescription for some of the options set out within both the new Countryside Stewardship (CS) and the old Environmental Scheme (ES). These are for farmers who were unable to meet the requirements of the options due to the hot and dry weather.  For example hay having to be cut early.

In these cases you must submit either a Derogation under ES or a Minor or Temporary Adjustment (MTS) under CS, along with contacting the local Natural England adviser.

You must receive the Derogation or MTA before you carry out any works.

To find out if your options have be adjusted or for further information please contact us Alyssia Thomas on 01684 853400