With a portfolio of grant schemes opening for 2017 Alyssia Thomas takes a look at those that are available and how to get hold of the funding. Brexit may mean a permanent or temporary end to this type of funding so if you are considering entering a scheme or investing in farm improvements its important to realise this funding will not be around forever.

Countryside Stewardship Schemes 2017

The third year of Countryside Stewardship Schemes are due to open between March and September. Similar to previous years, grants will be competitive. Offers will be made to those who propose to make the best environmental improvements within the local area. Applications will offer 5 year agreements starting on the 1st January 2018. Capital grant items such as fencing, tracks and feed troughs can be applied for within the agreement or separately.

Mid-tier applications will be focused on environmental improvements in the wider countryside. Higher tier is specially focused on environmentally important sites, including commons and woodlands.

If your ELS or HLS agreement has come to an end and you would like help with a new application please get in touch. Also if you would like a feasibility appraisal to see how an agreement of this type may fit on your farm then we can undertake these without going to the full application stage.

Hedgerow and Boundary Grant **1st Feb 2017**

Eligible farmers can apply for one-off grant funding for the restoration of hedgerows and stone walls. The grants are to repair and restore rather than creating new boundary features. Limited to those who are not in any Countryside Stewardship Scheme as of the 1st July 2017. Features repaired or restored under the grant are required to be kept according to the works specification for 5 years from the start date of the agreement.

Like all Stewardship Schemes, the application process is competitive and there is only a limited pot of money to go around. Natural England will be “scoring” applications in order to select the best proposals to offer agreements.

Potential funding can include:

  • Hedgerow Laying £9.40/m2
  • Gaping up £9.50/m2
  • Stone wall restoration £25/2

Other available grants:

Woodland Creation Grant: Closes 1st March 2017
Wodland Management Plan: Closes mid-February 2017
Flood Facilitation Fund: Close 15th February 2017
Welsh Farm Grant: Opening Soon
LEADER Grant: Open

Please call us today on 01684 853400