From the 9th February, the application window for the Countryside Stewardship Capital Grant Scheme and Mid-Tier Scheme opened. The application window for capital grants closes in April 2021 with the Mid-Tier application closing on the 30th July. For both schemes, early engagement is essential.
Under the Capital Grant Scheme: Hedgerow and Boundary, Water Quality and new Air Quality capital grants are available for up to £20,000 each or up to £60,000 if you’re applying for all three. Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer approval will be required for both the Water Quality and Air Quality grants.
Water Quality grant items include but are not limited to:
- Concrete yard renewal for up to £27.14m2
- Roofing over feeding and handling areas, as well as slurry, muck and silage stores for up to £62m2
- Livestock and machinery hardcore tracks for up to £33m2
- Livestock troughs for up to £110 per trough
- Self-supporting covers for slurry stores for up to £30.50/m2
Air Quality grant items include but are not limited to:
- Low ammonia emission flooring for livestock buildings for up to £72/m2
- Automatic slurry scrapers for £2,760 per passageway.
Hedgerow and Boundary grant items include but are not limited to:
- Hedgerow gapping up
- Stone wall renewal including provision of the stone from a quarry
- In hedge tree planting
Under Mid-Tier Stewardship Agreements, a variety of wildlife offers are available alongside capital grant options.
Wildlife Options include but are not limited to:
- Permanent Grassland with very low inputs (Outside SDA’s’) paying £95/ha
- Taking field corners out of management paying £365/ha
- Protection of in-field trees on intensive grassland paying £190/ha
Carlisle: 01228 548385
Keswick: 017687 72988
Galashiels: 01896 751300
Berwick: 01289 304432
Kendal: 01539 769790
Windermere: 015394 48811
The government will continue to offer the Countryside Stewardship agreements in 2021, 2022 and 2023, however the Countryside Stewardship will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. This will follow trialling and testing and a national pilot involving farmers and land managers. The full ELM scheme will be in place from 2024.
The Environmental Land Management scheme is planned to be the cornerstone of the government’s new agricultural policy. The aim of the ELM scheme is to provide a powerful way of achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.
The scheme means farmers and other land managers may be paid for delivering the following public goods:
- clean air
- clean and plentiful water
- thriving plants and wildlife
- protection from environmental hazards
- beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment
- reduction of and adaptation to climate change
Signing up to a Countryside Stewardship agreement now will put you in the best possible position to join ELM. What’s more it will give you a viable, long-term source of income for providing environmental benefits as BPS payments start to reduce. If you are successful in securing a place in ELM, then you can terminate your Countryside Stewardship agreement early, without penalty, at the end of an agreement year so you can join the ELM scheme.
Our committed rural and environmental agents are here to help navigate you through this years Countryside Stewardship Scheme as well as the future years changes moving forwards.