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Countryside Stewardship 2018 now open for applications

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and Natural England have announced changes to the existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme with the introduction of four simpler grants designed to open up the scheme for more farmers, either new to CS, or those coming out of previous stewardship agreements.

As well as expanding the scheme to encourage more applications, substantial enhancements have been made to make it simpler and easier for farmers to apply.  Unlike the existing scheme, the changes mean that all farmers can make a valid application regardless of where or what they farm with the introduction of an arable offer, lowland grazing offer, upland offer and mixed farming offer.

The new CS is a chance for those who have been put off by the scheme in the past to look again at what’s on offer and what they might be able to achieve.

  • the scheme has a set of options and minimum requirements
  • applicants need to meet these requirements to be eligible for funding
  • the application form is shorter and the process streamlined to save farmers valuable time
  • each option has a payment rate with a specific benefit for wildlife
  • all farmers who meet the eligibility requirements will receive an agreement to deliver
  • the Scheme will give an annual payment for five years

For those looking for grant support for hedgerow and dry-stone wall restoration, the Hedgerows and Boundaries grant has increased for 2018 applications from £5,000 to a maximum of £10,000, giving farmers the opportunity to undertake a lot more work through a single agreement.  The deadline for applications is 30 April 2018 and is subject to a point scoring system.  Farmers who applied successfully last year can apply again but businesses that have not previously received a grant will be given priority.

Grant support can help you add to your bottom line and fortunately there are these type of schemes available, designed to help increase the income generated by your business.

Our team are on hand to cut through the red tape and offer advice at every stage of the application process from the initial discussion of ideas and planning, through to project management and administration of claims.

You have until 31 May 2018 to request a full application pack, with the deadline for submitting all applications being the 31 July 2018.

We have successfully secured large amounts of grant funding for our clients across a range of projects, so what are you waiting for…  Find out about funding, benefits and how to apply by contacting our team today on 01228 711888.

Posted: January 16th, 2018