Get ahead in Countryside Stewardship applications

Written by John Swire

The 2021 application window for Countryside Stewardship is now open for agreements that will start on 1st January 2022

Now is the ideal time for growers to engage with Countryside Stewardship (CSS) is the advice from Hutchinsons Environmental Services Specialist Hannah Joy.

By signing up to a countryside stewardship agreement, growers will be in the best possible position to join ELMS, as well as giving a viable, guaranteed source of income as BPS begins to reduce as of this year, she says.

“It is important to reiterate that anyone entering into a countryside stewardship scheme now, can without penalty, terminate their CSS agreement early and transfer into ELMS if they are successful in securing a place.”

“Uptake has been and will continue to be high this year, however understandably there is some uncertainty with the lack of detail surrounding ELMs and what it will look like going forward. However my advice is that it is better to engage now and get ahead,” she says.

Much of the CSS information has remained the same, however some changes have been made to this year’s applications, she points out.

“New air quality options have been introduced – advice and approval of use from Catchment sensitive farming for these options will be required. The Uplands offer has been expanded to allow more landowners to access options, and educational access is now available to be used in Mid-tier agreements, which was previously only higher tier.”

“A new standalone capital grant offer has been introduced – the new grant expands on the offers previously available under the hedgerow/boundary and water capital grants. There will now be 67 capital items to select from,” she says.

“The capital items available will be within the following groups: boundaries, trees and orchards, water quality and air quality. The maximum amount of funding available for any application has been increased from £10,000 – £60,000, with a £20,000 limit within each option grouping.”

Hannah points out that mid-tier capital items will still be available. “However there is now a spending cap of £120,000 for ait and water quality items and £50,000 for boundaries, trees and orchard items.”

Key dates for this year’s Countryside Stewardship application window are as below:

28th May – late date to request a CS mid-tier paper application pack by email or phone.

28th May – last date to request approval for management options for priority habitats and species.

6 weeks before submission of application – minimum period to allow for Catchment Sensitive farming approval visit requests and/or approval.

30th June (midnight) – deadline for application pack requests online.

30th July – SUBMISSION DEADLINE with supporting information.

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box twice a week
See e-newsletter example
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

Continue reading on the Farm Business Website...

AHDB winding down horticulture and potatoes operations as Ministerial decision awaited

  • 250
  • 0
AHDB has announced yesterday it is winding down significant activities on behalf of the horticulture and potatoes sectors.

While still awaiting a decision on the future by Ministers in England, Scotland and Wales, AHDB wants to reassure levy payers their views have been heard following recent ballots in the two sectors.

AHDB is now stopping programmes of work that could be restarted in the future by grower associations, individual growers or the supply chain. This work includes for example, export market access and promotional international trade event work, consumer marketing campaigns and market pricing and insight information. AHDB will continue to deliver limited emergency work on pests and diseases, including the Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU)’s and some...