COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP SCHEMES

Natural England have not yet confirmed the dates for Mid or Higher Tier applications but are hopeful the 2017 round will be based on similar dates they set for 2016.

In March this year the application period opened and will close at the end of this month and the applications will be ranked, scored and selected in October. Agreements will be offered to applicants between October and November.  Agreements which are either accepted or rejected must be submitted to Natural England by 15 December for a 1 January 2017 start date.

The new Hedgerow and Boundary applications are expected to be rolled out in February next year. Vickers and Barrass were very successful in the last round and obtained approximately £60,000 of grant aid funding for clients from Natural England for walling and hedgerows. If you have an Entry Level Stewardship Agreement which has or is expiring this year and you are interested in applying for the Hedgerow & Boundaries grant please contact Pat at the Tow Law Office.

DEFRA have confirmed that all EU subsidies will be paid until 2020; however Vickers and Barrass are unsure how this will affect any schemes offered by Natural England. The new Higher and Mid-Tier schemes run for 10 and 5 years respectfully which would take any agreement holder passed 2020. We have put this question to Natural England and they have said they have not received any guidance and are waiting for further information.

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