SIMPLIFIED COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP

Simplified Countryside Stewardship

On 30 November 2017 DEFRA announced details of four simplified Countryside Stewardship applications which will open in the New Year. The four new offers are online arable offer, lowland grazing offer, upland offer and mixed farming offer. These will provide tailored options making it easier for farmers and landowners to apply. DEFRA have said that paperwork for the new offers is quicker and easier and they have streamlined evidence checks and made the applications shorter to save time in the application process. They have also confirmed the new scheme is non-competitive. Scheme handbooks and details on how to apply will be published in the New Year to coincide with the application window opening.

Online Arable Offer

There are 11 arable options to choose from with three categories – nectar and pollen sources, winter food for seed eating birds and additional resources and habitats. Farmers must pick at least one option from each category and the package delivers the minimum 3% of farmland under option management which is needed for farmland birds and wild pollinators.

Lowland Grazing Offer

There are 7 options and these are divided into 3 categories – nectar and pollen sources, nesting and shelter for insect pollinators, optional additional resources and habitats. Farmers must pick at least one option from category 1 and 2 but can select more options if they wish.

Upland Offer

There are 4 base options and 4 additional supplements farmers can choose and there are no categories under this offer. Farmers must pick (as a minimum) 1 base option and 2 supplements or vice versa. The minimum number of options/supplements is 3 however more options can be selected if required.

Mixed Farming Offer

There are 17 options and these are divided into 3 categories – nectar and pollen sources, winter food for seed eating birds, additional resources and habitats. Farmers must pick one option from each category to ensure the package will provide year round food, shelter and nesting habitat for birds and nectar sources and habitat for pollinating insects.

All of the above agreements will run for five years. If you would like any further information on how to apply and would like to discuss the options in detail then please do not hesitate to contact Pat at our Tow Law office on 01388 730095 or email pcotterill@vickersandbarrass.co.uk

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