Natural England are keen for farmers to apply for Countryside Stewardship in 2017 and are providing additional support to help applicants to complete their applications.
Starting mid-April, there will be events held around the country to raise awareness of the Scheme and help land managers to understand how to submit an application. As well as these popular events, potential applicants can access 2 free one to one sessions with a specialist consultant to help them to make a quality application. All information regarding the Countryside Stewardship scheme, including locations and dates of events, is available on www.gov.uk/countrysidestewardship
There are two types of support available at individual clinics. Initial advice that will help to identify options and items to include in the application that will enhance the application’s chance of being successful and guidance on the draft application where the consultant will check the application to make sure that the form and maps are correct, eligibility criteria has been met, that the application includes appropriate options and capital items and that all required evidence is included.
The booking line for events and the advice sessions is 08453 713399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To request an application pack for Countryside Stewardship, contact Natural England on 0208 026 1089.
The Government has confirmed that it will guarantee funding for Countryside Stewardship grants if these are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU. A successful application to the scheme in 2017 would result in an agreement that would start on 1st January 2018. Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier agreements are 5 years long.