Farmers will need to check their own Countryside Stewardship Agreements as this will detail the claim deadlines applicable to them, but generally speaking:
- For CS Mid Tier agreements with a January 2017 start date, capital works should have been completed and paid for by 31st December 2018, and the claim needs to be submitted 3 months later (by 31st March 2019)
- For CS Mid Tier Water Capital Grants (2 year duration) with a January 2017 start date, the same capital works completion and claim deadlines apply as shown above.
All CS Capital & Revenue Claims can be submitted online via the Rural Payments Online system. Some very helpful step-by-step guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/countryside-stewardship-how-to-submit-claims-online.
A common pitfall - farmers need to check the correct permissions are set up on Rural Payments at the beginning, to ensure they are authorised to submit CS claims - this is all explained in the guidance.
Farmers with Mid Tier (5 year) and Higher Tier Agreements also need to submit their annual Countryside Stewardship Revenue Payment Claim by 15th May 2019 - also via Rural Payments Online. Farmers must check whether any supporting information is also required by the claim deadline. Again, helpful step-by-step guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/countryside-stewardship-how-to-submit-claims-online.
Farmers should have received a reminder about CS Capital and Revenue Claims from Natural England / RPA; however, these are often sent as a message to the Rural Payments Online system, which obviously relies on farmers checking this regularly!
Farmers with CS Hedgerow & Boundary Grant Agreements should also check the deadlines for completion of capital works and claim deadlines listed in their Agreement, to ensure these are not missed - these usually fall in the summer.