Countryside Stewardship Grants for Foresters, Farmers and Land Owners now Open to Applications for 2019

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has just announced that foresters, farmers and land managers in England can now apply for a range of schemes that pay for environmental benefits.

The application process has been simplified for 2019 to make it easier to access.

The Countryside Stewardship programme offers funding for environmental improvements, which may include:

o Habitats for wildlife;
o Increased biodiversity; and
o Pollinator plots.

Farmers and land managers in England who are new to taking on environmental work or with expired or expiring Environmental Stewardship agreements can apply for:

o Mid Tier – Farmers and land managers can choose from all available multi-year options and capital items to form an agreement which delivers local environmental benefits. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 July 2019.
o Higher Tier – Applicants managing more complex land in environmentally significant sites, commons or woodlands which requires support from Natural England or the Forestry Commission. The deadline for applications is Friday 3 May 2019.
o Wildlife Offers – Designed to help guide farmers to the most straightforward options for their farm type, making it easier and simpler to secure a CS agreement. Offers are split into different packages for farm types: arable, lowland grazing, upland, and mixed farming. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 July 2019.
o Hedgerows and Boundaries – Provides grants for farmers to restore existing farm boundaries and hedgerows on their land. The deadline for applications is 3 May 2019.

Further information about the programme is available on the GOV.UK website, while application forms can be found at this LINK.