Four simpler offers added to 2018 Countryside Stewardship Scheme (E)

Notable additions to the 2018 Countryside Stewardship Scheme application packs are four new offers that are simpler to understand, easier to apply for and – unlike existing offers – guarantee an annual payment throughout the 5-year lifetime of the scheme for all farmers and landowners who make valid applications.

The new offers comprise

  • arable offer
  • lowland grazing offer
  • mixed farming offer
  • upland offer 

Intended to complement the existing Higher and Mid Tier offers, they are designed to support wildlife by creating sources of nectar and pollen for insect pollinators, winter food for seed-eating birds and improved habitats for birds and pollinators.

‘Wildlife Offers: Countryside Stewardship’ provides an overview of the 4 offers and links to more detailed information, as well as guidance on how to apply for each of them in the window that commenced on 15 January and closes on 31 July. Paper application packs must be requested by 31 May.

The new offers also provide an opportunity for potential new ‘countryside stewards’ to establish positive environmental practices on their land in preparation for participation in the funded schemes that will replace existing farm subsidies post Brexit.

As part of the process of simplifying the scheme and cutting down on paperwork, farmers and landowners who apply for the new offers and meet the eligibility criteria will be able to secure an agreement to deliver as few as 3 options or as many as 17.

‘Rural grants and payments’ provides access to an online service enabling those who are already registered for rural payments to make a claim or update their details or to register if they don’t already have an account.


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