Since 1 March, farmers and other land managers have been able to submit applications for Hedgerows and Boundaries and Woodland Management Plan grants through Rural Payments’ online service.

‘Countryside Stewardship: woodland management plan grant manual 2017’ and the ‘Countryside Stewardship: hedgerows and boundaries grant manual 2017’ provide step-by-step guides to application to the two schemes: the former of which is open for applications all the year round, while the latter opened this year on 1 February and will close on 28 April.

Paper applications are still being accepted for both schemes but the online option provides the additional advantage of enabling applicants to

  • print out an application summary and evidence checklist
  • use built-in checks to ensure the application is correct
  • get an instant, online confirmation that the application has been received

Last year, 80% of applications to the Basic Payments Scheme were made online and the service will be extended again this spring when customers will have the option of submitting their Countryside Stewardship and capital claims online.