NEW COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP GRANTS GO LIVE

Updated: Feb 24

As applications opened this week to the 2021 Countryside Stewardship's available grant schemes, new options were included to improve water quality, help improve air quality, reduce ammonia emissions, along with new wood pasture options in the uplands, to reduce flood risk.

The maximum level of funding available for the different groups of capital-only grants has also risen, from £10,000 to £20,000, without needing to sign up for a five year mid-tier agreement.


There are now a wider range of 67 capital grants, available for application, designed to sit alongside the simplified Wildlife Offers.

FIRST DEADLINES


This Capital Grants offer will act as an umbrella for the old water quality and hedgerows and boundaries grant schemes.

Applications for some water and air quality capital grants need the approval of a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) before they submission and farmers keen to take up the option of the grant must put in their approval request by March 19.


Farmers needing CSFO approval for capital items which form part of a mid-tier application have until June 18 to put in their request form. The scheme will close for mid-tier applications on July 30.


HOW TO APPLY


The Rural Payments Agency also said it had simplified the scheme and made it easier to apply online. The manuals below explain the scheme rules and the How to Apply guides will help you with your application.


With the cuts to basic farm payment kicking in this year, the option of a mid tier agreement certainly merits consideration, as a way of making up some of the shortfall in income.


Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “An improving and expanding Countryside Stewardship scheme is a great opportunity to deliver environmental benefits on your land and receive financial incentives for doing so. I strongly encourage farmers to apply for 2022 agreements.


“We are guaranteeing that anyone who enters a new Countryside Stewardship agreement will be able to leave early in order to join the Environmental Land Management scheme once fully rolled out in 2024, so there is no reason not to apply today.”



Contents

  1. Mid Tier

  2. Wildlife Offers

  3. Higher Tier

  4. CS Capital Grants

  5. Woodland support grants

  6. Historic buildings restoration grant

  7. Catchment Sensitive Farming

  8. Facilitation fund

  9. Forms and supporting information

COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP APPLICATION FORMS ARE OPEN


You can apply for:

  • Mid Tier

  • Wildlife Offers

  • Higher Tier

  • Capital grants

  • Woodland support grants



WOODLAND CREATION AND MAINTENANCE GRANT


The updated Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant is now open for applications. The payment rates for the grants have not changed, but the application process for the maintenance element of this grant is different.


Apply for this grant if you want to create new woodland through Countryside Stewardship. Agreements. All the information you need to know about agreements is in the relevant scheme manual or on the Agreement holders’ information page.


Claims

All the information you need to know about making a claim for payment is in the relevant scheme manual. Find out how to submit a claim at Online claims for Countryside Stewardship.


MID TIER


Applications for Mid Tier are open from 9 February 2021 and close at midnight on 30 July 2021.


Mid Tier offers options, supplements and capital items to achieve simple and effective environmental benefits.


There are no Mid Tier grants for woodland or educational access. Capital items for improving water quality are also available through Mid Tier.


Read the manual and guidance to help you apply for a Mid Tier multi-year (including Water Capital item) and Wildlife Offers agreement starting on 1 January 2022


GUIDANCE


Use the Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier and Wildlife Offers manual to understand:

  • the payments you could receive and how this scheme benefits the environment

  • eligibility requirements

  • the rules and conditions that apply to Mid Tier and the 4 Wildlife Offers

Use Countryside Stewardship grants:

  • to understand the rules for each option

  • for advice on how to carry them out


HOW TO APPLY


For Mid Tier, you will need to request an application pack so you can apply. You can do this online using the Rural Payments service until 30 June 2021.


Use this guide to find out how to request a Mid Tier or Higher Tier application pack.


Use this guide to find out how to apply by email or post for Mid Tier.



WILDLIFE OFFERS


Applications for the Wildlife Offers are open from 9 February 2021 and close at midnight on 30 July 2021. The Wildlife Offers are designed to be quicker and simpler to apply for. They are not scored. You will get an agreement if you made a valid application.

Read more about how to apply for the Wildlife Offers.


If you are unable to get online, please call us by 28 May 2021 to request an application pack.


HIGHER TIER


Initial applications for Higher Tier are open from 9 February 2021 and close at midnight on 30 April 2021.


Higher Tier covers the more environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands.

The options, supplements and capital items available are more complex than Mid Tier due to the needs of these sites.


The deadline for the Forestry Commission to receive your final, woodland only application for the Higher Tier Woodland Improvement grant has changed to 31 August 2021


CS CAPITAL GRANTS


Applications for CS Capital Grants open on 9 February 2021 and close on 30 April 2021. Capital Grants offers 67 standalone capital items within 3 groups:

  • Boundaries, Tress and Orchards

  • Water Quality

  • Air Quality

The aim is to protect and enhance the natural environment by increasing biodiversity, boosting habitats and improving water and air quality.

WOODLAND SUPPORT GRANTS


You can apply for the following grants all year:

Use the links above to download one of the new application forms and find details of how to request a copy of the annex which accompanies the form.


The updated Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant is now open.


The payment rates for the grants have not changed, but the application process for the maintenance element of this grant is different.


CS Higher Tier also offers grants to support woodland management. Read more information about this in the Higher Tier manual.


HISTORIC BUILDING RESTORATION GRANT


Historic buildings restoration grant is now closed for applications.


CATCHMENT SENSITIVE FARMING


Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a project that aims to reduce the amount of water and air pollution caused by farming operations.

CSF officers provide free advice and training on reducing pollution in priority areas, and support when applying for water and air quality capital grants in Mid Tier and the CS Capital Grants scheme.


FACILITATION FUND


The facilitation fund is closed for applications. Find out how the facilitation fund supports facilitators who bring together groups of farmers and land managers to improve their local natural environment.

Read the facilitation fund guide for more information.



FORMS AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION


Use the Rural Payments service to apply online for the woodland management plan grant

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