Natural England is to run a series of clinics for farm advisers to discuss the Farm Environment Plan element of Higher Level Stewardship schemes.


The series of clinics is aimed at so-called “pipeline” projects – HLS schemes provisionally identified by Natural England as having the potential to receive funding.

Each session will provide an opportunity to discuss the new three-tier HLS process, introduced on 1 July. Each HLS application is now managed in one of three routes – fast-track, standard or complex – to ensure each application receives the correct advice and support.

For fast-track HLS projects, where environmental features are well known and management understood, the Farm Environment Plan will be produced in-house by Natural England, allowing rural development cash to be freed up so more HLS projects can be funded.

Natural England’s director of land management, Ian Fugler, said: “The HLS clinics we are running in September are a great opportunity for agents to get involved in the HLS pipeline for the next financial year.

“The local knowledge of agents and our land management advisers will help identify which holdings have the potential to secure the greatest benefit for the environment through HLS. They will also benefit farmers in providing certainty over their eligibility for HLS and reduce unnecessary paperwork and time taken to process applications.”

Q To register to attend one of the pipeline clinics contact Natural England on 0300 060 0011 or email 3-tierhls@naturalengland.org.uk