Almost all hill farmers unable to enter a new environmental stewardship scheme have now received special support payments.

The Rural Payments Agency said it had paid 95% of eligible hill farmers their Uplands Transitional Payment.

Some 2,079 claims have been paid – equivalent to £7.3m going into farmers’ bank accounts.

Eligible farmers receive their payment when all the administrative checks have been completed, provided their Single Payment claim is also fully validated.

This is the first year of the Upland Transitional Payment scheme.

The scheme is for farmers unable to enter Uplands Entry Level Stewardship due to continuing commitments in Environmentally Sensitive Area or Countryside Stewardship Scheme agreements.

Uplands ELS is the replacement for the Hill Farm Allowance.

It aims to make sure that agriculture continues to contribute to rural society and the managed environment of the English uplands.

The Uplands Transitional Payment 2012 to 2014 booklet is now available and has been sent to claimants.