RPA forms © Tim Scrivener© Tim Scrivener

A cheque for over £20,000 has been presented to three farming charities, thanks to a fund-raising initiative using spare Basic Payment Scheme entitlements.

The scheme was set up by Exeter-based chartered surveyor Kevin Bateman of Bateman Hosegood, who encouraged producers with small numbers of entitlements to donate them to charity.

As part of the move from the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), all entitlements had to be matched on a one-to-one hectare basis, with the land on which farmers were making a claim.

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But many farmers had a mismatch between the two and, while large blocks of entitlements could be traded economically in advance of the deadline, smaller numbers could have been lost forever because it was uneconomic to sell them.

Mr Bateman put out a national appeal through Farmers Weekly for farmers and landowners to donate them to a pool, which allowed them to be consolidated and sold for the benefit of the farming charities.

The initiative has raised £20,405, with the funds donated to the Addington Fund, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the Farming Community Network (FCN).

Charles Smith of FCN said “This windfall is very welcome and comes at a crucial time for the three charities which are all working flat-out supporting farming families facing extreme difficulties.”

Mr Bateman thanked all the donors and also praised the RPA for processing the transfers promptly.