Know How / Payments, schemes and grants

Support payments are a vital income stream for almost every farm business – whether they are delivered through the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or one of a range of agri-environment schemes.

This page offers the latest news on the main schemes operating across each of the devolved regions and also highlights other opportunities for farmers to access grant funds.

Key areas of focus:

  • Basic Payment Scheme developments
  • Agri-environment grant schemes
  • Grants to support equipment purchases
  • Rural development grant funding
  • Bursaries and scholarships

Case studies

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How farmers are capitalising on Countryside Stewardship

Organic beef and sheep farmer David Oates has stopped growing barley in favour of brassica crops and wholecrop to benefit local wildlife habitats. With a mixture of improved land, heathland…


How young farmers grew their businesses with Plumb support

The Henry Plumb Foundation has been helping young farmers to further their farming businesses for the past seven years.  Founded by Lord Henry Plumb, the foundation provides financial backing and…


How small-scale crofters in the Hebrides survive challenges

The importance of taxpayer support in keeping farm businesses afloat is well understood. Latest annual farm income figures for the UK show that, out of total net earnings of £4.6bn,…


How land drainage project is benefiting grazing and wildlife

A £2m project benefiting farmers and the environment is being heralded as a blueprint for similar land management schemes after the UK leaves the European Union. Bringing together conservationists, landowners…


Video: Exmoor group tackles farm support and rural isolation

The unique and thriving farmer-led Exmoor Hill Farming Network has grown to support 300 local farming businesses since it began four years ago under the guidance of chairman Dave Knight…


Video: How Gloucs farmers are working to prevent flooding

Farmers and landowners in Gloucestershire’s Upper Thames area are working together to manage the land to provide catchment-scale solutions to prevent future floods while making businesses resilient.  When storms Eva…

Practical advice

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Coronavirus: Applying for farm support schemes

With farm support scheme application and claim windows currently open, the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are inevitably having an impact on farmers filing their applications. Alice De Soer at the Central…


Biodiversity Net Gain – what is it, how will it work?

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requires the effect on biodiversity of a new development to be quantified, and following development, the overall amount of natural habitat to be enhanced and left…


What to do if HS2 claims farmland in stewardship agreement

Farmers with land in stewardship agreements which is taken by HS2 should apply for a derogation, use a break clause or claim force majeure to minimise business disruption. HS2 has…


Tips for applying for Countryside Stewardship in 2020

With key elements of Countryside Stewardship opening for applications last week, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) explains why and how to apply in 2020.…


Countryside stewardship: What to consider before applying

Farmers should consider Countryside Stewardship (CS) carefully as there are options which can prove beneficial on a practical and financial level, as well as delivering for the environment. George Hoyes,…


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How Defra’s trials for developing ELM schemes are working

Exmoor National Park Authority and the Exmoor Hill Farming Network have jointly taken part in one of Defra’s national test and trials for the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Following…


ELM Q&A: Farmers question Defra on the detail of the scheme

Defra may have closed its latest consultation on the planned Environmental Land Management scheme, but farmers still have plenty of questions. Farmers Weekly tuned into a recent Q&A session with…


Free app to help growers with cropping for ELM scheme

Farmers are to get the first glimpse this summer of a new online tool which will help them decide cropping plans for a new “public money for public good” agricultural…


Miscanthus: Can it tackle climate change and turn a profit?

Growing miscanthus can make sense on poorer-quality land, offering farmers a financial return and a chance to do their bit for the environment. But the government is being urged by…


ELM funding: Figures reveal finance shortfall

The proposed Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM) will not bridge the gap left by the withdrawal of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and farmers are sleepwalking into disaster, advisers have…


Environmental Land Management scheme – what we know so far

Farmers in England will see Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) funding phased out and new agri-environment funding rolled in over a seven-year transition period under proposals outlined in the Agriculture Bill.…


Environmental Land Management scheme: The detail unpicked

A three-tier Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is being proposed by government as it seeks to move away from farm support based on direct payments to one centred on “public…


Outlook 2020: Farm policy – big changes beyond 2020

While the Brexit outcome will have economic implications, it is unlikely to alter farm support in 2020, says Andersons research consultant Caroline Ingamells. Defra and devolved administrations have all stated…


Results-based pilot scheme helps farmers deliver green goals

A pioneering scheme that gives farmers flexibility to create their own environmental plan tailored for their land is achieving fantastic results for local wildlife, say industry leaders. Natural England in…


How farming has changed since it was last outside the EU

It’s hard to predict what the future holds for the agricultural industry, as the clock ticks down to the UK leaving the European Union. Assuming that the UK does actually…