Defra looking for farm tenants to discuss move to ELM scheme

The policy development team at Defra is looking for tenanted farms to visit to discuss the shift to the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme.

Defra is keen to hear from the sector on issues facing tenants in the transition from Countryside Stewardship to ELM.

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has outlined two key risks facing tenants as they move away from the previous CAP schemes.

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TFA chief executive George Dunn said: “The first [risk] is being disenfranchised from participation due to having lengths of term that are too short in comparison to the commitments required under ELM schemes or other restrictive clauses in their tenancy agreements which prevent participation.

“The second relates to farm business tenancy tenants on short lengths of term being dislocated by landlords serving notices to quit with a view to participation in ELM schemes themselves.”

Mr Dunn outlined that these issues are now being addressed by the Tenancy Working Group, chaired by Baroness Kate Rock.

Tenants who are willing to host a visit from Defra are being advised to contact Lynette Steel, TFA farm policy adviser, who is also a member of Defra’s ELM Engagement Group.

Further guidance is expected to be announced later in March from the Country Land and Business Association and TFA, providing advice on joint solutions for landlords and tenants.