Know How / Environmental schemes

Each of the UK’s devolved administrations has its own agri-environment scheme – for example, the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England and the Agri-environment Climate Scheme in Scotland.

Find out what’s involved in signing up to a ‘green scheme’ and get practical tips on putting together your application.

Advice and tips


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…


Why growers should sign up for greening ahead of new scheme

Arable farmers are being urged to sign up for environmental subsidy schemes, such as growing cover crops and wildflower mixes, to prepare for a post-Brexit farm support package. These schemes…


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.…

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Case studies


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…


Greening farms prepare for radical switch in farm policy

Rutland farm manager Matt Houldcroft is set to put his least productive land into environmental schemes to prepare for a future “public money for public good” farm policy. He is…


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…


How a salt marsh helped save Cumbrian estate

Giles Mounsey-Heysham credits the salt marsh for saving Castletown Estate, his family’s 1,862ha property at Rockcliffe in Cumbria. He began running the estate with its huge debts 50 years ago…

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Why whole-field stewardship has a place in arable rotations

A re-think of arable rotations is seeing greater integration of whole-field stewardship options, as growers look for ways to deliver both environmental and economic returns ahead of the arrival of…


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…

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Eustice unveils details of ‘stepping stone’ subsidy scheme

Ministers have unveiled initial details about government plans of an interim support scheme for English farmers during the early years of transition to a post-Brexit agricultural policy. Defra secretary George…


Northern Ireland drops EU greening rules from 2021

Farmers in Northern Ireland will not have to comply with EU greening rules to qualify for BPS support from 2021. Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) minister Edwin…


£5,000 grants on offer in south-east England to support bees

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to farmers in the South Downs National Park to help create wildlife corridors for bees and other pollinators. The South Downs National Park…


Defra claims hands are tied on CS agreement changes

Defra says it is unable to allow farmers to amend existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements to reflect the abolition of greening rules because of the terms of the UK’s Withdrawal…

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