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


Sales of land in support schemes: What farmers should know

Land that has been included in a farm business’s support scheme application or agreement is subject to specific rules that must be followed during the transaction process to avoid financial…


How to establish, manage and rejuvenate hedgerows

Healthy hedges are a lifeline for wildlife, providing food and habitat, including for many of the birds within the Farmland Bird Index as well as for priority mammal species in…


Countryside Stewardship 2021: What farmers need to know

Farmers in England can take advantage of an improved Countryside Stewardship (CS) offer this year. Applications opened on Tuesday (9 February) for Higher Tier, Mid Tier (including wildlife offers), new…


How to avoid pitfalls in Countryside Stewardship applications

Attention to detail and thorough background reading will reduce errors and oversights on Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme applications. Common pitfalls can cause payment delays or even rejections, particularly where capital…

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Case studies


How a grower is preparing for ELMs as direct subsidy ends

Patrick Wrixon is set to use herbal leys and break crops on his Herefordshire farm to prepare for the end of direct farm subsidies, and also help improve his soil’s…


How a Sussex arable farmer is preparing for the ELM scheme

Taking 16% of his arable land out of production and introducing measures which will improve the farm’s natural capital are how West Sussex grower Mark Chandler is preparing his arable…


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…

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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…

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SFI pilot farmers to get £5,000 each ‘to help Defra learn’

Further details have emerged about how Defra plans to pay farmers who will be testing the government’s Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot in England. Every farmer included in the pilot…


New Woodland Creation Offer includes public goods payments

Farmers in England will shortly be able to apply for a new woodland creation grant which will offer top-up payments in recognition of the wider benefits of woodland to society.…


More than 2,000 farmers interested in joining SFI pilot

More than 2,000 farmers have expressed interest in joining the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot, Defra has announced. Alongside the Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes, the SFI will…


England to treble tree planting rate to meet net-zero target

The government has set a target of trebling tree planting rates in England to 7,000ha each year by May 2024 as part of its new England Trees Action Plan. The…

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