RPA extends Mid-Tier CS application deadline to 15 September

The deadline for Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship applications has been extended from 18 August to 15 September.

After much speculation from industry, a last-minute announcement was made by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

New Mid-Tier agreements are set to start in 2024 and last for five years, with multi-year management grants and capital grants.

See also: Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship 2024 now open for applications

The agreements are designed to enhance the environment through improved wildlife diversity, air and water quality and flood management.

Defra secretary Therese Coffey said: “It is important that we listen to farmers who are key custodians of the countryside.

“Having met many farmers across the country this summer, and recognising the poor weather has made harvesting much more challenging, I think it right we extend the application window for Countryside Stewardship this year to make sure that those who want to apply for this scheme can – building on the great success we have had with this scheme to date.”

More than 3,900 applications have already been submitted, according to the RPA.

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “I would encourage anyone who has not yet fully submitted an application to do so, and should anyone have any difficulties with amending their land details then we have guidance available on this and applicants can contact us if they encounter any issues.”

An announcement was first made by the RPA on social media platform, X, formerly known as twitter, which said: “If you’re applying for a Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier agreement starting 1 January 2024, the deadline for submitting your application is now Friday 15 September 2023.”