Natural England running HLS clinics for agents

Land agents are being invited to attend a series of clinics run by Natural England to help identify suitable Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) applications.

The clinics will run during September and are designed to discuss the ‘pipeline’ list of holdings provisionally identified by Natural England as having the potential to receive HLS funding in 2012/13.

Agents are also being invited to submit additional proposals for consideration at the clinics.

The new pipeline clinics are the result of discussions and pilots with farming organisations including NFU, CLA, FWAG and CAAV to agree a method for making the best use of HLS.

An important element of the clinics will be deciding how Farm Environment Plans – which involve a detailed assessment of the environment on the farm – will be completed.

The sessions will also provide an opportunity to discuss a three tier process, that was introduced on 1st July to help speed up application preparation and processing times.

Ian Fugler, director of land management for Natural England said: “The HLS clinics we are running in September are a great opportunity for agents to get involved in the HLS application pipeline for the next financial year.

“The local knowledge of the agents and our Land Management Advisers will help identify which holdings have the potential to secure the greatest benefits for the environment through HLS. This will also benefit farmers in providing certainty over their eligibility for HLS and reduce unnecessary paperwork and time taken to process applications.”

For further information on the clinics agents can contact their local Natural England adviser, or email.

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