Countryside Stewardship opens for applicationsMonday 04 April 2016
The next round of Countryside Stewardship has opened for mid and higher tier applications as well as various capital grants schemes. Successful applications will start on 1 January 2017. The critical deadlines for applicants are:
- Hedgerows & boundaries grant - 30th April 2016
- Woodland improvement grant - 30th April 2016
- Mid-tier & water capital grants - 30th September 2016
- Higher Tier applicants must submit an Expression of Intent / Application by 30th April 2016.
- For woodland only High Tier application the deadline is 31 May 2016.
Use of Magic maps to help with applications
Farmers and land managers thinking of applying for Countryside Stewardship now have new data to help them with their application.
The MAGIC map, which holds data on the natural environment from across government, has just released new data sets on Countryside Stewardship. The data helps applicants identify the priority areas on their land and what part of the scheme they’re best placed to apply for.
The interactive map lets applicants see what Countryside Stewardship is targeting in their area – whether their land is a hotbed for protected species, a water quality priority area, or home to particular historic features.
The new data is just one of a number of improvements that have been made to Countryside Stewardship this year. New and improved guidance material has been produced in consultation with industry so it is clearer and better meets applicants’ needs. In addition, a new online options checker tool will make it easier for customers to choose the right high-scoring options for their Mid Tier applications.
Guidance on how to use the interactive MAGIC map for Countryside Stewardship is available here.
New online options tool also available
A new online options checker tool, which will make it easier for you to choose the most appropriate high-scoring options for your Countryside Stewardship application, is now available through the Rural Payments Service.
Based on information you input about your land, the area you’re located in, and what you’re looking to get out of the scheme, the tool identifies a short-list of priority (high-scoring options) to best address the environmental priorities in your area.
To use the tool, you’ll need to register on the Rural Payments Service. If you applied for the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015, you should already be registered. You will need to select ‘view land’ or ‘amend land permission’ under “Give access to this business” on the Rural Payments Service.
Agents can be registered on the Rural Payments Service on behalf of applicants.
Full information on all the schemes and funding is available on the gov.uk website.
There are events running throughout the Northwest at various locations if you require any advice on applying for mid or higher tier - see our events page for more details.