Changing Face of Farming

Farmers are being encouraged to do even more to improve the environment along with food production. Towards that aim are a range of new funding streams paving the way into Environmental Land Management and don't forget (as if we could) applications for this year’s Basic Payment Scheme are just around the corner.

Filling the gap between the old and the new are one-off Farming in Protected Landscapes funded projects and the reinvigorated Countryside Stewardship scheme (which deserves renewed interest) offering:

  • Mid Tier
  • Wildlife Offers
  • Higher Tier
  • Capital grants
  • Protection and Infrastructure
  • Woodland support grants
  • Implementation Plan (PA1) and Feasibility Study (PA2) grants

From the English Woodland Creation Offer - a new standard for support to create woodland as small as one hectare - through the Farming Investment Fund, to robust Carbon standards offering added dimensions to land management and private investment opportunities, we are being encouraged to think differently.

Sustainable Farm Incentive

Spring heralds the start of a transition in UK agriculture, with the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme on the horizon, free from the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy. Soon, the first phase - the Sustainable Farm Incentive (SFI) - will be open for applicants.

The Basic Payment Scheme is giving way to payments for public goods and presents a generational opportunity to help avert the environmental and climate crisis. It promises clear environmental outcomes and a simplified administration, and the Government looking for universal uptake to achieve this.

The SFI may appear confusing at first and what Defra is trying to achieve is complex. However, to begin with, there are limited options available and they integrate with the existing environmental and (now enhanced) stewardship schemes. The flexible new regime has three standards that will be available in the early rollout:

  • the Arable and Horticultural Soils standard - Introductory level £22 per Ha, Intermediate level £40 per Ha.
  • the Improved Grassland Soils standard – Introductory level £28 per Ha, Intermediate level £58 per Ha.
  • the Moorland and Rough Grazing standard (introductory level) Indicative payments: £148 fixed per agreement per year, plus additional variable payment rate of £6.45 per hectare

There will also be payments for annual health and welfare livestock reviews - indicative rates (per review) pigs £684, sheep £436, beef cattle £522 and dairy cattle £372.

Coupled with a further round of the Farming Investment Fund, Improving Farm Productivity, plus the English Woodland Creation Offer there are a growing number of schemes available.

A New Dawn

It's a new job for me tomorrow!

I start with Addisons Surveyors in Barnard Castle, and very much looking forward to it. The year ahead within the agricultural world heralds change and it feels like time is repeating for me, as I've moved back to Teesdale with the Environmental Land Management schemes on the horizon. When I worked here before (on Raby and Mortham Estates) I was heavily involved with piloting the first agri-enviromental schemes and the local nature funding built many a pond in and around here.

Exciting times, but daunting for many...

A New Year

A Happy New year to all :)

This website has been given a kick-start and is live again - after languishing for a while whilst I languised (really) in Kent working on a Heritage Management Plan, amongst other things.

The plan still isn't completed, but betwixt the hands of the Inland Revenue and Historic England. COVID and a change of faces in HE has slowed things down a bit, so I'm now back oop north again!