Applications are currently being accepted for the Mid Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
If your existing Environmental Stewardship agreement expires this year or has already expired you may be eligible to apply.
Natural England have made changes to a number of criteria since the first round of applications in 2015 and as a result they feel that it will offer a better overall experience to those wanting to go forward with an application:
- Suspension of the minimum £5000 application value
- More Upland specific options
- On-line options tool
- MAGIC mapping for target priorities
- Simpler soil testing & photographic evidence
- Clearer Livestock record keeping requirements
- Longer application window
Unlike previous rural development schemes, applications for most elements of Countryside Stewardship are competitive, which means that applications will be scored against specific criteria, and that not everyone who applies will be successful. Targeting and scoring will encourage applicants to choose options that help achieve the environmental priorities in their local area.
The main priority for Countryside Stewardship is to protect and enhance the natural environment, in particular the diversity of wildlife (biodiversity) and water quality. Applicants are encouraged to select multi-year options and capital items that are closest to the environmental priorities for their area, as described in the Statements of Priorities to generate the best score possible.
The application period closes on the 30 September 2016 and application packs must be requested no later than the 31 August. During October, all applications will be assessed and applicants will be notified of the outcome in November. Any agreement offered must be accepted within 20 days of should you wish to proceed and in any case no later than 15 December.
We are actively encouraging those eligible to look at the possibility of a Mid Tier agreement, but advise caution and urge proper consideration of the undertakings.
If you would like any further help or advice on Mid Tier or any other Rural Development funding, please contact Carol Johnson at the HNR office (Office 01434 607 028. Mobile 07753 693111. Email email@example.com )