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Countryside Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship: an update

We recently wrote to everyone with Environmental Stewardship agreements to outline some changes that we plan to introduce in 2023. Rather than offering agreement holders an extension of a single year, we're offering extensions of 5 years. This change, shaped by feedback, gives greater certainty and clarity to people in existing agri-environment agreements. It also removes the burden of having to apply for an extension each year.

How we’re making sure all farm businesses can fairly access money released from Basic Payments

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The government has committed to maintain the farming budget for England at £2.4 billion per year throughout this parliament. We will be gradually reducing spending on Basic Payments each year over the next 6 years. Instead, we will make the money available to farmers through one-off grants for capital investment in equipment and technology, and ongoing payments for environmental actions and related advice and support. Farmers will be able to get paid for a combination of actions that they choose, to suit their farm business, food production and the environment.

Find out more about Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery

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Today we published a blog post with news about our 3 environmental land management schemes and Countryside Stewardship payment rates. In that post, we explained how the schemes fit together and the timings for them. In this post, we'll share a bit more information about eligibility and what the schemes will pay for.  

Preparing for BPS removal: why you should consider Countryside Stewardship 

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In this post, I’d like to share what we’ve done to make Countryside Stewardship a more attractive option for more farmers as they plan for the impact of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) reductions and subsequent removal. 

Opening Countryside Stewardship for 2022 agreements

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Our Countryside Stewardship scheme is now open for 2022 agreements. Countryside Stewardship will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management scheme. By entering an agreement now, farmers will benefit from the new agricultural policy once it is fully rolled out in 2024.