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Our response to the Rock Review: one year on

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Tenanted sector
View of the estate with livestock grazing in background amid generally verdant scene.

Our response to the Rock Review set out our commitments in light of its recommendations. It is now one year since we published our response. And, of the 75 commitments, we have completed or are working on 64. In this post, we’ll summarise the progress we have made over the last year. We also shine a light on the role of the Farm Tenancy Forum and the collaborative approach of one farm in Oxfordshire. 

Apply now for a water screening study 

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farming and Countryside Programme
Waterbody fenced off under sunny skies

From today, small groups of farmers in England can apply for a Local Resource Option (LRO) screening study. An LRO is a water resources scheme that improves the resilience or supply of water in a local area. LRO screening studies are one way farmers and growers can better understand their options to improve the supply or resilience of water. In this post, I’ll share the background, explain how the studies work and include links to learn more and apply. 

Laying the hedgerow regulations

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farming and Countryside Programme
Blackthorn hedgerow in the Spring Sunshine

We are pleased to tell you that legislation to protect hedgerows has today been laid in both Houses of Parliament. If approved by Parliament, the Management of Hedgerows (England) Regulations 2024 will put baseline hedgerow management practices into law, providing a consistent approach across all people operating on agricultural land. 

Webinar follow up: livestock and grassland

We recently held a webinar for livestock and grassland farmers in England. In the webinar, we gave an overview of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) offer and how the scheme supports both productivity and the environment. We also covered the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway and the grants on offer through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. In this post, we summarise what we covered and include the recording and links for you to learn more.

Acting on the recommendations of the Dartmoor Review

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Future Farming and Countryside Programme

Last year, ministers commissioned an independent review into protected site management on Dartmoor. Chaired by David Fursdon, the review was undertaken with advice and input from a panel of expert advisers, local farmers and stakeholders. The review aimed to help us better understand how we can work with farmers to deliver much-needed environmental improvements on Dartmoor, balancing this alongside agricultural production, public access and cultural and natural heritage. Today we published our response to the report.

Water Restoration Fund: grants now available

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farming and Countryside Programme

Groups of farmers in England can now apply for a grant to improve freshwater habitats. Through the new Water Restoration Fund, local groups can apply for funding to bolster their capacity and capabilities for delivery of on-the-ground projects which improve the water environment. In this post, we'll explain how the fund works.

Storm Henk: grants available for affected farmers

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Flooding support

If you suffered damage to your land during Storm Henk that was uninsurable, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will contact you about financial support to help cover the costs of returning your land to the condition it was in before flooding occurred. In this post, we'll give an overview. Post updated 12 April.

Why we’re putting area limits on some SFI actions

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Sustainable Farming Incentive
Up on the hill the farmer is turning the grass to help it dry and so get a crop of hay rather than sileage. Photo taken in High Birkwith.

Since we opened the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) for applications, we’ve continued to refine the scheme. One of the things we’ve been monitoring is the impact of those actions which take land out of food production. In this post, we’ll explain why we’re putting area limits on some SFI actions.