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.
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.
Today we published more information on Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery – which, along with the Sustainable Farming Incentive, make up our 3 new and ambitious environmental land management schemes.
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.
Countryside Stewardship is a scheme that pays farmers, woodland owners and land managers to look after and improve the environment. In this post, I’ll share some changes we made to the running of the scheme.
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.