Countryside Stewardship Funding
Date posted: 7 September 2016
DEFRA Announcement 13th August 2016
The Treasury, supported by Defra, made a high level announcement about the future of EU funding. We were concerned at this announcement as it was stated that any CSS agreements which are signed after the autumn statement will not be funded; however Defra have since responded with this clarification in their developing Q&A:
Will new Countryside Stewardship agri-environment and forestry agreements with an effective start date of 1 January 2017 miss out if an agreement has not been signed with Natural England before the Autumn Statement?
- No, any Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier or Mid-Tier agreements agreed (in principle) before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded – even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
- This means farmers and land managers should continue to apply for Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier agreements by the 30 September deadline. Higher Tier agreement holders will be able to continue to work up their agreement with Natural England and the Forestry Commission to allow for new agreements to start on 1 January 2017.
- Farmers and land owners should continue for the moment to apply for Woodland Management Plan and Tree Health capital agreements.
This is welcome news and we can now confidently work with estates, farmers and land managers in developing and issuing this year’s round of Countryside Stewardship agreements.