Natural England (NE) has recently introduced four new countryside stewardship options for the 2018 application window.
These new offers complement the existing mid-Tier offer. Mid-Tier will continue to be available, supporting agreements delivering organics, historic, water quality, wet grassland and traditional orchards.
The four new options are based on the existing Mid-Tier wildlife package and they will provide year-round benefits for birds and pollinating insects, and these are:
- Arable Offer
- Lowland Grazing Offer
- Upland Offer
- Mixed Farming Offer
“These offers will have a simpler application process compared to Mid-Tier. For each of the four offers there will be a simplified application form, the requirement for the historic environment record to be removed, and then those meeting the requirements of the new scheme will be accepted into an agreement,” explains Bob Bulmer of Hutchinsons.
The offers will benefit the environment and support wildlife by creating sources of nectar and pollen for insect pollinators, winter food for seed-eating birds and improving habitats, especially for farmland birds and pollinators.
Each offer has a set of options and minimum requirements. You need to meet these requirements to be eligible for funding. Each option has a payment rate and a specific benefit for wildlife.
The deadline to apply for an application pack is 31 May 2018 whilst the deadline for applications is 31 July 2018.
How Hutchinsons can help
We have trained specialist advisors who can help you with all aspects of the simplified arable scheme, adds Mr Bulmer.
“We are able to help and guide growers with the application process and to determine if the mid-Tier scheme is a more suitable option, this also includes linking with the Ecological Focus Area requirement in the Basic Payment Scheme.”
“We are also able to work with farmers to help to identify suitable areas of land for the arable options, how to establish and manage the wildlife options and choosing the most suitable seed mixtures.”
For further information please contact Hutchinsons on telephone 01945 461177, or email email@example.com