For those of you who have requested a Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier or Capital Water Grant application pack from Natural England before the deadline of May 31st, you now have two months to put your full application together. This should be plenty of time IF you start planning your application now. Remember that the Capital Water Grant is only available up to a maximum of £10,000. The first step will be to contact your Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) if you are hoping to include any of the capital options (eg. RP4 Tracks, RP15 Concrete yard renewal) that require their endorsement (you must be in a medium or high priority water quality area for this). They will start to get particularly busy with farm visits so the sooner you contact them, the better. They will just need to see the proposed site of any capital work and to discuss this with you. Once you have had this meeting, your CSFO will then be able to write a letter of endorsement that will be sent to Natural England with your application.
Any capital options that may require planning permission (eg. RP28 Roofing) will also need to be considered as soon as possible, so that you can obtain the necessary paperwork from your local council to go in with your full application.
Consider which fields or parts of fields may be suitable for entry into the Mid Tier scheme, and what work you are willing to put in. Think about the capital work that your farm requires to help increase efficiencies. A full list of all the options available can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants and it is worth having a look through these when thinking about your application. Be aware that each option will have its own requirements and may only be applicable on either Permanent Grassland or Arable fields.
The deadline for full applications for Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier and Capital Water Grants is 31st July 2018, so please do contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG office as soon as possible if you require any help with your application.