Countryside Stewardship: Four New Offers for 2018

There are now four new Countryside Stewardship grants available to farmers and landowners.  These schemes are simpler and easier to apply for than the full Countryside Stewardship Schemes.  The four new offers (Online Arable Offer, Lowland Grazing Offer, Upland Offer and Mixed Farming Offer) are each more tailored to the different types of farming systems.  The existing Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant is also available again, with additional funding increasing the maximum grant to £10,000, up from the £5,000 that has been available previously.

The application process has been simplified for the new offers, due to shorter forms and streamlined evidence checks.  The schemes are non-competitive, meaning that as long as you meet the eligibility requirements you will receive an offer.  Both the existing Higher Tier and Mid Tier schemes will continue to be available.  The information below, sets out the available options available within each of the four new offers.  The payment rates are per hectare, unless otherwise stated.

Online Arable Offer
There are 11 arable options to choose from.  Applicants will have to pick at least one option from each category, and the total package should include a minimum 3% of farmed land under option management which is needed for wild pollinators and farmland birds.  There is no maximum amount of options that can be chosen.  The minimum number of options is three, over the five-year agreement.

Category One – Nectar and pollen sources (minimum 1ha per 100ha of farmed land, included in the agreement)

AB1 Nectar Flower Mix    £511

AB8 Flower-rich margins and plots  £539

Category Two – Winter food for seed-eating birds (minimum 2ha per 100ha)

AB9 Winter bird food    £640

Category Three – Additional resources & habitats (no minimum)

BE3 Management of hedgerows   £8/100m

AB4 Skylark plots     £18 (£9 per plot, min. 2 plots per ha)

AB5 Nesting plots for lapwing & stone curlew £524

AB6 Enhanced overwinter stubble  £436

AB11 Cultivated areas for arable plants  £532

AB12 Supplementary winter feeding for birds £632 per tonne for every 2ha of AB9

SW1 4m to 6m buffer strip on cultivated land £353

WT2 Buffering in-field ponds and ditches  £501

Lowland Grazing Offer
There are 7 options available to choose from.  Farmers must pick at least one option from category One and Two.  The minimum number of options is two.

Category One – Nectar and pollen sources (minimum 2ha per 100ha of farmed land)

GS2 Permanent grassland with very low inputs  £95

GS4 Legume and herb-rich swards   £309

Category Two – Nesting and shelter for insect pollinators and birds (minimum 500m of BE3 or 1ha of GS1 per 100ha farmed land in agreement)

BE3 Management of hedgerows    £8/100m

GS1 Take field corners out of production   £365

Category Three – Optional additional resources & habitats (no minimum)

GS3 Ryegrass seed-set as winter/spring bird food £331

GS17 Lenient grazing supplement   £44

WT1 Buffering in-field ponds & ditches in grassland £201

Upland Offer
There are four base options and additional supplements that farmers can choose from.  There are no categories in this offer.  Farmers must pick, at least, one base option and two supplements or two base options and one supplement.  The minimum number is three, there is no maximum.

Base Options
GS5 Permanent grassland with very lows inputs in SDA’s £16

UP1 Enclosed rough grazing     £39

UP2 Management of rough grazing for birds   £88

BE3 Management of hedgerows     £8/100m

Supplements
GS15 Haymaking supplement     £85

GS16 Rush control supplement     £73

GS17 Lenient grazing supplement    £44

SP6 Cattle grazing supplement     £45

Mixed Farming Offer
There are 14 options to choose from, in three different categories.  Farmers will have to pick at least one option from each of the three categories.  The minimum number of options is three.

Category One – Nectar and pollen sources for insect pollinators (minimum 1ha per 100ha for AB1 & AB8, 2ha for GS4.)

AB1 Nectar flower mix     £511

AB8 Flower-rich margins & plots    £539

GS4 Legume and herb-rich swards   £309

Category Two – Winter food for seed-eating birds (minimum 2ha per 100ha)

AB9 Winter bird food     £640

Category Three – Additional resources & habitats (no minimum)

AB5 Nesting plots for lapwing & stone curlew  £524

AB6 Enhanced overwinter stubble   £436

AB11 Cultivated areas for arable plants   £532

AB12 Supplementary winter feeding for birds  £632 /T for every 9ha of AB9

GS2 Permanent grassland with very low inputs  £95

GS17 Lenient grazing supplement   £44

SW1 4m to 6m buffer strip on cultivated land  £353

BE3 Management of hedgerows    £8/100m

WT1 Buffering in-field ponds & ditches (grassland) £201

WT2 Buffering in-field ponds & ditches (arable)  £501

We will know more about the application process when the new scheme handbooks are made available.

 

Posted in Arable & Crops, Business Management, Sherborne.