A number of Natural England managers have confirmed that for 2018 they are looking to bring the current deadline to submit applications forward from 30th Sept to 31st July. Given how many are finding the current deadline tight given how slow application packs were sent out to begin with coupled with a potential cross over in timings with BPS applications, careful planning will be needed next year.
It would be prudent to apply for the application packs as soon as the window is open, even if you do not look at it until later in the year. The 2018 Mid-tier applications are likely to be looked at in ever greater detail in terms of value for money, especially given the success of capital options for fencing, concreting and roofing of silage pits etc. That said, the early indications are for a well-funded program in 2018.
For advice on all stewardship applications please contact Harry Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG Office.