Technical Update March 2015

March 2015

Welcome to this edition of the Regulation
Technical Update prepared by the Farm
Consultancy Group.

In this issue:

· Water Capital Grants
· Woodland Capital Grants
· Countryside Productivity Scheme

Countryside Stewardship

Agent Authorisation
Land managers who use an agent to manage their Environmental Stewardship (ES) or Habitat Scheme agreements will need to send a new agent authorisation form to
Natural England. This will replace any existing authorisations. The new forms make clear that an agreement-holder is responsible for carrying out the work in the agreement, even though an agent may have been employed to complete the application or claim form. The form is available at:

All applicants must register under the new Basic Payment Scheme before they apply for any of the new RDPE schemes.

Water capital grants


Replacement for the Catchment Sensitive Farming Capital Grants. These grants are for infrastructure works to help reduce water pollution from agriculture.
· Must be in a Target area – use Magic Map

· £10,000 max/business 

· Speak to the local CSF Catchment Officer before applying

· Application (not on-line) 2nd March –
30th April 2015


Woodland capital grants


Woodland creation and maintenance
Applications for the woodland creation grant must be to create an area of at least 3 hectares, and each planting block needs to be at least 0.5 hectares. However, where the
woodland is being planted as part of work to address water quality or flood risk issues, applications need to be for at least 1 hectare, with each planting block at least 0.1
· Max £6,800/ha for planting and protection
· Maintenance is £200/ha for 10 years
· Application (not on-line) 17th Feb –30th April 2015

Woodland management plans
Land managers can apply in 2015 if:
· They do not already have a woodland management plan approved by the Forestry Commission (or they have such a plan but it needs to be completely reviewed), and
· They have more than 3 hectares of woodland (over their entire holding, not necessarily in one block)
There are no payments for an area of woodland that is ‘newly created’ (that is, less than 10 years old) if it makes up more than 20% of the area covered in the management
· 1st 100ha £20/ha/yr min payment £1,000
· Application (not on-line) from 17th Feb 2015

Woodland tree health replanting
Eligible if
· Have been served a Statutory Plant Health Notice (SPHN) or
· Ash under a EWGScheme been felled due to infection with Chalara fraxinea

More details can be found in the guidance on woodland grants,

Application forms are also available from local Forestry Commission offices. Contact
details are available on:

Facilitation funding
· Cover at least 2,000 hectares, unless there is an obvious smaller environmental boundary,
· Be spread across at least 4 adjoining (or mainly adjoining) holdings.
· To help Mid tier applicants
· Rates of grant not yet available
· Applications should be March – June

Hedgerows and Boundaries capital grant
Natural England are planning to be ready for applications online for these grants between February and April 2016.

Countryside Productivity

Grants between £2,500 and £35,000
These grants are to cover up to 40% of the actual costs of investments in specific types of innovative equipment, in the following areas:
· Improvements to animal productivity, health and welfare
· LED lighting systems for livestock housing
· LED lighting with wavelength control
· Remote crop sensing
· Small-scale forestry processing and wood harvesting and extraction
· Slurry management
· Recycling ammonia and heat emissions

Grants above £35,000
These grants are for up to 40% of the actual costs of projects that improve productivity through investments in the following areas:
· Small-scale forestry processing and wood harvesting and extraction
· Controlled atmosphere storage
· Crop robotics
· Poultry litter drying systems
· Farm water management through reservoirs and irrigation

Later in 2015, there will be more funding available:
· To help farmers improve their skills
· Start-up business grants for young farmers starting their first farm business
· For specific projects working to reduce important animal diseases,
· Improve the woodfuel supply chain
· Reduce ammonia emissions on farms

Applications must be submitted between March and June 2015. RPA will announce when applications can start.

Posted in Technical Update.