The Countryside Stewardship window for applications opened this week with lending opportunities available for the following grants:-
CS Stand-alone Capital Grants – two year agreements targeting Water, Air and Boundaries.
The stand-alone grants for capital works such as concrete yard renewal, roofing (over sprayer wash-down area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores), fencing, livestock troughs etc no longer fall under Mid Tier but under their own Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants scheme with an increased spending cap to £20,000.
The scheme also offers £20,000 for targeting air quality with options such as automatic slurry scrapers, low ammonia emission flooring and tree planting for shelter-belts/ ammonia capture near farmsteads.
To receive Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) endorsement prior to submitting applications with options for targeting water or air quality, we must seek approval by 19th March.
Options which used to come under the hedgerows and boundaries scheme have also increased the spending cap to £20,000. Under this, you can receive funding for stone wall restoration, planting new hedges and hedgerow gapping up and much more.
Under the CS Capital Grants scheme, you can therefore receive up to £60,000 by targeting the three core priorities. Applications must be submitted by 30th April but we must request endorsement by 19th March for some options so please bear this in mind if you think this may be of interest to you.
CS Mid Tier
Applications have also opened for the Mid Tier scheme. The Mid Tier scheme offers funding for up to £120,000 for capital items such as the above and more, alongside management options for creating habitats, managing wildlife and historic features. This scheme can work well where you already have game cover, traditional farm buildings, low input grassland, whole crop cereals, brassica fodder crops and cover crops or where you are looking to integrate alternative practice to create an additional income stream as BPS is phased out.
We must request application packs by 28th May and request support from the CSFO for high value capital works targeting water and air by 18th June ahead of the application deadline of 30th July.
If you think the above may be of interest to you, our Agricultural Team can be contacted on 01423 860322 and we would be pleased to have an initial discussion with you to discuss your options.