AS a result of Natural England, DEFRA and Government directives, all CSF staff are now working from home, and currently unable to conduct farm and site visits.
DEFRA has been working hard over the past few weeks to see how they can work with agents and land owners on potential Countryside Stewardship applications. They are now in a position to be able to start initial conversations around Mid-Tier and Water Capital Only applications where CSF approval is required to offer the necessary advice and, where possible, authorise CS options. Lister Haigh can conduct the usual preliminary checks to ensure that you are in a high water priority area and ensure, where applicable, that the correct CFSO is contacted. We must provide contact details for clients to enable the CSFO to carry out desk-based assessments and also to enable the CSFO to discuss your holding and business. Where Water Capital Items could be feasible, a Water Quality Project document needs to be submitted. This should include detailed photos and descriptions of the planned works, highlighting the runoff pathways and risks to watercourses and benefits from the proposed items.
As usual, the scheme is competitive and those applications which include items to target additional local priorities (such as the farm and wildlife package) will receive further uplift. Therefore those applying for the 5 year Mid-Tier agreements should also include details of the land management options and wider environmental benefits of your applications. The following Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship deadlines apply:-
31st May 2020 – Contact local CSFO if interested in applying for items that require CSFO approval.
30th June – Request Mid-Tier application pack from RPA
31st July – Submit Mid-Tier application
Here at Lister Haigh, our dedicated team of agricultural advisors are still conducting on-farm appraisals where social distancing measures are observed. Our team are able to assess possible capital grants and ensure endorsement forms are submitted in the required format. We can also advise on a host of annual revenue field-based options creating a package of options that meet targeted scoring objectives. For more information, contact Will Foyle on 01423 860322 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Fall on 01423 860322 or email: email@example.com