It is now two months since the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme was launched by DEFRA as part of the Agricultural Transition Plan. Applications can be made by eligible farmers, land managers, bodies and organisations as well as collaboratively by a group, whether or not they are already in an environmental scheme, for land within or close to National Parks and AONB’s.
We have been speaking with Nidderdale AONB and they have received around 50 applications so far for a variety of projects. These range from farm building restorations to more tailored environmental land management. The FiPL can provide funding for work related to other environmental schemes that cannot be sourced through them, if it meets the scheme objectives.
Where there is no obvious commercial benefit 100% of the eligible costs can be paid. If the work generates a commercial benefit, it is expected that either 40% or 80% of the eligible costs will be paid. However, if there is a Countryside Stewardship rate for the work, that will be paid rather than using three quotes.
Projects with a total cost under £5,000 will be assessed by a senior member from the Protected Landscape team, whereas those over £5,000 will be assessed by a Local Assessment Panel which takes longer to process. The first deadline is the end of January and works must be completed by the end of March, although a project can be completed in stages over more than one scheme year.
If you have a project in mind or would like to talk through your ideas for the FiPL programme, please contact Catherine Johnston on 01423 860322.