With the anticipated gradual decrease in Basic Payment Scheme income over the next seven years, we are frequently asked what can be done in the short term to supplement this loss of income until the replacement Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) is in place?
Whilst we do not know a huge amount about ELMS at the moment, our immediate response for those not currently in stewardship is to seriously consider an application for a Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme in order to bridge the gap in subsidy payments during this proposed transition period.
The application window for a Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship agreement is now open, with electronic packs needing to be requested online by 30 June 2020 and the application having to be submitted by 31 July 2020. If successful with your application, the term of a Mid-Tier agreement will be five years commencing 1 January 2021. That said, if prior to the conclusion of the five year agreement a farmer wishes to swap over to ELMS, we are assured that that it will be possible to transfer across without difficulty.
As to Mid-Tier Stewardship options, there is a diverse range of management options that an applicant can consider with varying degrees of management input and associated reward and – whilst one size does not fit all – we normally find that there are some useful management options available to our clients which easily fit in around their day-to-day agricultural operations.
If you would like to discuss the benefits that a Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship Agreement can bring to your business, please don’t hesitate to contact either Tom Wilson (01233 740077 Challock Office) or Mark Henty (01435 864455 Heathfield Office).