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As we are entering the transition period from Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), part of this transition will see the current Countryside Stewardship Scheme being replaced by ELMS from 2024.  Entering a stewardship scheme can help prepare and position your business well for the future of subsidies.

What’s new for 2021 mid-tier stewardship applications

Capital items included as part of a mid-tier stewardship application will now be capped at £120,000 for air and water quality options with a cap of £50,000 for options for boundaries, trees and orchards.

If capital items are only wishing to be applied for, this is possible through the new capital grant offer element of the stewardship scheme.  The maximum value of capital only applications is now £60,000.  However, there is a cap of £20,000 per category:

Group Limit
Boundaries, Trees and Orchards £20,000 maximum
Water Quality £20,000 maximum
Air Quality £20,000 maximum

Many of the options remain the same, however, this year has seen a couple of capital item additions to help improve air quality. These options are automatic slurry scrapers and low ammonia emission flooring for livestock buildings.

5 Year Agreement

There are many options that can form a 5 year environmental stewardship agreement.  Many of which can fit into many farming practices. Many bring environmental benefits that will also improve the land by helping to improve soil structure, reduce the risk of runoff and soil erosion and can reduce artificial nitrogen usage.

The most popular options are:

• Low fertiliser input on grassland

• Cover crops 

• Legume & Herbal leys

• Over winter stubble

• Field margins

Capital only agreements

The new capital only scheme consists of the same options that have been available in the past.

Popular capital spending options in the past are:

• Fencing

• Hedge Laying

• Concrete yard renewal

• Covering over yards, Silage clamps, Slurry stores

• Cow tracks

Some of these options require prior approval from Catchment Sensitive Farming, so it is important to plan early to have the required approval to support your application.

If you are interested to find out more and to discuss the potential options for your business please contact Nikki Smale at our Holsworthy office by the 25 May 2021 on 01403 253297 or 07377413619.

By Nikki Smale, Agricultural Consultant