Natural England opened applications on the 1st Feb 2017 for the Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant, part of Countryside Stewardship. Individually worth up to £5,000, it is designed to help farmers and landowners improve farmland boundaries.
The application window will close on the 28th April, 2017 with applications invited for one-off grants to restore a range of features including hedgerows, dry stone walls, stone faced banks and earth banks. Payment rates are based on a fixed per metre cost for operations including hedge laying (£9.40/m) or coppicing (£4.00/m), gapping up (£9.50/m) and stone wall restoration (£25/m).
Applications are competitively scored with businesses previously in environmental stewardship agreements or woodland grant schemes, applications over £1,000 and holdings which are part of a group receiving Facilitation Fund payments viewed more favourably. Priority will be given to smaller holdings with restoration of hedges or walls preferred to stone-faced or earth banks.
The grant is not available on land that would be managed under a Mid or Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship, a live 2016 Hedgerow and Boundary Grant, Higher Level Stewardship or Uplands Entry Level Stewardship on the 31st July 2017 although land in Entry Level Stewardship can be included provided other eligibility criteria are met. To be eligible the land must:
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