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Countryside Stewardship Annual Claims – Update Land Use Codes
27 March 2024

After the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced the gradual removal of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), many farmers have turned to environmental stewardship schemes to supplement their income. Now that we are into the delinked payments period, it was thought that the requirement to declare land uses in your fields each year would have ended. However, recent guidance from DEFRA indicates that you will still be required to declare the land uses (cropping) within your field parcels annually, so that options on stewardship schemes can be cross-checked to ensure compatibility with the cropping system.

Essentially this means that if you are in Environmental or Countryside Stewardship, before you complete the annual claim, you must log in to the Rural Payments Agency online service and update the cropping/land use in each field.

For those of you whom we complete the annual claims on your behalf, we will update the land use codes but will need the cropping information from you as we did when completing the Basic Payment application.

Should you need help with updating your land use codes or part of your stewardship annual claim, please contact a member of our Rural team on 01234 352201.

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