Tag: environmental stewardship agreements

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The Rural Payments Agency recently published guidance for farmers and land managers facing difficulties with meeting scheme requirements due to the extreme heat.

Since then, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now approved temporary adjustments to some Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship options to assist farmers and land managers with the weather-related challenges that they are facing this year.

An agreement holder can decide whether to continue with the existing scheme options or whether to use the options with adjustments. The adjustments will apply from 17th August through to 31st December 2022, with all options returning to their original requirements from 1st January 2023 (unless otherwise stated).

Details of the options adjustments which have been approved by DEFRA can be found here.

For example, under the Countryside Stewardship option AB8 (Flower rich margins and plots), the temporary adjustment allows an agreement holder to cut or graze 100% of the area included in the option from 17th August to 31st October, in comparison to the usual requirement under this option, which is to cut or graze 90% of the area.

The adjustments have been made in order to relieve shortages of bedding, fodder, grazing or forage crops. However, it is important to note that regulatory and cross compliance requirements must continue to be met, and soil conditions must be considered.

To take advantage of the adjustments, an agreement holder must fill in the temporary requirement adjustments form, which can be found through this link here.

The form does not need to be returned to the Rural Payments Agency. However, the Rural Payments Agency can request to see the form at any time and therefore it must be kept for any future inspections. Additionally, the following records will need to be kept and produced if requested:

For more information or to find out how our Rural Property & Business department can help you, please contact 01234 352201 or 01280 428010 or email bedford@robinsonandhall.co.uk