The third year of the Countryside Stewardship scheme opened on 10 March. This is a targeted scheme for farmers and land managers which funds projects to restore habitats, improve water quality and woodland, reduce flood risk, protect landscapes, and provide year-round food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
Improvements have been made to the application process this year to make it easier to apply, including simplifying evidence requirements for claims and applications wherever possible. Additional support and advice is also available from Natural England.
Countryside Stewardship grants will be offered to those who propose to make the best environmental improvements within their local area.
Application packs can be requested from Natural England. Those thinking of applying for the Higher Tier, including woodland support, will need to have submitted an initial application by 05 May 2017. Higher Tier application packs will need to be requested no later than 13 April. Mid Tier application packs will need to be requested no later than 31 July 2017 so Natural England can send out the maps and evidence requirements in time for farmers and land managers to develop their application and submit it by 30 September 2017.