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Countryside Stewardship Scheme Now Open For Applications

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship, Rural Payments service

Countryside Stewardship applications will open on 8 February 2022. To make sure you have everything you need to make your application we have put together some useful information.

You can read our Countryside Stewardship: How To Apply guide on GOV.UK along with the full guide to the Key Dates for all schemes.

Changes to Countryside Stewardship in 2022

Mid-Tier Online Applications

This year, we have made it easier for making your Mid-Tier applications by making it possible for you to apply online.

We are encouraging customers to apply for Mid-Tier online wherever possible. Applying online is much quicker than paper applications. It is also much safer because there is no risk of your application getting lost in the post.

By applying online, you will not need to request a pack. Applications are open until 29 July 2022. This date also applies to applications for Wildlife Offers. You can track the status of your claims through the Rural Payments service.


Capital Grants

Applications for Capital Grants will be open from 8 February 2022. Unlike other aspects of Countryside Stewardship, applications will remain open all year.

We recommend applying for Capital Grants early as we may need to amend the closing date depending on the volume of applications that we receive.


CS Protection and Infrastructure (CSPI)

The Countryside Stewardship: Protection and Infrastructure (CSPI) agreement is a standalone capital grant that comes under Countryside Stewardship. It is a new grant provided under domestic legislation.

CSPI is a two-year capital grant that allows you to apply for the FY2 Woodland Infrastructure capital item.

You can apply and start your agreement at any point during the year after 8 February 2022 when applications open.

Agreements run for two years after the agreement start date. If you complete the works before then, you can claim your funding before the 2 years are up.

Sustainable Farming Incentive 2022

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is the first of our three new environmental land management schemes being introduced by RPA.

We will launch the first round of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022. Only those farmers who are eligible for payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will have these standards open to them.

The scheme will also be open to those who are eligible for BPS and already have an existing CS Mid Tier (or other agri-environment) agreement. However, the Sustainable Farming Incentive standard chosen must be compatible with their existing CS agreement and would not result in them being paid twice for similar activities.

You can enter land parcels into both a CS Mid Tier agreement and a Sustainable Farming Incentive 2022 agreement if the actions under the option do not overlap. For example, if you are already being paid for establishing a cover crop under a Countryside Stewardship option on land that is at risk of soil erosion or surface runoff, then you will not be able to also enter that same land into the Sustainable Farming Incentive arable and horticultural soils standard where similar activities are required. You may still be able to establish cover crops on land on other parts of your holding, where appropriate.

We will publish more information about Sustainable Farming Incentive later in the year. This will include how CS agreement holders can take part and what they need to do to meet the rules of both schemes.

You can find out more about the SFI scheme on the Sustainable Farming Incentive Scheme information page on GOV.UK.

We encourage you to submit your Higher Tier applications as early as possible.

You can also follow us on social media for the latest updates and information on the following accounts:

By following and subscribing to our social channels and blog, you’ll be able to see the latest updates about important information. We also share top tips and announcements.

We look forward to receiving your applications for the CS schemes and seeing the benefits that they will bring to the environment.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Philip Beauvais posted on

    It would be useful to know up front if you need to apply , if you are already in receipt of a Mid Tier Contract?