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An Update On Countryside Stewardship Capital Payment Rates

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Countryside Stewardship

On 5 January 2023, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) announced the Countryside Stewardship (CS) Capital grants payment rates for 2023.

We have listened to feedback from farmers and landowners and have now amended the scope of the updated payment rates to allow more farmers to benefit from the higher rates.

Changes to these payment rates for capital items will now be applied to all CS and SFI pilot capital grant agreements which began on and after 1 January 2023 in addition to all applications for Capital offers that we receive from January 2023 onwards.

This widens the number of customers eligible to receive the higher payment rates by nearly five thousand customers.  We will make the changes needed to increase the capital payment rates for these customers as soon as we can.

If your agreement started earlier than 1 January 2023, you will continue to be paid using the rates that were in place at the time you entered your agreement.

If you have capital work to do that has not yet started under an agreement starting before 1 January 2023, you can choose to withdraw that part of your existing agreement, or cancel it entirely if appropriate, and apply for a new agreement to cover the remaining work. Your new agreement will then include the updated payment rates as applicable at the time of application

If you wish to reapply for these options, then you will be required to source any relevant new endorsements or consents.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF approvals)

Any applications that are withdrawn and resubmitted will be treated as new applications for 2023. If you choose to resubmit your application without any changes to items that required CSF approval, your existing approval will remain valid.


This blog post was updated on 25 January 2023.

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  1. Comment by Anna posted on

    Please can you clarify: will the new rates apply to full MT/HT CSS agreements starting 1/1/2023, or is this only relevant to CSS Capital Only Grants starting 1/1/2023 onwards?

    • Replies to Anna>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi Anna, the new rates apply to capital elements of any CS agreement with a start date of 1 January 2023 or later, including Higher Tier and Mid Tier.

  2. Comment by Rebecca Inman posted on

    Can you confirm that when you are referring to capital grant agreements that you are also talking about capital items within a mid tier or higher tier application. There needs to be absolute clarity in any press release.
    Thank you

    • Replies to Rebecca Inman>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Thanks Rebecca, yes that's correct the new rates also apply to capital items within a Higher Tier or Mid Tier agreement as long as the start date of the agreement is 1 January 2023 or later.

  3. Comment by Matthew Hutsby posted on

    Thank you altering to the 1st. This will make a big difference to my CS claim. I truly believe that if this hadn't been done then we'd of pulled out and reapplied for a yr. I still think it should be made available for all claims submitted from now on because all fencing materials and any labour charges have ballooned since the first costings where laid out. Many thanks. Matt Hutsby. (One of the lucky ones)

  4. Comment by Ben Griffiths posted on

    Welcome news. Where the capital payment rates have decreased eg TE11 will this apply to agreements beginning 1/1/23?

    • Replies to Ben Griffiths>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi Ben, for agreements starting 1 January 2023 the new capital rates will apply if there has been an increase, but where rates have gone down you will remain on your existing payment rate.

  5. Comment by Julie Tucker posted on

    If the rates have increased then are you considering increasing the max spend cap on each agreement?
    Will this not cause an issue with an offer already made for a start date 1st Jan 23 onwards but the new rates will cause it to exceed the max spend cap on spending per category?

    • Replies to Julie Tucker>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi Julie, we are keeping the cap under review. In the circumstances you describe, where the maximum spend cap or spend per category has been exceeded we will respect the increased cost.

  6. Comment by BEN GRIFFITHS posted on

    In Mid Tier agreements beginning 2022 or earlier- where work has not begun and materials not purchased, can we withdraw for example all fencing and re-apply for the same amount in the same location? eg not as a stand alone capital grant- so over £20k and not against a water course. How would we re-apply? In the form of another mid but without the land based options?

    • Replies to BEN GRIFFITHS>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi Ben, this is something we are currently considering and will publish more information when available.

  7. Comment by James Bucknall posted on

    For newly submitted SFI applications, will the additional management payments be included within the payment schedules or forwarded at a later date.

    • Replies to James Bucknall>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi James, an update has been published about SFI today on the Future Farming blog including some information on management payments. More details about how the payments will work will be published in the coming weeks.

  8. Comment by John Nicoll posted on

    I cannot understand why it is acceptable to backdate the uplifted payments to agreements dating from 1 January 2023, but not to ones dating from 2022. We face exactly the same price increases . What is the justification for this discrimination?

    • Replies to John Nicoll>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi John, agreements starting in 2023 were unlikely to have any claims submitted which meant payment rates could be updated for all agreements. Agreements which started in 2022 and earlier have a mixture of claimed and unclaimed capital items, and were under different legislation so were not covered by the updated payment rates. If you have an agreement with a start date of 2022 or earlier there is still the option to withdraw some capital items from your agreement and reapply for them, as long as the work hasn't started on them and no materials have been purchased or claimed for already.

  9. Comment by Charlotte Nunn posted on

    My Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship agreement began in 2022 - I have capital works listed in the agreement but no work has begun, can I withdraw these capital works from my agreement and then reapply for them? If so, does every item have to be withdrawn or can I claim for a couple of items and then withdraw the rest?

    • Replies to Charlotte Nunn>

      Comment by RPA Editor posted on

      Hi Charlotte, you can withdraw capital items where work has not started in discrete units/separate parcels then reapply. However, you will need to consider the application window for a new agreement, the start date and the potential that the new application, when assessed against other applications received, may be rejected if there is insufficient budget available.

  10. Comment by John Nicoll posted on

    Thanks for the explanation for the discrimination and for detailing the way to work around it. But isn't this just an unnecessary multiplication of bureaucracy when we all, including the RPA, have plenty to do anyway, and you keep saying how you want to simplify things?! I don't understand why you can't just uprate the payments for everything from 1 January, and if the odd item was actually completed in December and not in January, so what? I simply can't believe that there are hundreds of CS holders out there with completed but unclaimed for projects.
    Natural England have asked me not to go down that route as they already have too much to do, and I sympathise, but with a 48% uplift the financial arguments are pretty powerful, even if the whole exercise seems to be just a matter of paper shuffling.
    Please can you ask the powers that be to reconsider?

  11. Comment by ANDY DYER posted on

    Can we now potentially withdraw part or all of any outstanding capital works within 2021 and 2022 mid and/or higher tier agreements on an individual parcel basis (including agreed extensions) and then re-apply for a new capital grant application in 2023 please?