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Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship Agreement

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What is the Business Support?

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship provide financial incentives for farmers, foresters and land managers to support sustainable food production whilst looking after the environment by implementing measures that increase biodiversity, grow habitats, expand woodland areas, improve water quality and enhance natural flood management. 

In 2023 the RPA supplemented the existing online claim process for Countryside Stewardship with a more straightforward annual declaration option in cases where no changes are required.  

This will remain available in the Rural Payments service for 2024, with farmers able to generate and submit an automated revenue claim without needing to complete each section of the claim form.

Delinked payments

RPA would like to remind customers that those who wish to transfer some or all their ‘reference amount’ for delinked payments to another business must do so by 10 May 2024. For example, farmers may wish to do this if their business has split, merged with another business or been given a new Single Business Identifier since they were paid BPS 2020.

The RPA replaced the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England with delinked payments which will be paid each year from 2024 to 2027. The agency plan to make advance payments of around 50% from 1 August and the balance payments from 1 December. There is no need to apply for delinked payments.   

The amount you receive will decrease each year as progressive reductions are applied. It is calculated based on a ‘reference amount’ which will normally be the average of your BPS payments made for the 2020 to 2022 scheme years.

Any eligibility criteria

Farmers must submit an annual declaration or claim form for Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship before 15 May to receive payment for works carried out through the schemes in 2024. Any claims submitted after 15 May up to the final deadline of 2 September will have a late claim reduction applied to payments.

How to apply for the grant?

To find out more information about this please visit here.

Additional information

Closing Date: 02/09/2024

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