What Is a Countryside Stewardship Agreement

CS is a highly valued and important program and we remain committed to implementing it with the planning of new environmental land programs as part of the Transitional Agricultural Plan. We know that farmers play such an important role and that these applications will help to take care of the environment and improve it in many ways. This includes preserving and restoring wildlife habitats, preserving historic landscape features, managing flood risks, and promoting access to education. We are grateful to be able to work with our clients to deliver the CS program. 2023 will be the last year to request agreements (from 2024), and by then we will have the new environmental land management programs as an alternative. In order to streamline the process, the CS system has been adapted so that farmers benefit from the new agricultural policy once it is fully implemented by the current conclusion of the SC Agreement. The program is now also managed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which has worked with the agricultural industry to improve the process and provide online access. Farmers and land managers across the UK are encouraged to apply for Campaign Management Agreements (CSAs) to protect and enhance the natural environment. The CS will eventually be replaced by the new environmental land management system and, by reaching an agreement, farmers will be in the best position to benefit from the new agricultural policy once it is fully implemented in 2024. We do not expect the management options offered by the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) to differ significantly from existing systems.

Therefore, we recommend that farmers think carefully about what they want to do now in terms of agri-environmental options before signing a mirror agreement. 2023 will be the last year in which you can apply for agreements (from 2024) with a duration of 5 years, which means that in the next few years you will have the choice of the program you want to participate in before fully moving on to the new environmental agriculture programs. The Countryside Stewardship Scheme was closed in 2004 with the introduction of the Environmental Stewardship (England) Scheme for new applications. Existing agreements will continue to be respected; The last agreements expire in 2014. The program is currently run by Natural England staff. Previously, Defra had offered one-year extensions as CS agreements expired to manage land organically without farmers having to submit a brand new CSS application. Mirror agreements are offered to farmers whose agreements started in 2016 and were extended by one year in 2021 or started in 2017 and are due to expire on 31 December 2021. Following customer feedback, the Rural Payments Agency continued to build on system simplifications and introduced more functionalities to facilitate online application, simplified mid-level options to make them more understandable and changed the focus of campaign management inspections for national agreements to support the achievement of environmental outcomes, offer advice and allow things to be done in smaller areas without additional penalties. be corrected or paid. Providing the capital offering to holders of Higher Level Stewardship Agreements (SLAs) when options are compatible with campaign stewardship helps protect and enhance our landscape.

The programme will continue to be open to new applicants until 2023 (for agreements from 2024) as we develop and roll out our new environmental agriculture programmes. CS is an opportunity to participate in an agri-environmental program that rewards farmers and land managers for their important work in protecting our landscape and improving the environment for generations to come. We have worked hard to simplify the application and management of SCCs, which has improved the number of farmers entering into agreements from year to year. I urge everyone to fill out their application quickly and make sure they don`t leave things until the last minute. The program aims to promote and support efforts to conserve or restore wildlife habitats, manage flood risks, create and manage forests, reduce water pollution from agriculture, maintain rural character, preserve historical features, and improve access to education. If you have been approached about a CSS mirror agreement and would like to know if this is the right approach for you, please contact Jonathan Armitage, Head of Agriculture at Strutt & Parker. Farmers with an existing agreement on the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) that expires at the end of 2021 may have received a letter asking them to apply for a new five-year „mirror agreement“. All this is very good for those who were not in CSS and who are now asked to participate in the program, a good development.

This is not the case; However, deal with those who are already in CSS agreements and seem to be prevented from offering extra space for CSS in the same exploitation – and also cannot apply new options under SFI to land that is already in a CSS. None of these limitations make sense when measured by the intent of ELMS or CSS. In 2005, there were 16,636 contract holders with 531,280 hectares of land. [1] In its first form, introduced in 1991 by the Countryside Commission as a five-year pilot project, the programme aimed to improve the ecological value of farmland throughout England. .

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