Last week, new statistics from the Department of Transport (DfT)…
The application window for 2024 Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier agreements has been extended until Friday 15th September to allow more time for people to submit their applications online, following direct feedback from farmers.
Countryside Stewardship plays a significant role in the Government’s efforts to make food production more resilient whilst contributing towards the UK’s environmental goals, such as biodiversity and water quality. By extending the application window, farmers can apply and be paid for environmental work alongside sustainable food production, from restoring wildlife habitats and managing woodlands, to mitigating flood risks.
The scheme is popular in the sector and has continually evolved following farmer feedback, with 32,000 agreements already successfully in place across England for 2023. This represents a 94% increase in uptake since 2020 – including nearly 26,000 Mid-Tier agreements – and additional investment has been put into online systems to increase capacity. This has supported a further high level of interest this year.
There have been some technical issues which have been experienced by a small number of some applicants when submitting their applications. These have now been resolved. The Rural Payment Agency has been working closely with affected applicants and agents to support applications, with actions taken to resolve issues as quickly as possible and systems put in place to assist farmers through the process.
Further improvements to the online system are already in train, including greater flexibility over when farmers can apply and how they manage their agreements.