Average payment increase of 48 percent for CSS capital payments
Defra confirms significant increases in grants and payments relating to Countryside Stewardship Scheme
Last weeks’ announcement on the changes to the capital items and revenue payments for Countryside Stewardship is great news for farmers and landowners looking to apply for capital grants and stewardship schemes on their land this year.
Almost all capital items have been increased to higher value rates, meaning it is more attractive than ever to take up the grants on offer. On average rates are up by 48% meaning grant rates are much more reflective of actual costs than previously.
In three groups of the scheme (Water Quality, Air Quality and Boundaries), almost all grant rates have been increased whilst there has been an addition of a fourth group offering funding for Natural Flood Management. The £20,000 per cap per group remains for stand alone capital grants whilst this is higher within full Mid Tier or Higher Tier Agreements.
For example, the capital grant rate for planting new hedges, has increased from £11.60 to £22.97 whilst stone wall restoration has increased from £25.00 to £31.91. Yard items to increase water quality such as roofing (manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores has increased from £62.00/sqm up to £72.50/sqm.
This is good news for the industry. This the first time capital items have been increased since the scheme was introduced, and payments have not up until this time kept pace with inflation and the rising costs of materials.
Click here to see the full list of increased capital payment rates.
Disappointingly, the capital grant increases are only for agreements applied for after 5 Jan and will not apply to any existing agreements or new agreements for which the application was already made. Those unsettled by this and who are considering re-submitting applications should take specific advice in relation to their application as there may be different answers and responses for each scheme.
Organisations such as the CAAV have pressed the RPA for further clarity and it has been confirmed that the capital grant increases are only for agreements applied for AFTER the 5th.
Increases in revenue payments will apply to all Countryside Stewardship agreements
Agreements are increasingly attractive and can provide a good source of income to bridge some of the income gap when the Basic Payment Scheme ends later this year, and entering into a CS agreement will not stop entry into future environmental agreements if this is seen to be more advantageous when further details are released.
Both new and existing CS revenue agreement holders will benefit from payment increases of 10% on average, backdated to 1 January 2023.
Click here to see the full list of the increased revenue payment rates.
Revenue rates will remain the same for those in Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements.
Anyone wishing to receive further details about these schemes and the recent changes can contact any of our land agency offices: