An Exciting Few Weeks for the South Lakes Land Agency Team

It has been a very exciting couple of weeks for the South Lakes Land Agency team at H&H Land & Estates, starting with the move to new office premises in Cumbria Tourism’s Business Centre in Staveley. 

We have also welcomed back Mark Barrow who joins as a Director after three years away from the business and who brings a wealth of experience and a new drive to the start of a new chapter in our development.

Typically, the weather has come good as children go back to school, but it created a very welcome window for farmers looking to complete harvest. Fingers crossed the weather will be kind for the Westmorland Show this week.

No doubt one of the hot topics at the Show will be the new environmental schemes. Farmers are increasingly exploring alternative income streams and sustainable practices to enhance the overall value of their holdings, and ensure their businesses are fit for a future without subsidies.  

Many readers will be aware of the changes that the RPA and Defra have made to the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) over the past few months, but keeping fully up to speed in this shifting landscape is a challenge.

The 2023 offer does seem positive, offering more options for applicants to choose which are less prescriptive, enabling farmers to deliver actions in a way which best suits their own unique situation.  There is no application deadline, and payment for delivery of options will be quarterly, which will help with cash flow.

SFI may also prove more suitable than Countryside Stewardship for some as the application process is less onerous and agreements are for three years, which is especially appealing for tenant farmers.  But for those wanting to apply for Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship there is still time, as the deadline was unexpectedly extended to 15th September.

The H&H team and I are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Westmorland Show.