Mid-Tier is aimed at delivering environmental gains at a landscape scale across the wider countryside through 5-year agreements. Applications can include a 2-year Capital Grants programme for hedge or wall restoration and, if in a target area for water quality, water capital items, such as roofing middens and silage pits. In a significant change from previous years, Mid-Tier agreement holders will be able to apply for another 2-year capital grant programme once their initial programme is complete and claimed for.
For the first time, in 2022, it will be possible to apply for Mid-Tier online. Farm Environment Record and Options Maps will still need to be completed separately and e-mailed to the RPA. Applicants can alternatively download a full application pack from the RPA website, if they prefer.
Although some have reduced, the payment rates for many Mid-Tier options have improved. So, if you have previously ruled out Mid-Tier due to low payment rates, it may be worth another look to see if it is now viable. Other changes for 2022 include that option SW8 (Intensive Grassland Management next to Watercourses) can now be applied for in the uplands (SDA land).
For a Mid-Tier agreement to start on 1st January 2023, the application window runs until 29th July 2022. If CSFO endorsement is needed for water capital items, all the necessary evidence must be provided to them by 20th May.
With so many options and capital items available within Mid-Tier, taking professional advice is essential as it is not always straightforward deciding which is the best way to go. Here at H&H Land & Estates we have submitted over 250 successful Countryside Stewardship applications in the last six years.