2016 appears to have got off to a slow start with last year’s re-mapping still to be completed by the RLR, many farmers continuing to wait for their BPS payments, and Natural England, in many cases, are yet to officially offer CSS agreements to those who applied last year. The incessant rain hasn’t been much fun either…
Things can only get better!
The RPA have announced that they expect BPS to be back online for this year’s applications and Countryside Stewardship will be open for applications again this summer. Full details are yet to be released but Higher Tier Expression of Interest forms are likely to be required in advance of the application window.
If you want to apply for a capital grant to create woodland you will need to submit an initial application to Natural England between February 16th and 31st March 2016; if you are planning to create a woodland over 30 ha applications for the Woodland Creation Planning Grant are welcome up until February 15th 2016.
Anyone wanting to apply for woodland management options must have a Forestry Commission approved Management Plan already in place; new Management Plans for woodland over 10ha can be funded and applications for those are open all year round.
Please get in touch if you would like any assistance with existing schemes, BPS or the new CSS.