The end of summer saw us working with clients to submit mid-tier CSS applications and higher-tier negotiation schedules by the 30th September deadline; a last minute warning to submit Woodland Management Plan funding bids by the same date was also issued by the Forestry Commission, such bids have previously been open all year round.
Any Countryside Stewardship Schemes agreed in principal by the Autumn Statement should have their agreements honoured; we are yet to hear what is in store for applicants beyond 2016.
When applicants receive their agreement offers they must double check the whole document prior to signing the declaration, changes cannot be made later.
The 2015 BPS fiasco appears to be finally getting resolved, many of our clients have received reimbursements for incorrect payments, and in most cases the amounts have been correct. The online land viewer is still being updated in response to RLE1 forms submitted earlier in the year, however please be aware that it does not always state when changes are still pending on land parcels.
Admin jobs for the autumn/winter:
- Existing agreement holders – ensure that your records are up to date (e.g. stock records, field operation records, capital works completed and photographed etc)
- 2016 CSS applicants – thoroughly check over agreement documents before signing
- 2017 CSS applicants – woodland creation and management – deadlines likely to be in Spring 2017. Woodland improvement requires existing FC approved Woodland Management Plan.
- BPS – check that your 2015 BPS payment shortfalls have been reimbursed correctly, when 2016 claims are paid check they are as expected
If you require assistance with any of the above, or would like advice on anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.