George Dodds and Co. had a hectic first half of 2016, working on Woodland Creation, Countryside Stewardship and the Basic Payment Scheme.
We have had numerous successful Higher Tier applications this year and we are currently working with Natural England to fine tune agreements, ensuring that they are offering the most environmental benefit while supporting the farm business.
National BPS mapping and entitlement anomalies are still being worked on by the RPA, hopefully the issues with 2015 claims, and the knock on effect on 2016 claims, will be rectified soon.
With the deadline for mid-tier applications being September 30th, we are currently organising option choices and gathering evidence for farmers across the region, (whilst trying not to get in the way of harvest!) Applications must be ordered by the end of August so if you are interested please get in touch as soon as possible.
Brexit has triggered a lot of questions regarding agri-environment schemes; DEFRA has not released any information and neither Natural England nor the Forestry Commission can give any guidance on what the future holds. We have been told that deadlines will not be extended, consequently we must operate as normal to ensure applications and agreements are ready on time.
The long-term vegetation monitoring continues to provide a welcome break form office work, even if we have occasionally found ourselves in bracken beds over head height, working in clouds of midges over blanket bog and being caught out in some unexpected autumnal conditions!