Natural England has announced that the next round of Countryside Stewardship will open on 14 March 2016.
Countryside Stewardship is a competitive scheme, with £900 million of new funding going towards projects to restore habitats, improve water quality and woodland, reduce flood risk, protect landscapes, and provides year-round food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
The new window extends from 14 March until 30 September 2016.
New and improved guidance material will be available in mid-March, including an online option selection tool, which makes it easier for applicants to choose the right high scoring options for their applications.
Cary Studley of Rostons said “The uptake of claimants wishing to enter into the Countryside Stewardship in 2015 was considerably lower than Natural England expected. There are a number of stipulations required and Natural England are requesting more information from applicants, this includes soil samples, drainage plans and photos for certain options. Hopefully future applications will be simpler, however the information required is unlikely to decrease. Due to the scheme being competitive, some potential claimants are put off from submitting a claim”.
For further information contact the Rostons office on 01829 773000