This month farmers in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being invited to one of five meetings being held at what’s said to be the ‘crux moment’ of the government’s seven-year agricultural transition in England.
Advisers from the National Park Authority’s farm conservation team will be on hand in Hawes, Reeth, Orton, Sedbergh and Settle to explain how this summer farmers will be able, for the first time, to submit a combined application for Countryside Stewardship and the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the government’s post-Brexit farm payment schemes.
Farmers in the uplands will be eligible for new payments for moorland management, as well as for keeping up dry stone walls and a greatly increased payment rate for managing grassland as species-rich hay meadow.
Member Champion for the Natural Environment at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Mark Corner said: “As well as being at its mid-point, the Government’s seven-year agricultural transition has reached its crux moment. The Basic Payment Scheme is now closed, while the new combined Sustainable Farming Incentive /Countryside Stewardship offer is about to open for all. This means that in the next few months people farming in the National Park may have some big decisions to make on how they wish to farm, and which options and payments they wish to pursue, in order to sustain a viable business.
“We are particularly keen to support people to get the new payment for species rich traditional hay meadows. Now there will be a more appropriate payment – of £646 per hectare, plus a £187 per hectare hay making supplement – to reflect the increased management needed to nurture an upland hay meadows.
“Our farm conservation team is likely to be in demand during this period, so booking a place at one of the free meetings is highly recommended.”
The evening meetings are scheduled as follows:
- Mon 5 Feb, 7-9pm Hawes Market House,
- Weds 7 Feb, 7-9pm Reeth Memorial Hall
- Mon 12 Feb, 7-9pm Orton Market Hall, CA10 3RU
- Fri 16 Feb, 7-9pm Sedbergh Peoples Hall
- Tue 27 Feb, 7-9pm North Ribblesdale Rugby Club, Settle