Sunday, December 4, 2022

New round of Countryside Stewardship funding opens for farmers

The seventh round of the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund is now open, and will remain so until 25 January 2023, paving the way for incentivised farming practices alongside profitable food production, says the Government.

The fund supports the delivery of the Governments 25 Year Environmental Plan and is a part of Defra’s plans for a renewed agricultural sector.

The £2.5 million fund aims to help groups of farmers in England improve the natural environment at a landscape scale by facilitating knowledge sharing to protect and enhance the local environment, in line with a regions local Countryside Stewardship priorities.

The fund enables groups of farmers and landowners in England to work together to:

  • Improve the natural environment at a landscape, rather than single-farm, scale
  • Achieve greater improvements than individual holdings could on their own

It facilitates knowledge sharing by helping facilitators to provide advice and share expertise with groups of farmers and land managers focusing on:

  • air quality (by reducing the emission of damaging air pollutants, such as ammonia)
  • increasing biodiversity and supporting priority species (new for 2024)
  • advice to manage beaver activity on sites where they are already present
  • water management

There have been six previous rounds of the CSFF, benefiting 180 groups with over 4,000 members. This round of funding is expected to benefit more than 40 further groups.

During 2021-2022, the CSFF offered £3 million for collaborative groups working to deliver agri-environmental priorities with 45 applications received.

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