New Farm Schemes, Feb 2022
Now that we are well into the new calendar year, whilst the real detail is still missing, there is at least some more clarity from DEFRA on the new schemes that will become available to Farms as BPS payments are phased out over the next few years (chart).
The emphasis of farm payments will shift from BPS to the 'Environmental & Animal Welfare Outcomes', comprising 3 schemes, all focussed on enhancing environmental sustainability and all focussed on contributing to the Government's Net Zero carbon targets.
Sustainable Farming Incentive – pays farmers to produce public goods such as water quality, biodiversity, animal health & welfare and climate change mitigation, alongside food production. These public goods are essential to meeting the Government 25 Year Environment Plan, Net Zero and Animal Health and Welfare ambitions. SFI initially (this year) is focused on improving soils together with annual livestock health and welfare reviews.
Local Nature Recovery – billed as the successor to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, paying for locally-targeted actions to make space for nature in the farmed landscape and wider countryside. This could include managing and creating habitats, adding trees to fields or hedgerows, or restoring peat or wetland areas. More details on options available will be made during 2022.
Landscape Recovery – a scheme for landowners who want to take a more radical and large-scale approach to producing environmental and climate goods on their land. Initial pilot projects will be focus on recovering and restoring England’s threatened native species, and on restoring England’s streams and rivers. Pilot projects will be established in at least two rounds over the next 2 years.