Increased payments for Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS)
Hobbs Parker welcomes the recent announcement to increase payments for new and existing Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS)
DEFRA has announced that payment rates for many Countryside Stewardship revenue options will increase by up to 30%. This is for both existing and new agreements.
Historically, payment rates have not reflected the true loss of taking land out of production or restricting livestock numbers, which has resulted in low uptake of the schemes.
With the new announcement of the new rates and the declining BPS payment, farmers should now seriously consider the scheme to establish whether it would worthwhile applying this year.
Examples of new payment rates for options popular to our clients’ agreements include:
- GS2: Permanent grassland with very low inputs – £132 per ha;
- GS4: Legume and herb-rich swards – £358 per ha;
- AB1: Nectar flower mix – £579 per ha;
- AB8: Flower rich margins and plots – £628 per ha;
- SW1: 4-6m buffer strip on cultivated land – £419 per ha.
- GS10 – Managing grassland for wintering waders and wildfowl – £197/ha
For those farmers who have been sitting on the fence, now is the time to seriously consider a CSS scheme as the payment increases make the scheme a more viable proposition.
The CSS application window will open in February and we expect to see a significant increase in the number of farmers applying for the schemes. Please contact me to discuss a potential application further.
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