Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Landscape Recovery (LR)
DEFRA has published further information on the two remaining aspects of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme
These recent announcements focus on Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Landscape Recovery (LR), together with some good news in respect of Countryside Stewardship revenue payments.
I have summarised the main elements of the announcement below:
Local Nature Recovery
- An improved and more ambitious successor to Countryside Stewardship
- Will pay for locally targeted actions to make space for nature in the farmed landscape and wider countryside, working alongside food production.
- The scheme will cover some land management options that are equivalent to Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier offers, as well as more tailored options on sensitive sites; such as managing, restoring, and creating grassland habitats and managing feeding, shelter, and breeding areas for wildlife on arable farms and wetlands.
- Local Nature Recovery Agreements will cover multiple years, with the length dependent on the activities undertaken. There will be flexibility to add more options to an agreement over time.
- Detailed scheme information will be produced later in 2022 with an early version of the scheme available to a limited number of applicants in 2023 and full rollout from 2024.
- The scheme is designed to complement the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) allowing farmers to enter into both schemes provided the same actions are not rewarded twice.
- Applicants will be supported and rewarded for collaboration.
- Will pay applicants to take a more radical and large-scale approach to produce environmental and climate outcomes.
- The scheme will focus on biodiversity, water quality, and net-zero over a long period and fund substantial changes to land use and habitats.
- Larger scale projects: 500 – 5,000 hectares.
- Will support land-use change and habitat and ecosystem restoration.
- The first round of projects will focus on recovering and restoring threatened native species and restoring rivers and streams.
- Applications for pilot projects will open in 2 rounds over the next 2 years.
Whilst few private landowners will benefit from the large-scale LR schemes I'm expecting to see significant interest in the LNR schemes, especially on more marginal land.
Countryside Stewardship remains open until 2024 and DEFRA have reviewed the revenue payments, increasing these by an average of 30% to reflect changes in agricultural market rates. The increases will apply to new and existing agreement holders with effect from January 2022.
The new payment rates can be found here.
The LNR and LR schemes are in the early stages of development but if you are interested in any additional information or would like advice about how these future schemes could impact your business, then please contact me.
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