New grant scheme targets AONBs and National Parks
As part of its new Agricultural Transition Plan, Defra has just launched a new grant scheme called the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, aimed at those farming in AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or National Parks.
The scheme is for one-off projects which:
- support nature recovery
- mitigate the impacts of climate change
- provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
- support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
For example, the scheme might fund:
- promoting connectivity between habitats
- replacing stiles with gates on public footpaths, to promote easier access
- conserving historic features on a farm, such as lime kilns or lead mining heritage
- supporting a locally branded food initiative that promotes the links between the product and the landscape in which it is produced
- action to reduce carbon emissions on a farm
- gathering data and evidence to help inform conservation and farming practice.
The programme sits alongside the three upcoming ELMS schemes. If you are in an existing agri-environment scheme, you can still get funding as long as you are not being paid twice for the same work. Applications opened on 1st July 2021 and run until 31st January 2022, and projects must end by March 2024. Assessment panels are expected to meet to make decisions every 6-8 weeks.
The percentage of project costs that would be funded depends on the degree to which the applicant would benefit commercially from it. On projects where there is no commercial gain for the applicant, up to 100% of project costs could be funded.
If you have a one-off project in mind and would like assistance in navigating the process, you can contact us here.
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