£20,000 Grant Ceiling Removed on Countryside Stewardship Grants

£20,000 ceiling removed on Countryside Stewardship grants

© MAG/Steve Behan

After successful lobbying by the farming industry, Defra has removed a £20,000 upper limit for standalone capital grants under the Countryside Stewardship scheme for English farmers.

The funding cap will no longer be in place for capital items relating to trees, boundaries, air and water quality, and flood management.

A Defra statement said: “There is no limit on either the maximum amount for any application or the amount you can apply for in each of the four groups.”

See also: Defra U-turn on Countryside Stewardship payments to benefit thousands

Each application will be assessed for value for money, according to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, and any approved work should be completed within three years.

Industry support

TFA farm policy adviser Lynette Steel welcomed the decision by Defra to remove the grant ceiling.

Ms Steel said: “All future farm schemes must be designed to appeal to as many farmers as possible, so available funding is utilised.”

NFU vice-president David Exwood said: “I am delighted that successful NFU lobbying has helped secure the removal of the £20,000 funding limits for capital grant groupings.

“This will help address any concerns with our members that the payment rate increases would result in less delivery on the ground.”