Applications for Mid Tier opened on 11 February and close on 31 July 2020.
What is Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier (MT)?
It provides a range of options and capital items that together help to deliver a broad range of environmental benefits. The main priorities are to protect and enhance the natural environment, in particular the diversity of wildlife and water quality.
The Mid Tier is competitive (except for the Wildlife Offers) with funding awarded to those who will make the biggest environmental improvements in their local area and demonstrate the best value for money.
Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier offers:
- management options: these are multi-year grants with payments made every year for 5 years
- capital items: a range of 2 year grants for specific capital works and water capital only grants. Work must be completed within 2 years.
What are the benefits?
The Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier management options and capital items provide the following benefits.
Wildlife and nature – restoring habitats, providing food and nesting places, creating areas for rare flowering plants and managing hedges.
Water/flooding – making water cleaner and reducing the risk of flooding by encouraging changes to farming practice and improving farm infrastructure.
Pollinators – ensuring the right resources for the wild pollinators where they are needed most.
Other priorities – historic environment, landscape character, genetic conservation, educational access and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Am I eligible?
- you must be registered in the Rural Payments service
- your land must be registered in the Rural Payments service and linked to your Single Business Identifier (SBI) before you start your application
Your land must be one of the following:
- – arable land, permanent grassland or permanent crops
- – Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- – Special Area of Conservation (SAC), including proposed SACs
- – Special Protection Area (SPA) including proposed SPAs
- – Ramsar site
- – a terrestrial Priority Habitat
- – land that supports a Priority Species.There is no minimum area that you must enter into the scheme, although there are minimum areas for individual management options and capital items.You must have full management control of the land for the full period of the agreement, or have your application countersigned by the land owner
Land is not eligible if it is:
- common land
- an area (1ha or more) of permanent standing or running water
- already used in another scheme or obligation that is incompatible with Countryside Stewardship developed land and hard standing, this includes permanent caravan sites and areas used for permanent storage.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- traditional farm buildings that are eligible for grants under Countryside Stewardship
- yards, tracks and farm buildings proposed for management through Countryside Stewardship capital items.
What can I apply for?
There are several different multi-year options and capital items that you can apply for under Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier.
To work out what is best for you and your business, use the Countryside Stewardship: grants information on GOV.UK. Search for ‘Countryside Stewardship grants’ at www.gov.uk.
This gives a description of each option or capital item, its eligibility requirements and what you need to do. It also gives the payment rate for each option.
How do I apply?
Request an application pack from 11 February 2020 by signing into the Rural Payments service at www.ruralpayments.service.gov.uk. If you need help with your application please contact a project advisor at the DR Company who will be happy to help. [email protected]
Once you receive your application pack, it is your responsibility to complete it fully and accurately and submit it by 31 July 2020.
For more information, search for ‘Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier’ on GOV.UK
What else is available under Countryside Stewardship?
The other main parts of the Countryside Stewardship scheme are:
- The 4 Wildlife Offers – part of Mid Tier, providing funding through
a simpler set of options to help farmers improve the wildlife on their farm, increase year round habitats and help pollinators to thrive.
The offers have been designed to help farmers choose the right options for their farmland and make it easier and simpler to apply for a Countryside Stewardship agreement. The offers are:
- – Arable Offer
- – Lowland Grazing Offer
- – Mixed Farming Offer
- – Upland Offer
- Higher Tier – is for land that requires more complex management tailored to the individual site
- Capital Grants – a range of 2 year grants including Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant, Woodland Management Plans, Woodland Creation Grant and Woodland Tree Health Grant.