Farmers and land managers have the opportunity to share their views on the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme which is due to be fully rolled out by the end of 2024, replacing the schemes currently available under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The scheme to include three ‘tiers’ of entry, will enable anyone from any farm or land type to participate at the right level.
Tier one encourages farmers to adopt environmentally sustainable farming and forestry practices. In tier two the focus will be on delivering locally-targeted environmental outcomes. The third tier will pay for larger-scale, transformational projects – such as restoring peatland.
Under the ELM scheme, farmers will be paid for work that enhances the environment, such as tree or hedge planting, river management to mitigate flooding, or creating or restoring habitats for wildlife. Farmers will therefore be at the forefront of reversing environmental declines and tackling climate change as they reshape the future of farming in the 21st century.
Farmers and land managers will have 10 weeks to have their say on the details of the new scheme, with government capturing their knowledge and experience. (Due to COVID19, this has been postponed – see statement below.). This will be supported with a number of regional events across the country for knowledge sharing between farmers, land managers and foresters and Defra officials designing the scheme.
The government has published a future farming policy update. This sets out how future policies will be designed to ensure increased productivity goes hand in hand with environmental initiatives, with further detail on issues including:
- Productivity: From 2021, new government grants will help farmers to invest in equipment and technology which will help them to increase their productivity and deliver environmental benefits.
- Research & Development: From 2022, Defra will support research and development projects to help our farming industry benefit from innovation, enabling farmers to produce food more efficiently and sustainably with lower emissions.
- Animal Health and Welfare: A new deal will be struck between government and farmers to promote the production of healthier, higher welfare animals, with publicly-funded schemes available for farmers to deliver animal health and welfare enhancements which go beyond regulatory requirements and which are valued by the public but not sufficiently provided for by the market.
HAVE YOUR SAY (Postponed):
Statement from DEFRA: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, and the concerns expressed by our stakeholders, we are pausing the ELM Policy Discussion Document. This means that for a temporary period of time, while the country is focused on tackling COVID-19, we will not be accepting any new responses to the Policy Discussion Document. We will reopen the Policy Discussion Document once it is feasible to do so giving everyone the opportunity to respond. If you have already submitted a response, your response is still valid and will be analysed along with all other responses received. During the pause we will not be actively engaging on the Policy Discussion Document. We remain committed to ELM being a scheme co-designed with and for farmers, foresters and other land managers. We will look to resume the discussion and hold the planned regional events as soon as it is possible to do so. To receive updates and news about ELM and the Policy Discussion Document sign up to Defra e-alerts.