Hedgerow and boundary grant scheme open for applications

The new hedgerow and boundary grant scheme within Countryside Stewardship is now open for applications. The scheme offers an opportunity for farmers to carry on positive environmental work outside of a multi-annual stewardship agreement, particularly for those that have come out of Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and not been able to access Countryside Stewardship.

The hedgerows and boundaries capital grant opened for applications on 1 February 2016 and it closes on 30 April 2016. It offers up to £5,000 of funding, with a minimum of £1,000 for farmers who want to restore boundary features, such as hedges and stone walls, to protect their local wildlife or landscape. Farmers who want to carry out more extensive boundary improvements can apply for these capital funds as part of a mid or higher tier application for 2017.

Stuart Nicholls from Savills in Haywards Heath is undertaking applications on behalf of farmers and landowners across the South East who could be eligible for all capital items that are on offer allowing farmers to select the appropriate options in creating an application bespoke to their farm.

Stuart said: “This is a competitive scheme but very worthwhile, offering the farmer or landowner the opportunity to obtain funding for both establishment and maintenance of hedgerows, while also potentially helping give them an edge on applying for future competitive schemes.”

To be eligible to apply the farm must not have an Environmental Stewardship, multi-year Countryside Stewardship or English Woodland Grant Scheme agreement as at 1 July 2016. It is a competitive scheme with applications being scored against each other, a requirement of EU Regulations. It is not geographically targeted. If your application is successful you should find out from July 2016. Agreements will run for a maximum of two years.

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