Many thanks for contacting me about environmental land management schemes.
As part of the Agricultural Transition Plan, I am aware that the Government is introducing three agricultural schemes to replace the arbitrary land-based subsidies we retained from the EU. The Government is introducing policies that work for farm businesses, food production and the environment, including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. I understand that Ministers aim for at least 70 per cent of farms to participate in these schemes, by making sure that all farm types can access the funding and support that works for them.
The Sustainable Farming Incentive will support sustainable approaches to farming that will benefit the environment alongside food production. This year, the initial offer is focused on soils, supporting farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil and to reduce soil erosion which are essential for sustainable food production. This will help to bolster food security and the longer term resilience of the sector. This scheme is now open for applications via the Rural Payments Agency.
Local Nature Recovery will pay for locally-targeted actions to make space for nature in the farmed landscape and the wider countryside, alongside food production. I am aware that these could be done, for example, on parts of farms that are not suitable for production, less productive or difficult to work. I understand that this scheme is expected to be rolled out in 2024.
Finally, the Landscape Recovery scheme will support long-term, significant habitat restoration and land use change which will be essential for the UK’s climate ambitions. The application process for the first round of Landscape Recovery projects launched earlier this year and I understand that there have been positive applications from a range of partnerships, including farmers.
I look forward to reading more about these schemes as more details are announced in the coming months. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
27 September 2022