Farmers across England invited to join free programme of support

Nearly 1,500 farming families have taken part in the support programme since 2021
Nearly 1,500 farming families have taken part in the support programme since 2021

Farming families across England are being invited to join a free programme of support, offering advice on business and environmental management.

Now in its third year, the Royal Countryside Fund’s Farm for the Future programme is offering support virtually and in-person across 18 regions.

It aims to help farmers with numerous topics, including the change in subsidies from BPS payments to the UK's new support system.

Over 15 hours of training and one-to-one support is available for any English farm currently in receipt of BPS.

The workshops that form the Farm for the Future programme are tailored to the local groups.

The charity, which was founded by King Charles, says the programme has achieved impressive results, with 95% of participating farms saying they have increased confidence in their ability to plan for the future.

Nearly 1,500 farming families have taken part across England since 2021.

Andrew and Laura, who run a beef farm in Staffordshire, participated in the programme in 2022, calling it 'informative and engaging'.

As a result of the programme, they now claim Countryside Stewardship and are due to sign up to claim the management fee and the animal health and welfare grant.

It has also taught them more about the importance of looking after their soils and understanding the importance of the hedgerows.

Laura said: “The programme was fantastic and would absolutely recommend the programme to other farmers.

"Christina Hutchings, the coordinator of the online group, was fantastic in organising the workshops, and provided a lot of communication.”

Maddy Taylor, head of operations at the Royal Countryside Fund said Farm for the Future was "a proven source of trusted advice, delivered in an approachable, relatable way".

"The Royal Countryside Fund, as a charity, is able to give this advice entirely impartially, and we aim to provide ongoing support farmers long after the programme has ended.

"We’re working with an excellent network of local and regional farm support groups to deliver Farm for the Future, who have an in depth understanding of the issues facing farms in their local area.”