Farmers are being encouraged to join a new programme which helps support and improve Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England.
Part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan, the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme runs from July 2021 until March 2024.
The programme offers funding to farmers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads.
The initiative is not an agri-environment scheme, but it will fund on-farm projects that support nature recovery and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
It will also provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage.
Roger Parry & Partners is encouraging farmers in protected landscape areas to consider applying for funding from the programme.
Amy Thomas, the firm's rural chartered surveyor said: “To be eligible for the funding your project must benefit the protected landscape, or the protected landscape body’s objectives or partnership initiatives.
"To apply you must manage all the land included in the application; have control of all the activities you’d like to do, or you must have written consent from all parties who have management and control of the land.
"We are encouraging all our farming clients that are eligible to consider applying for funding from the programme,” she added.
Farmers can get up to 100 percent of the costs of a project if they will not make a commercial gain from it, Ms Thomas explains.
If they do benefit commercially from the project, then the programme will fund a proportion of the costs.
The amount will depend on how much the project will benefit the business, she adds.
The programme will work alongside, not in competition with, Defra’s existing and new schemes to add value where it’s most needed.
The landowner can still get funding through the programme if they are in an agri-environment scheme, as long as they are not paid twice for the same work.
If the project is the same as a Countryside Stewardship activity, they will be paid the same as the Countryside Stewardship rate.
If the project is not the same as a Countryside Stewardship activity, the protected landscape team will offer funding on the estimated costs.