12th September 2022

Countryside Stewardship Scheme Update

Significant improvements have been made to the scheme to make it simpler for farmers and land managers to apply.

Paperwork for the new offers is quicker and easier to get through, due to streamlined evidence checks and shorter application forms designed to help save farmers’ valuable time.

The scheme is also non-competitive, meaning that all farmers who meet the eligibility requirements can get an agreement to deliver as few as 3 options, or as many as 7 up to 14, depending on the offer applied for.

The four new offers are:

• Online Arable
• Lowland Grazing
• Upland
• Mixed Farming

Options for farmers coming out of existing schemes

If you are leaving an existing ELS or HLS scheme, the best way forward is to apply for one of the 4 offers. The secret is to keep it simple and choose environmental options and areas of land that work for you.

Reed Bunting on wire

A few options we feel are effective and easy to establish are listed below:

Crops to Support Pollinators

CSS Options AB1 and AB8

Bee mixture: (easy to establish) a prolific flowering mixture aimed at attracting bumblebees. Contains Phacelia, Red Clover, Alsike Clover, Sainfoin and Birdsfoot Trefoil.

EF4 seeds mixture: (grass free) contains 4 key nectar rich plants (Alsike, Red Clover, Sainfoin and Birdsfoot Trefoil) for both pollinators and natural predators.

Farmland Birds

CSS Options AB9

Jack Russell seeds mixture: (weed control friendly) supplying a fantastic feed source for one year. This mixture is also herbicide tolerant and contains Spring Triticale, Grain Sorghum, Millets and Large Headed Sunflower.

Grassland Creation

CSS Option GS4

EK 21 Seeds mixture: (Spring or autumn sown) Ideal for creating legumes and herb rich swards, perfect for pollinators and invertebrate’s habitats.

Grass Buffers and Field Margins

CSS Option SW1

CFE Field Margin seeds mixture: (perfect for field surrounds & buffers) designed in conjunction with the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, this mixture contains 13 varied species of grass and native wild flowers to create fantastic habitats for pollinators and nesting areas for farmland birds.

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