Applications for the next round of Mid-Tier and Higher-Tier Countryside Stewardship grants were opened by Natural England on March 10.
The Mid-Tier of Countryside Stewardship offers five-year agreements for environmental improvements in the wider countryside, such as reducing diffuse water pollution or improving the environment for birds, pollinators and farm wildlife.
Higher-Tier focuses on environmentally important sites, including commons and woodlands, where more complex management requires support from Natural England or the Forestry Commission, including tailoring of options.
The grants will be offered to those who can make the best environmental improvements in their local area.
Following complaints about the complexity of making applications, Natural England has made improvements to the process such as simplifying evidence requirements for claims.
David Morley, head of conservation and environment at H&H Land and Property, said: “Natural England is offering to support applicants through the process, but experience suggests they have limited resources to do so fully.
“It is important for applicants to be sure what is proposed will fit with their farming system. We think having independent advice is critical in securing an agreement which will work for you.”
Application packs can be requested from Natural England by calling 0300 060 3900.
Higher Tier application packs need to be requested by April 13, with initial applications submitted by May 5.
For Mid Tier, 31 July is the deadline for requesting application packs and submissions must be made by September 30.
For more information, including guidance material, visit the Countryside Stewardship page.