Hectares

View across Beam Parklands
Students from Birmingham City College visit the farm
Cuerden Hall surrounded by gardens and fields
Image 1: Beam Parklands © The Land Trust;
Image 2: Visit by students from Birmingham City College © Wyre Community Land Trust;
Image 3: Cuerden Hall © Cuerden Valley Park Trust;
Statutory Environmental Funding
Statutory Environmental Funding

Overview

Statutory environmental (or agri-environment) funding incentivises landowners to sustainably manage their environment. Landowners receive revenue and capital grant funding in order to manage their land to an agreed standard.  Statutory environmental funding tends (although not exclusively) to be targeted toward farms and extensively managed sites.  Statutory environmental funding has a number of objectives including:

  • Wildlife conservation;
  • Flood management;
  • Protection of water and soil;
  • Protection of historic sites; and
  • Provide public access to the countryside.

Eligibility for grants is dependent on the registration of the land with the Rural Land Registry and the environmental management options that can be provided by your site.  Management options include:

  • Maintaining woodland
  • Historical orchard maintenance and creation
  • Maintaining and creating species rich grassland
  • Maintenance and creation of ponds
  • Developing and maintaining buffer strips for flora and fauna
  • Bird seed and nectar bearing crops
  • Maintaining in-field trees
  • Hedgerow maintenance
  • Dry stone walling

In some cases, capital funding may be available for items including: Fencing, dyke reprofiling, tree surgery and wetland and heathland restoration projects.

Statutory environmental funding is administered differently in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, Natural England administers two different schemes for environmental stewardship.  Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is open to all landowners in England and is intended to support effective land management.  The ELS also includes discrete strands for organic farming and for upland hill farming.  These are five year agreements between Natural England and the land owner.  The Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) involves more complex types of management and agreements are tor ten years. Before a land owner can apply for Environmental Stewardship the land must be registered in the Rural Payment Agency’s (RPA) Rural Land Register (RLR).

The Scottish agri-environmental schemes are not open to new applicants.  The schemes are funded by the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

In Wales the current agri-environmental scheme is called Glastir.  It is a five year scheme to combat climate change, improve water management and maintain and enhance biodiversity.

Northern Ireland currently has two agri-environment schemes administered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  The Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS) and Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) both aim to enhance the environment.

The full details and eligibility criteria for the statutory environmental schemes are on the relevant agencies website. 

Questions to Consider

The Land is suitable for
Does your site have agricultural uses, is it extensively managed?

The Land is suitable for
Does your site have significant environmental value? (e.g. is it a designated site?)

The Land is suitable for
Is the management of the site consistent with Agri-environment objectives?

Pros and Cons

The Land is suitable for
Can receive funding for land management that you would be doing anyway.

The Land is suitable for
Provides clarity and guidance on the best way to manage your land.

The Land is suitable for
Tied into a particular type of land management for a set period of time.
The Land is suitable for
More geared to extensively managed and designated sites rather than formal parks.

Case Studies

Beam Parklands

Beam Parklands

Beam Parklands is a 53 hectare site which provides functional flood prevention and public open space for the community. The site is a floodplain of...

View Case Study >
Cuerden Valley Park

Cuerden Valley Park

Cuerden Valley Park is in rural Lancashire.  It was established in 1986 by the Commission for New Towns.  In 1992 it was handed over to C...

View Case Study >
Langdon Lake and Meadow

Langdon Lake and Meadow

Langdon Lake and Meadows is a 16 hectare site that was formally agricultural land.  The site includes woodland, grass and scrub land and a lak...

View Case Study >
Wyre Community Land Trust

Wyre Community Land Trust

The Wyre Community Land Trust brings together landowners, volunteers and funders to protect and restore the landscape of the Wyre.