There are several grant schemes currently available which may be of interest to farmers, namely Leader programmes, Countryside Stewardship and Countryside Productivity, although there may also be other schemes available, depending on the farms location. Training vouchers and Young Farmers Support are also available via Farmer Network.

If you are considering any of the above, then you must ensure you are comfortable with the scheme rules.

Countryside Stewardship

Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier, Woodland Grants and Hedgerow & Boundaries Schemes. Mid- Tier now includes Water Capital grants, which now includes flood management features. For Flood Management, you need to be recommended for a grant by your Natural England project officer, and are capped at £10,000, but include grants for concreting yards, livestock tracks, roofing FYM stores, riverbank fencing and more. Higher-Tier covers environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands. Contact your Natural England project officer for any help & guidance as to what you may qualify for. Woodland Grants scheme is perhaps as generous as it has been for many years. Woodland Creation is a 2 year capital works scheme to cover the capital cost of planting and maintenance for 10 years. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2018. There are minimum areas for creation, and if you are interested, you should engage a woodland consultant/land agent in the first instance to ensure your land is suitable for planting and access. Woodland Management grants are alos available if you already have a forest. Again, consult a woodland land agent if you want to know more.

Hedgerow & Boundaries Scheme

As the name suggests, this is for hedgerows and boundaries, including watercourse banks and stonewall restoration. This grant is limited to £5,000, but could be of benefit to farmers who are already considering boundary repairs over the coming months, in particular when the traditional hedge laying season is nearly upon us.

Countryside Productivity

Water Resource Management is for the storage of irrigation water, so probably irrelevant for Northern England – if only we could store and sell on at a later date! Forestry Productivity is for private forest holders with a minimum of 10 hectares, and small/medium forestry contractors. The grant can cover up to 40% of costs, with the minimum grant being £35,000 with a 3 April 2018 deadline. There is also likely to be an Animal Health & Welfare scheme opening later this year or early 2018.

Leader Programmes

More information is available here –

If you are interested in applying, the first stage is to contact your local Leader office using the e-mail enquiry form on their website or by giving them a call.

Other Schemes

Local Enterprise Partnerships RDPE Growth, with a minimum £35,000 grant in Cumbria relate to food processing, tourism infrastructure and rural business development – more information on http://www.cumbriaesif.co.uk/eafrd.html with a 31 January 2018 deadline. Similar programmes are available in-

Yorkshire http://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/open-funding/

North and East Yorkshire http://www.be-group.co.uk/services/commercial-development-programmes/lets-grow-north-east-yorkshire/

Yorkshire Dales National Park http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/living-and-working/sdf

Lake District National Park Communities Fund provides grants between £500 & £3,000 http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/localcommunities/communitiesfund

Farmer Network

£200 per year training vouchers for people working on members farms aged between 15 & 40, to include trailer tests, spraying, AI and shearing. Young Farmers Support, funded by the Price’s Trust and provides successful applicants aged 18 to 30 with an understanding of what is needed to run a business and the time to develop business ideas one-to-one with a local experienced farm business adviser. If a business plan proves feasible, they may apply to The Prince’s Trust for a low-interest loan and grants towards market research and training. If they are awarded a loan, they receive ongoing voluntary support from a local business mentor. More information available from Kate Gascoyne on 01768 881462, Mobile 07548934282 or E mail: kate@thefarmernetwork.co.uk

If you want to discuss any of the above, then please contact any of our farming team.