25 January 2012
As the current Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) draws closer to its December 2013 end date, Natural England has developed a comprehensive package of information for farmers and agents on Environmental Stewardship (ES).
The package provides comprehensive details of how ES will be implemented through the next two financial years. It has been produced to equip farmers, land managers, agents and partners with a clear understanding of the key issues and deadlines for the remainder of the current Rural Development programme.
A detailed timetable of activity has been produced, summarising the steps to be taken by ES applicants, land agents and Natural England through the next two financial years.
Ian Fugler, Director of Land Management for Natural England said: ‘‘We are working to make the most of the time and funding remaining in this RDPE period to maximise the environmental benefits delivered through Environmental Stewardship whilst providing as much certainty to our customers as possible. We are setting out our stall with details of how we will continue to administer the scheme, and providing clear instructions and timescales of any action that needs to be taken. This info will be regularly updated on our website to ensure that everyone can stay informed of all the latest developments.’’
Natural England local team advisers are in the process of inviting registered HLS/FEP agents to attend HLS Pipeline Clinics for the 2013/14 HLS programme, being run between now and 8th March.
Also included in the info package is information on HLS targeting and delivery and 3-Tier HLS, including small changes to the criteria for fast track applications. The principles being applied for expiring Environmentally Sensitive Area and Countryside Stewardship agreements are described; and there is news of the support available to ELS applicants and existing agreement holders. The latest on the changes being made to the scheme in 2013 as a result of the Minister’s ambition to make Environmental Stewardship more effective is provided along with details of the transition to the next Rural Development programme.
Full information can be found on the Natural England website www.naturalengland.org.uk
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Notes to Editors:
For further information (media enquiries only), please contact: Christine White, Natural England press office on 0300 0601302 or 07900 608017 or email [email protected].
For out of hours queries please call the Duty Press Officer 07970 098005
For further information about Natural England please visit: www.naturalengland.org.uk