Defra has reviewed the Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue payment rates, which were last set in 2014, making an average increase of 30%.
With around 250 different types of intervention that can be paid for, the payment rate increases vary according to the type of intervention.
The new rates apply to all CS agreements from 1 January 2022.
For revenue agreements starting on or before 1 January 2022, then where the new rate has:
- Increased, the new (higher) rate will be paid
- Decreased, the existing (higher) rate shown on the signed agreement will be paid
- Not changed, the existing rate shown on the signed agreement will be paid.
For new agreements starting from 1 January 2023 all of the new revenue rates will apply.
Defra secretary, George Eustice said about 50% of farmers in England were already in some form of Countryside Stewardship, but is urging more to sign up.
Countryside Stewardship will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Signing up to CS now is viewed as an initial step to joining the full ELM scheme, which will be in place from 2024.