The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been developed by Defra to offer funding to all farmers and land managers to support and improve Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads.
The scheme will run from July 2021 to March 2024.
All farmers and land managers are eligible to apply to the programme, including those outside of protected landscapes.
Other organisations or individuals can also apply, as long as they collaborate with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers.
Common land is also eligible, either as a landowner with sole rights or as a group of commoners acting together.
The applicant must either
- Manage all the land included in their application and have control of their proposed activities; or
- Have written consent from all parties who have management and control of the land.
Applicants that are already in an agri-environment scheme are still eligible for funding, as long as they are not being paid twice for the same work.
The programme is part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan and will provide funding to projects that provide value for money and result in at least one climate, nature, people or place outcome. Further details on this can be found here.
To be eligible the project must benefit the protected landscape and support the priorities of the applicant’s local protected landscape body’s management plan.
The programme will fund projects that are
- Supporting nature recovery;
- Mitigating the impacts of climate change;
- Providing opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage; and
- Supporting nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
If an applicant will not make a commercial gain, eligible projects could receive 100% grant funding.
For those applicants that will benefit commercially from a project, the programme will fund a proportion of the costs.
If a project is the same as a Countryside Stewardship activity, the applicant will be paid the same as the Countryside Stewardship rate.
Assessment of applications
Applications will be scored
- 40% for project outcomes – climate, nature, people and place;
- 20% for value for money;
- 20% for how sustainable the project is or the legacy it will leave; and
- 20% for how likely it is that the applicant will carry out the project.
Applications over £5,000 will be judged by a local assessment panel.
Applications for less than £5,000 will be scored by a senior member of the team who has not been involved in or given advice to the application.
How to apply
Application forms can be obtained from the protected landscape body where the project will take place. Click here to contact a local protected landscape body.
Prior to making an application, projects should be discussed with a protected landscape body.
- To secure funding for the first year of the project, applications must be made before 31 January 2022;
- Projects that will begin early in the 2022-23 financial year can also be applied for before 31 January 2022; and
- Projects must end by March 2024.