CSS - Countryside Stewardship Scheme
Countryside Stewardship (or CSS which stands for Countryside Stewardship Scheme) is a great way for farmers to top up some of the income lost from declining BPS payments. Our farm business consultants here at Douglas Green Consulting are continuing to work with farmers and landowners to design schemes to complement their existing farming systems, which can support farms both economically and environmentally.
The revenue and capital payment rates for agreements were reviewed at the start of 2024, with a significant number of those payment rates increasing! Therefore, it is great opportunity for farms to explore the options and provide a boost to the overall farming business income.
The RPA have confirmed that applications for Countryside Stewardship will however, be assessed on a first come first served basis. Land must also be correct on the RPA service before starting a Countryside Stewardship application online, therefore notification of any changes must be made as soon as possible.
In line with the recent announcement of 2023 Capital Grants, Mid-Tier agreements will also follow suit in that you now have 3 years to complete capital works, as opposed to 2 years. There will be no limit to the value of capital items, but the application will undergo a value for money assessment.
Ways to boost your farming income
Some key field options that compliment farming systems include:
- SW5: Enhanced management of maize crops £203/hectare
- AB2: Basic overwinter stubble £58/hectare
- AB7: Whole crop cereals £596/hectare
- GS4: Legume and herb-rich swards £382/hectare
- GS2: Permanent grassland with very low inputs (outside SDAs) £151/hectare
- RP28: Roofing (sprayer washdown area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores) £72.50/m/sq
- RP4: Livestock and machinery hardcore tracks £44.63/m
- RP15: Concrete yard renewal £33.64/m/sq
We have the farming knowledge and experience to make sure you get the best out of CSS for your farming business, and how to integrate with Sustainable Farming Incentive. So we're well placed to assist you in applying for farm grants – either providing guidance to you or applying as an agent.