Farmers and Landowners that have an ELS/HLS expiring in 2020, or who had previously signed up for a one-year extension in 2019, have been offered a second year of extensions.
Agreement holders who Natural England have calculated are eligible for this extension, will likely have already been contacted or will be contacted over the next few days/weeks. This will be via an email from the RPA or directly by their local Natural England Advisor. This initial contact will then be followed up by a site visit to assess how well the agreement is delivering environmental benefits.
It is important to note that all agreement holders who are offered an extension will have a choice between continuing their current agreement or entering into a new Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
In order to be sure which scheme will be the right fit for your business, we highly recommend that agreement holders seek advice on the options currently available to them.
Factors to consider when choosing an extension or a new scheme include differences in;
Risk of inspection
Further to the considerations above, if you are deemed suitable for an extension, you are not able to make any changes to the agreement. Some options such as public access or woodland funding will be removed from the extended agreement.
For advice relating to agreement extensions, please contact your local Brown&Co office and ask to speak to one of our Agricultural Business Consultants.