North East hill farmers set to receive welcome boost

Hill farmers in the region are to receive a welcome boost after it was announced Natural England has secured £30m to spend on Environmental Stewardship for 2014

Hill farmers in the region are to receive a welcome boost after it was announced Natural England has secured £30m to spend on Environmental Stewardship for 2014.

David Morley, environmental adviser with Durham and Carlisle-based H&H Land and Property, said the announcement was “very welcome news for hill farmers in upland areas including the Lake District.”

Around £26m will be spent on top priority Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements, to be targeted at sites of special scientific interest, expiring Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) and Countryside Stewardship (CSS) agreements and farms that can help meet Government obligations under the Water Framework Directive.

The remaining £4m is for Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) agreements, but these will only be available for farms that meet one of the following specific criteria: farms with severely disadvantaged (SDA) land will be able to apply for Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (UELS), organic producers will be able to apply for Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS), and farms coming out of ESA or CSS agreements that are not offered the opportunity to apply for HLS.

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