Government promises to settle farmers’ finance claims in full by July

Paul Caldwell

The Government has promised farmers and land managers that by next month it will pay them in full for work they’ve done under Environmental Stewardship and Countryside Stewardship agreements.

A significant number of agreement holders have done work to protect the countryside, but not yet received full payment for their work – some as long ago as 2015.

This is a Treasury-funded payment, which will be made to farmers and land managers while their annual revenue claims from the Common Agricultural Policy budget are processed.

RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “Outstanding revenue claims for agri-environment schemes will be paid in full. We are determined to keep up a regular cycle of timely payments, and restore confidence in these schemes which are so important for our environment.”

The RPA is writing to all unpaid customers this week to provide an update on payments. Once individual claims have been processed, the RPA will write again to customers to confirm any adjustments to be made to the final payment.

Taking land out of production for species-rich meadows, building ponds to provide a water source for wildlife, or planting trees for carbon sequestration are a few of the options under ES and CS that farmers and land managers are currently paid for.

The future Environment Land Management scheme, which will replace CS and ES once we leave the EU, will undergo tests and trials with farmers and industry groups before being rolled out. It is expected to be fully operational in late 2024.