• Capital Grants – these are one to two year grants which will focus on work being carried out on field boundaries, things leading to water quality improvement, small scale woodland creation etc.
In relation to the Higher Tier scheme, Natural England has already identified a number of potential applicants who were invited to complete an “expression of interest” form on line by 30th June, but this date slipped back to 15th July.
So it seems the new flagship environmental scheme has not got off to a very auspicious start and one wonders whether the 30th September deadline for submission of applications will also have to be moved back if the terms and conditions of the scheme are not published very soon.
Indeed this lack of clarity has prompted the NFU to warn farmers and other potential applicants against formally committing to the CSS before they know what they are signing up to.
Thus it seems yet again that we are witnessing the chaotic introduction of a new EU-funded scheme where high level decisions have been made which seem almost impossible to implement on the ground within the timescales set out by Whitehall mandarins.
Rural Surveyor, Wells Office