Devon’s farmers are being encouraged to take part in the pilot of the Sustainable Farming Incentive – the next step in the Government’s landmark plans to reward farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices. For example, a farmer might be paid to manage and plant hedgerows to provide year-round food, shelter and breeding cover for birds and insects, or take actions to boost the levels of organic matter in soils.
Farmers will need to complete a short, simple online form to submit expressions of interest in taking part in the pilot. Successful candidates will then be invited to complete their application and, if eligible, they will enter into a pilot agreement starting from October 2021. Participants will be asked to provide rapid feedback on their experience of all aspects of the process - from pre-application to implementing their agreements. This will ensure the scheme is fully workable and user-friendly once rolled out from 2024.
Central Devon MP Mel Stride said:
“Our farmers should rightly be recognised as not only food producers but for the vital work they do as custodians of our land, preserving wildlife habitats and contributing to cleaner waterways and soil. This is a real opportunity for local farmers to help shape the future of the farming in the UK.”
For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit www.gov.uk and search for Sustainable Farming Incentive.