UK: Environmental stewardship rules relaxed to help farms cope

SOME land management requirements are being lifted for farmers signed up to environmental stewardship schemes to help them cope with the exceptionally wet weather.

Natural England says it is making derogations to schemes available, which involves temporarily lifting some requirements that normally apply under Environmental Stewardship options.

For some, wet ground conditions will make it difficult to establish grass margins, nectar pollen and wildbird mixes this winter and work on implementing this may now have to wait until next spring. For advice, contact your local Natural England adviser or call Natural England on 0300 060 0011.

Derogations have to be considered on an individual basis as the impacts of temporarily relaxing scheme conditions will be different from site to site. Natural England has already approved a number of applications and will continue to provide help and advice wherever it can to support the farming community.

Geoff Sansome, Natural England’s Director for Land Management (South) said: “Farmers are currently facing some very difficult conditions and we want to ensure that appropriate derogations are in place to help ES agreement holders tackle some of the problems that this exceptionally wet weather is causing.”