Grants are now available to support farmers in Scotland adopt low-carbon farming land management practices and protect the environment.
The 2022 round of Scotland’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) opened for applications on 24 January and will close on 29 April, with a small number of exceptions.
Strutt and Parker’s consultants are expecting a huge amount of interest from farmers this year.
This will be a full round of the scheme with all the options for environmental and habitat management available, which is very welcome after the past two years where only limited funding was offered.
The scheme, which was first introduced in 2015, offers annual payments for a wide range of management options, ranging from leaving unharvested conservation headlands in arable fields for wildlife through to wetland and bog management.
Farmers can also apply for payments towards the capital costs of one-off activities, such as the installation of livestock tracks or hard standings for troughs and gateways.
Applications for grants to improve slurry storage facilities can be made during the main AECS window (24 January – 29 April 2022); however, the deadline for stand-alone slurry store applications is 24 June 2022.
For applications for Improving Public Access (IPA), there is a separate opening window: 28 February 2022 – Friday 29 April 2022 inclusive.
There is also a slightly later deadline of 31 May 2022 for large collaborative applications because of the additional time it can take to pull together submissions involving several businesses.
For more details about AECS contact Mary Munro.