The government published The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024 in November 2020, setting out Defra’s plans to reduce Basic Payments and outlining how the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be phased in.
Over the intervening months, Defra has published a series of updates and progress reports on the main planks of the plan.
Our updated document, The Path to Sustainable Farming: Six things you need to know (Aug 21), is a summary of our latest understanding of what Defra’s new suite of grant schemes, which includes the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Landscape Recovery Scheme, will look like and what sort of activities they will support.
It is a complex picture – there are over 15 different elements within the transition plan and on top of that farmers need to consider changes to existing grant schemes.
Frustratingly, although there is more detail available about the schemes than last November, there is not enough for land managers to be able to properly plan how they will engage with ELM.
We appreciate Defra’s desire to ‘co-design’ the new schemes with land managers and lots more consultation is planned, but what is needed now is complete detail to give certainty to the sector.
It may be helpful to read this in conjunction with our simple timeline for the rollout of the different elements of the Agricultural Transition Plan.
If you would like to explore your options in response to changes facing the agricultural sector, contact a member of the Farming Department.