Climate Change & Sustainable Farming

Learning from change

It is important to have your business in a position that can face change. During our lives we will be confronted with aspects of change which we may have no other choice than to face head on, such as political change with Brexit or natural change such as climate change, resulting in increased periods of flooding and droughts.

Developing resilience will ensure your business is prepared for the effects of climate change so that you can progress and shift through these tough times. Prior to building resilience you may have been in a position that when faced with a natural disaster your business may have struggled to cope, seeing this change as a bridge that could not be crossed. Instead being prepared within your business for change will ensure that you can confidently face it head on.

DEFRA progress update on Agricultural Transition Plan

  • DEFRA has published two documents that provide more information about its Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMs).
  • This new update to the Agricultural Transition Plan provides more detail on the early rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022, including which standards they are including in the offer.
  • This sets out their approach to environmental scheme payments throughout the transition. 
  • Click here to find out more.

England Woodland Creation Offer

The England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)has opened. Realise the benefits of creating woodland on your land with this new scheme which supports planting on a minimum size of just 1 hectare per application. EWCO opened for applications on 9 June 2021 and replaces the Woodland Carbon Fund, which closed for applications in March 2021. Click here to find out more.

Close the Gap Hedgerows Project

  • The Tree Council’s ‘Close the Gap’ is a new programme in England to help farmers improve hedgerow management through hedgerow planting and planting between hedgerow gaps.
  • To find out more, click here.
  • For more information on the Close the Gap programme, contact

Sustainable Farming Incentive 

Farmers are being encouraged to take part in the pilot of the Sustainable Farming Incentive – the next step in the Government’s plans to reward farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices. Details of the new scheme have been published.

  • The Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme will reward farmers for managing their land in an environmentally sustainable way. The full scheme will launch in 2022, initially for farmers in England who currently get payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
  • The Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot is in its early stages. Over 2,000 farmers submitted expressions of interest earlier in 2021, and have been invited to apply to take part.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first of three schemes to be piloted and co-designed. Further information on the other two schemes, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery, is available below:

Improved Countryside Stewardship scheme

  • Farmers and land managers are being encouraged to apply for Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements to help them protect and improve the natural environment. Through CS, farmers can apply for funding to improve their local environment – from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands to managing flood risk.
  • CS will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management scheme.
  • More information can be found here.
  • How to transfer all or part of a Countryside Stewardship agreement? Use the Transfer In and Transfer Out forms to let the RPA know about land that is transferring into or out of a Countryside Stewardship agreement. Click here to find out more.

Government unveils path to sustainable farming from 2021

  • The government has unveiled details of its Agricultural Transition Plan and its hopes for the future of post-Brexit British agriculture. Click here to find out more.
  • The ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’, sets out more detail on the changes we are going to make, and what they will mean for farmers.

Climate change and farming

The NFU have created info graphic content that showcases farmers net zero ambitions, click here to view.

Climate change – a farming view, click here.

5 ways UK farmers are tackling climate change

  • The BBC have outlined 5 ways in which farmers are tackling climate change as they are often at the front line of extreme weather conditions, click here to view.


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