Agri-Environment Schemes Post-2013
|Thu, Sep 1, 2011|
Natural England has clarified the position with regards to agri-environment schemes which run into the next Rural Development Programme. Agreements running beyond 2013 (the end of the current RDPE) would have been required to come into line with any new funding rules under the next Rural Development Programme. This would have led to a lot of uncertainty for existing agreement holders and also increased admin for Natural England.
However, a change in the EU legislation means there will now be far less impact on existing agri-environmental scheme agreements. The new rules are as follows;
On the face of it, this appears to ensure that those who sign up to ES before the end of this year will be protected from changes in their agreements. However, it is not that simple. Firstly, all agreements already have a clause incorporated which allows them to be brought into line with any ‘changes to the legislative baseline’. This effectively means cross-compliance. Stewardship agreements would have to be altered if cross-compliance rules were changed to cover something currently paid for under ES.
The other uncertainty is the ‘greening measures’. Although not cross-compliance the same rules apply – Stewardship agreements would not be able to fund management practices required by greening (for example field margins). Therefore changes could still be required as a result of CAP reform. More information is available at -