To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many pilot environmental land management schemes have been agreed, where those pilots will take place; and what the start date is for each such pilot.
Tests and trials allow us to co-design and test the operability of elements of the new system and to understand if and how new elements of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme work in a real life environment. Tests and trials are not analysing methods of delivery of environmental outcomes rather how the scheme or innovative mechanism will operate.
We received 113 proposals from stakeholders to conduct tests and trials of the new ELM scheme in phase one. We identified 49 of these which most closely matched the identified priorities and would help us test critical elements or building blocks of the new scheme. Of these 49, two have subsequently merged with other phase 1 proposals and one has withdrawn from the process, leaving 46.
The national pilot is due to start in 2021. It will test different types of possible approaches to deliver the new ELM scheme, and the underlying scheme mechanics (such as the payments system) before the ELM scheme launches in 2024.