Environmental Stewardship Scheme

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th March 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to investigate any differences reported in the application of Higher Level Stewardship extensions on common land.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are offering extensions of one year to suitable expiring Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements, as an alternative to entry into the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, ahead of the introduction of new schemes such as Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) published the criteria used to offer HLS extensions which can be found on the GOV.UK website.

We understand that some may not agree with the decision so we have included an opportunity to review decisions not to offer an extension formally. We know that the position on common land is more complex and RPA is working closely with Natural England and commoners to resolve any differences of opinion.

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