Countryside Stewardship Scheme: Expenditure

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd April 2022.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the total spend on Countryside Stewardship Schemes in the current financial year.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme offers farmers within England a variety of different agreement types, that allow farmers to receive funding based on environmentally beneficial outcomes. This can include both revenue and capital elements. We have recently increased payment rates by an average of 30%, and last year we saw application rates increase by 40%.

Defra encourages where possible all eligible farmers and land managers to take part in the scheme that is now managed under domestic regulation and funding.

The payment window to release payments for the 2021 scheme year runs from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022, details of this can be found here.

The total value of payments that have been released to customers for the 2021/22 financial year (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022) has been provided below. The forecasted 2021/22 financial year values have also been provided:

Financial Year

Claim Type

Funds Paid (EU and Domestic combined)

Forecasted Fund Value

2021/22

Revenue

£159,207,702

£172,742,174

2021/22

Capital

£104,293,691

N/A

Total

£263,501,393

Due to the flexible nature of capital claims, which has a rolling application date, alongside customers only claiming for their capital items once work is completed, it is impossible to predict the value of potential payments that would be released.

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