Wet weather is continuing to have a serious impact across large parts of the country and in addition to the well-publicised floods and transport disruption, many farmers and farm businesses are also facing very difficult conditions.
To help them, Natural England is continuing to make derogations to Environmental Stewardship schemes available. This involves temporarily lifting some of the land management requirements that normally apply under Environmental Stewardship options, so that farmers and growers have more flexibility to deal with the impact of the wet weather. For example, due to wet ground conditions it will be difficult to establish grass margins, nectar pollen and wildbird mixes this winter and work on implementing this ES option may now have to wait until next spring.
Derogations have to be considered on an individual basis as the impacts of temporarily relaxing scheme conditions will be different from site to site. Natural England has already approved a number of applications and will continue to provide help and advice wherever it can to support the farming community.
Geoff Sansome, Natural England’s Director for Land Management (South) said: “Farmers are currently facing some very difficult conditions and we want to ensure that appropriate derogations are in place to help ES agreement holders tackle some of the problems that this exceptionally wet weather is causing.”
Farmers and land managers can get advice about Environmental Stewardship agreements and available derogations either through their local Natural England adviser or by calling Natural England on 0300 060 0011.
Environmental stewardship schemes are administered by Natural England, on behalf of Defra, and fund farmers and land managers throughout England to deliver environmental management on their land. For more information log onto www.naturalengland.org.uk/es
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