Farmers can now submit claims under Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship schemes

The claim window for existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements has opened, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced.

Farmers are encouraged to submit their claims early

Farmers are encouraged to submit their claims early

Farmers must submit an annual declaration or claim form for Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship before 15 May to receive payment for works carried out through the schemes in 2024. Any claims submitted after 15 May up to the final deadline of 2 September will have a late claim reduction applied to payments, RPA noted.

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship provide financial incentives for farmers, foresters and land managers to support sustainable food production while looking after the environment by implementing measures that increase biodiversity, grow habitats, expand woodland areas, improve water quality and enhance natural flood management.

In 2023 the RPA supplemented the existing online claim process for Countryside Stewardship with a more straightforward annual declaration option in cases where no changes are required.

This will remain available in the Rural Payments service for 2024, with farmers able to generate and submit an automated revenue claim without needing to complete each section of the claim form.

Rural Payments Agency chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “I know how important cashflow is to rural businesses, particularly in the current climate, which is why we will continue processing claims as quickly as possible to get payments into farmers’ bank accounts.

“I encourage eligible farmers to submit their claims for CS revenue and ES agreements before the deadline to ensure they are rewarded for their efforts to produce food sustainably while improving the environment.”