Make the most of funding opportunities in protected landscapes

CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas is encouraging farmers and land managers to apply for funding support and improve Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads.

The funding is available under the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme which is part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan. However, it is not an agri-environment scheme.

FiPL will fund projects that deliver on at least one of four themes - climate, nature, people and place. Examples of potential projects include actions to reduce carbon emissions on farm, conserving historic features on farm, or promoting connectivity between habitats.

The programme will fund projects that:

  • support nature recovery
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • protect or improve the quality and character of the landscape or place

More specifically, the following range of equipment and activity have already been granted funding: the establishment costs of a herbal lay; establishment of historic boundary hedges and trees; orchard planting and owl boxes; re-establishment of an SSSI marsh; funding for water troughs; bespoke trailer for farm visits; direct drill; manure composting equipment; specialist strip till equipment and variable rate fertiliser spreader.

The programme is also open to farmers and land managers on land outside of protected landscapes. To be eligible the project must benefit the protected landscape, or the protected landscape body’s objectives or partnership initiatives. Your Farming in Protected Landscape officer can advise on whether your land / project is eligible.

In the North, the landscapes include Yorkshire Dales NP, Solway Coast AONB, North York Moors NP, Northumberland NP, Northumberland Coast AONB, Peak District NP, North Pennines AONB, Nidderdale AONB, Lake District National Park, Howardian Hills AONB, Forest of Bowland AONB, and Arnside and Silverdale AONB.

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been developed by Defra with the support of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Park staff from across England.

Applications for the first year of funding should be made before 31 January 2022, and grant funding decisions will be made on a monthly basis. The funding scheme will run until March 2024.

CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas said: “Farmers and land managers are encouraged to look at the detail of this scheme as it can in some cases fund up to a 100% of their project’s cost. Anecdotally, we know that applications have been variable – if not patchy – in some regions, so applying for this funding presents a real opportunity.

“Protected Landscapes officers are largely responsible for administering funding allocations to projects, so it is suggested that interested farmers and land managers contact their local representatives to discuss the viability of their applications.”

To find out more about the funding for farmers in protected landscapes scheme visit the government's website: www.gov.uk/guidance/funding-for-farmers-in-protected-landscapes.

CLA members wanting further information can contact their regional office advisers for free advice on FiPL, and in the North by telephoning 01748 90 7070.