Natural England says it can no longer allocate a dedicated adviser to each site or farm as a result of fewer resources.
The body has issued advice following changes to the way it works with customers on agri-environment schemes.
Following the transfer of agri-environment scheme admin to the RPA in October last year, customers may have wondered where to go for advice on land they manage under a scheme or land notified as an SSSI.
Natural England says it still has a role to play in delivering technical advice on land management. On SSSIs, the body continues to issue consents, assents and advice for land owners and occupiers.
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And the same local advisers remain in the East Midlands, working out of the Nottingham, Lincoln and Bakewell offices.
But it will be unable to give sites or farms their own adviser, with “fewer resources overall”, and instead of county-based teams, the majority of Natural England’s scheme and SSSI casework will now be undertaken region-wide from two area delivery teams.
“Our area delivery teams are comprised of a pool of experienced technical advisers with a wide range of expertise and skills,” Natural England said.
“It’s highly likely that you will have spoken or met some of us before, and although you may not deal with the same adviser all the time, you will receive a timely, quality response.
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“As part of our agreed responsibilities and commitment we will continue to work closely with you to provide targeted, detailed advice on scheme management… assess all agri-environment agreements coming to an end for suitability for HLS extension or CS application and provide technical advice (through RPA) around scheme management issues.
“We also continue to deliver SSSI advice, consents, assents and planning consultation responses.”
Queries about all scheme payments, advice or amendments must now be directed to RPA and are handled by former NE admin staff who have transferred to RPA.
To contact RPA, email ZW5xdWlyaWVzQG5hdHVyYWxlbmdsYW5kLm9yZy51aw== but this will change to an RPA address in due course. For formal consultation requests for SSSI consent, assent or advice, email Y29uc3VsdGF0aW9uc0BuYXR1cmFsZW5nbGFuZC5vcmcudWs= and for anything else outside of the schemes and SSSIs, contact ZWFzdG1pZGxhbmRzQG5hdHVyYWxlbmdsYW5kLm9yZy51aw==