The NFU's countryside advisers have produced their regular monthly report, updating members on the current agri-environment schemes. They write:
The RPA reports to be working well and are in operational/processing mode. There are no major concerns at this stage that the continued restrictions and the coronavirus pandemic pose, though the RPA continues to be working predominantly from home. The focus at present is to process the Countryside Stewardship (CS) applications ahead of the new agreements beginning on the 1 January 2021, and the RPA aims to get as many agreement offers out by the end of this year as possible.
The NFU welcomes the news that Higher Level Stewardship extensions have been confirmed for 2021 expirees.
A handful of historic payments for both CS and Environmental Stewardship (ES) remain to be paid, more than 99% CS and ES 2019 payments have now been made. The RPA hopes to process as many 2020 claims as possible ahead of the December payment window opening. The NFU want to see improvements on last years payment delivered in December. Capital claim delivery is functioning at ordinary levels. The third round of the woodland carbon guarantee is open for applicants and will close at midnight on the 11 October.
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