Defra has announced that the deadline for Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) applications has been extended by one month to 31 August.
The extension has come as a result of NFU lobbying. The NFU asked for this extension because Natural England (NE) are still issuing application packs, leaving some applicants with less than a month to complete the application.
NE has reassure the NFU that all application packs will be issued this week. Although many will still need to wait a week or two for the Historic Environment Farmed Environment Record to inform their applications.
In asking for the extension the NFU is aware this may impact on NE’s ability to deliver on parts of CS, for example, issuing agreement offers on time. The NFU has called on government to ensure the resources are available to allow NE to work through the backlog of CS delivery issues and get delivery back on track e.g. agreement offer made before agreements start, timely payments etc.