Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund reopens for applications

First published: 18 November 2022

An image showing fields of crops with a wildflower field margin

Following NFU lobbying and successful uptake, a seventh round of the CSSF (Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund) is now open. This round has a longer application period than in previous years – applications close at midnight on 25 January 2023.

The CSSF (Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund) application window opened on the 7 November and is open until the 25 January 2023.

Agreements will start on the 1 June 2023 and will last three years.

About the Fund

The fund supports the delivery of the Governments 25 Year Environmental Plan and is a part of Defra’s plans for a renewed agricultural sector, which is centred around incentivising sustainable farming practices alongside profitable food production.

The £2.5 million fund aims to help groups of farmers in England improve the natural environment at a landscape scale by facilitating knowledge sharing to protect and enhance the local environment, in line with a regions local Countryside Stewardship priorities.

The fund enables groups of farmers and landowners in England to work together to:

  • Improve the natural environment at a landscape, rather than single-farm, scale
  • Achieve greater improvements than individual holdings could on their own

The fund facilitates knowledge sharing by helping facilitators to provide advice and share expertise with groups of farmers and land managers focusing on:

  • air quality (by reducing the emission of damaging air pollutants, such as ammonia)
  • increasing biodiversity and supporting priority species (new for 2024)
  • advice to manage beaver activity on sites where they are already present
  • water management

Previous success

There have been six previous rounds of the CSFF, benefiting 180 groups with over 4,000 members. This round of funding is expected to benefit more than 40 further groups.

During 2021-2022, the CSFF offered £3 million for collaborative groups working to deliver agri-environmental priorities with 45 applications received.

We welcome the new round and recognise the value of collaborative funding.

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