Developed and funded by Defra, the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) scheme forms part of the agricultural transition plan and is designed to help farmers navigate the upcoming challenges and changes in agricultural policy.
Aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at farmers and land managers within national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty, FiPL funding can help farm businesses diversify, improve
their productivity or deliver for the environment.
The scheme offers grant funding for bespoke projects across four themes:
- supporting nature recovery
- mitigating the impacts of climate change
- protecting or improving the quality and character of the landscape
- providing opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
Launched in July last year, FiPL got off to a slow start but has now picked up pace, with the first seven months bringing in hundreds of applications from across the North East. Successful projects have ranged from nature-based projects, including creation of habitats for farmland species, to new innovations and farm diversification.
Support for adaptation
All aim to help farmers adapt to future challenges and uncertainties, as well as driving the rural economy. And with further reductions to direct payments planned this year, coupled with continuing uncertainty over future Environmental Land Management (ELMs) delivery, there has never been a better time for members to explore how potential projects could deliver for their farming business.
As the second window for applications opens on 1 February, FiPL teams across the region have more than £2m to award and can provide advice and support to members wanting to make an application either as individuals or as part of a group.
Up to 100% of costs
Grants awarded through FiPL can provide up to 100% of project costs, providing there is no commercial benefit to the business. Even if there is a commercial benefit, FiPL funding can still cover a large proportion of project costs, so it is well worth having a conversation with your local team. This is true even if you do not farm directly within a protected landscape but have a project in mind. It is worth having a discussion with the local FiPL team, as funding may still be provided if your project benefits the protected landscape.
"The FiPL scheme is a fantastic opportunity for you to develop a bespoke project for your business," added Kate. "There really is no stipulation on what your project must be, so long as it delivers for one of the key themes: people, place, climate and nature. You could develop a project to diversify your business, repair farm infrastructure or develop projects to enhance biodiversity. Funding can be provided for nature-based and technology led solutions too.
"Funding for these projects is only available until 2024 and does not conflict with existing schemes, so even if you only have a vague idea, it’s worth exploring.”
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Log in now to access additional resources - an NFU briefing on FiPL and a chance to catch up on a virtual meeting held recently which as well as providing a summary of the scheme, also included an overview of the application process, plus hints and tips for those considering applying.