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Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Changes to payment rates

Sally Blowey of Stags Professional Services outlines the main changes DEFRA have made to payment rates in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, which has seen increased payment rates on some options, making the scheme more attractive to many.

The application window for the next round of Countryside Stewardship agreements is expected to open in February to include the mid-tier, higher tier and capital grants.

There are only two opportunities left to apply for the scheme, with the 2023 application round expected to be the last one, whilst the rollout of the new environmental land management scheme continues.

DEFRA have recently reviewed the option payment rates based on current costs and made changes. The main changes of interest are:

Option code


Old Rate

New Rate


Hedgerow Management




Take field corners out of management




Permanent grassland with low inputs (Non SDA)




Permanent grassland with low inputs (SDA)




Haymaking supplement




Lenient grazing Supplement




Maintenance of Weatherproof Traditional Farm Buildings

£3.25/sq m

£4.03/sq m


Organic conversion improved permanent grassland




For agreements which begin on or before 1 January 2022 where the new rate has:

  • increased, the new (higher) rate will be paid
  • decreased, the existing (higher) rate shown on the signed agreement will be paid

For new agreements starting from 1 January 2023 all of the new revenue rates will apply.

The review related to payment rates for revenue options only, there are no plans to change payment rates for capital options for 2022.

Therefore, these increased payment rates on some options may make the scheme more attractive to many and make a difference to farm incomes with the further reduction of Basic Payment Scheme payments in 2022. If you would like to find out more about the scheme or want to apply in 2022 then please contact Stags Professional Services department.