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RPA announces BPS and CSS application dates for 2019

RPA announces BPS and CSS application dates for 2019 Sally Blowey of Stags Professional Services in Cornwall outlines the key dates landowners should be aware of in 2019 as set out by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The 2019 Basic Payment Scheme application window will open on 13 March, the RPA has announced. This will offer landowners nine weeks to submit their applications by the deadline day on 15 May

15 May also marks the window deadline for transferring land parcels and entitlements online, which is currently open. 

The RPA is currently undertaking the annual Proactive Land Change Detection (PCLD) exercise, which is due to be completed before the BPS 2019 application window opens. It is an EU requirement for the RPA to carry out PLCD to ensure that their mapping system is as up-to-date as possible, using the latest digital imagery and OS data. If any changes have been made to your land parcels you will receive a message on the rural payments system. With this in mind, it would be worth checking this system before the application window opens in case you disagree with any of the changes made and an RLE1 form can be submitted to the RPA to make the changes. 

18 February marks the opening of the application window for the range of grants on offer through the Countryside Stewardship scheme, which will be the same as those of 2018.

The Countryside Stewardship Hedgerow and Boundary grant will also be available for 2019, with applications closing on 3 May. This is a useful grant for landowners who do not wish to enter into a stewardship agreement but would like to carry out capital works to improve their boundaries. Fencing is not paid for, but works that are supported included hedge laying, coppicing and stone wall restoration. 

Application packs for the Mid Tier Countryside Stewardship scheme should be ordered by 31 May, with the application deadline on 31 July, a month earlier than in 2019. The scheme rules are yet to be released but options include low input, hedgerow management and a large range of capital items. 

If you would like more information about the grants available under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme or help applying for the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme, contact Stags Professional Services today.