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Whilst working life continues as normal for our farming clients with lambing and calving underway and land finally dry enough to carry out many field operations, we are having to find new ways of working to comply with the current Government measures to combat Coronavirus.
With the help of technology we are still able to complete many tasks including negotiating and drawing up grass keep agreements, completing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications and advising on grant funding opportunities under the Countryside Stewardship (CSS) scheme.
The claim deadline for the BPS is 15th May and our agents are continuing to process claims and take instructions from clients via phone or email. As many claims can be completed online this is working efficiently.
There is also still time to apply for CSS grants with online applications for the Hedgerow and Boundary grant being accepted until 1st May. The rules have altered this year so that previously ineligible land is eligible for this grant so if you ruled it out before it is worth considering again. Usually for the Hedgerow and Boundary grant we make a site visit to take photos of the boundaries to be worked on instead we are asking clients to take these photos and send them through to us to process and submit.
Meanwhile the CSS mid-tier deadline is 31st May to order an application pack and 31st July to submit an application, we therefore have plenty of time to discuss options and put together draft applications.
Please note that the latest advice, from the Government in respect of Covid-19, covering farmers rural businesses and land owners can be found here and for further information from the RPA regarding BPS for 2020 please click here.
For more information or advice you can contact a member of our team or visit our Rural Advice library.