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Your feedback is needed – act now to have your say on future farm policy

The Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is the new agricultural policy for England. Defra have recently re-launched a consultation with the aim of helping to shape the future of the scheme in England. The discussion will remain open until Friday 31 July 2020.

The more feedback that Defra receive on this consultation the better as it will feed into the ongoing design process, to engage with the process you should first view the ELM Policy discussion document online or you can request a printed copy by calling the helpline on 03459 335577.

There are a variety of ways to respond to the discussion:

  • You can respond to the consultation via the online survey on DEFRA’s website;
  • You can sign up to 1 of 6 interactive webinars, which will give an overview of how the proposed ELM scheme will work and give you an opportunity to discuss it live by registering from the Eventbrite website or emailing
  • You can email or write to the ELM team with your comments.

The ELM scheme is founded on the principle of ‘public goods for public money’. The public goods ELM will pay for include:

  • clean and plentiful water
  • clean air
  • protection from and mitigation of environmental hazards
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • beauty, heritage and engagement

It is currently envisaged that there will be three tiers to the scheme with tier 1 being available to all farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of their farming businesses. Tier 2 will aim to deliver environmental outcomes whether as an individual or collaboratively whilst tier 3 will involve landscape level projects to meet targeted outcomes. Tests and trials are currently under way and a National Pilot is planned to run from 2021 to further inform the design of the scheme.

Individual land managers views on how the success of the ELM scheme can be measured, how payment rates should be set and what should be supported as well as how compliance can be proven are vital to the design of the scheme as they will be the ones receiving the funding, therefore we would strongly encourage you to engage with the process and put your thoughts forwards.

The first ELM agreements will be available from 2024, until then the current Countryside Stewardship schemes will be available. If you have any questions on grant funding now or in the future and want advice please do not hesitate to contact your local Stags Professional.