Defra has announced it is moving to a rolling programme of applications for the rest of its Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.

The first round of the scheme had been due to close on 31 January, but this will no longer be the case and applications can be submitted at any time until the programme closes in 2024.

The scheme, which first opened in July 2021, offers farmers and land managers in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) funding for one-off projects to create and improve protected landscapes across England.

See also: Defra grants available to improve protected landscapes in England

Funding is available for projects that:

  • Support nature recovery
  • Mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • Provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • Protect or improve the quality and character of the landscape or place.

This might involve projects that promote connectivity between habitats, the replacement of stiles with gates on public footpaths to give easier access, the conservation of historic features on a farm and actions to reduce carbon emissions on farms.

Applicants who will make no commercial gain from a project may be eligible for a grant covering 100% of the costs, whereas those who will benefit commercially from the application will be offered a percentage of the costs.

Application forms are available from the farmer’s local landscape protection body.

Anyone seeking funding under this scheme for a project costing £5,000 or less will be assessed by a local project officer.

Anything over that level will be assessed by a local assessment panel made up of local stakeholders.

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