As part of our work representing our membership we sit on a range of policy stakeholder groups with government departments.

Each month I attend the Argi-Environment Stakeholder Working Group with senior RPA staff and representatives from a wide range of groups. These meetings provide us with an opportunity to feedback our experiences from Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship and input into the development of the scheme. We also get updates from the RPA and opportunities to scrutinise the work they are doing behind the scenes to improve the way the schemes are administered.

Our blogs are an opportunity for you to contribute to this work alongside contact with your local adviser and for us to share information as soon as it becomes publicly available. Below are some updates from this month:

If you were issued a CS agreement late after the 1st January start date in 2018 or 2019 and you have capital works that are seasonally dependant and are therefore struggling to be able to achieve before the end of the two year deadline the you can apply for an extension to these capital works. If you feel you are in this position, then please contact your local adviser to discuss the process.

We are keen to feedback comments on the experience of applicants who have considered applying for Countryside Stewardship but not applied. We are interested in ways in which the scheme could be improved for farmers in the uplands where we have seen a significant reduction in uptake. Also from those who had considered applying for one of the Wildlife Offer applications but decided to either apply for the full Mid-Tier scheme or not progress an application.