Farming and land management

People have shaped Cannock Chase over thousands of years through the way they have used and managed the land.  Farming alongside other land uses like forestry, mineral extraction, recreation and nature conservation will continue to play a vital role in its future.

Unusually for a protected landscape, the majority of the land in Cannock Chase (56%) is owned by public organisations, with charities owning a further 7%.  The remaining 37% is in multiple private ownership.  Every landowner or land manager, whether public or private, can help to keep Cannock Chase special.

Change is coming

The face of UK agriculture is changing.  From 2021 direct payments (the Basic Payment Scheme) will be phased out in the lead up to the roll out of a new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM) in 2024 which will focus on:

  • Improving the environment
  • Improving animal health and welfare
  • Reducing carbon emissions

Farming in Protected Landscapes

The government recognises that farmers and landowners in protected landscapes (AONBs and National Parks) are providing huge environmental, social and cultural benefits.

To help them prepare for these changes, from April 2021-24 Defra is introducing a new ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ scheme. This will provide advice and funding for those in nationally protected landscapes to manage the natural environment, cultural heritage and public access.  The details of this scheme are still being prepared, but it appears it will be delivered through the AONBs and National Parks themselves.

Support for farmers and land managers in Cannock Chase AONB

In preparation for the new scheme, Cannock Chase AONB Partnership is beginning to contact all farmers and land managers who own or manage land within or in close proximity to Cannock Chase AONB.  To help with this task, they have appointed DJM Consulting and Arbor Vitae - two local rural consultancy firms with experience and expertise in land management.

Over the next few weeks, information will be shared about:

  • Current opportunities with existing environmental schemes
  • Future opportunities for farmers and land managers in ELM and Farming in Protected Landscapes
  • Future opportunities as part of farmer networks in the AONB

To learn more about the needs of the farming and landowning community in the AONB and to provide tailored support through the next few years, farmers and landowners are also being invited to complete a survey and take part in small group discussions and one to one meetings.  Due to the current restrictions, these will all take place remotely using videoconferencing/teleconferencing.

We want to hear from you

Get in touch with Marie Charles at DJM Consulting if you farm and manage land in Cannock Chase AONB and want to take part and receive further communications:

  • Office line: 01746 714089
  • Mobile: 07803 533461
  • Email:

Take part in the survey. If you prefer to, you can also complete this survey over the phone with Marie – call on 01746 714089 today.

Register for one of the free online workshops in February or March.

Spread the word - mention this to your neighbours, family members or friends who farm or manage land in the AONB.