Farming in Protected Landscapes
The Defra-funded Farming in Protected Landscapes programme runs from 2021 to 2025. An additional 12 months has been given for projects and therefore we are currently accepting applications for projects that are delivered between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2025. Here you can find out more about what the programme can support and how it works.
Farm Tour at Teddesley Park Farm
Farmer Richard Shropshire and Colin Manning of Cannock Chase AONB kindly hosted landowners, land managers and farmers to Woodhall Growers at Teddesley Park Farm, Penkridge, Stafford on 8th June 2023 for an informal farm tour and lunch to see how Farming in Protected Landscapes funding is helping Richard and the farm.
15 people attended to find out more information, ideas on projects that have already been funded and opportunities to discuss the funding further.
Another event will be held in the Autumn, date to be confirmed. In the meantime please sign up to receive the e-newsletter to find out more about events like this around the area.
For further information on Farming in Protected Landscapes please contact Colin Manning on E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 01785 278292 or 07815 652078
To read more about the programme, click the buttons below or continue to scroll down the page.
Farming in Protected Landscapes
Defra are supporting the farmers, land managers and people who live and work in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to help protect the exceptional places and support local communities. Further information from Defra can be found here in their blog.
Through the programme, farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses. This is a programme of funding for one-off projects covering these areas of work, not an agri-environment scheme.
You can find details of the programme in the Guidance for Applicants. This explains what the programme is, who is eligible, what sort of projects can be supported, what costs can be applied for, how to apply, and how applications will be assessed.
Farming in Protected Landscapes – Funded projects
To find out more about these projects, please link on the button below
Eligibility in Cannock Chase
The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is open to all farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) in a National Park, AONB or the Norfolk Broads – or where activity on the ground can bring benefit to one or more of those areas.
Other organisations and individuals can apply, as long as they do this in collaboration with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers.
The programme supports activity on any land within Cannock Chase AONB. It can also support activity on land outside the AONB where projects can demonstrate benefit to Cannock Chase, or the AONB Partnership’s objectives or partnership initiatives.
Cannock Chase AONB lies in southern Staffordshire on 69 sq kms (28 sq miles) of land between Stafford in the north, Rugeley in the east, Cannock in the south, and Penkridge to the west. You can view a map of the AONB on our website, or by visiting the MAGIC mapping website. Click on ‘designations’, ‘land-based designations’ and then ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty England.’
What the programme will pay for
The programme will pay for projects that, in the opinion of a Local Assessment Panel (see Application assessment below for more details of the Panel) provide value for money and meet at least one of the outcomes listed below, under four themes.
- There is a greater area of wildlife rich habitat
- There is greater connectivity between habitats
- Existing habitat is better managed for biodiversity
- There is an increase in biodiversity
- More carbon is stored and/or sequestered
- Flood risk is reduced
- Farmers, land managers and the public better understand what different habitats and land uses can store carbon and reduce carbon emissions
- The landscape is more resilient to climate change
- There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
- There are more opportunities for more diverse audiences to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
- There is greater public engagement in land management, such as through volunteering
- Farmers and land managers feel increasingly comfortable with providing public goods
- The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced
- Historic structures and features are conserved, enhanced or interpreted more effectively
- There is an increase in the resilience of nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses, which in turn contributes to a more thriving local economy
You will need to ensure that your project delivers the management plan/priorities for the Cannock Chase AONB. The current priorities are summarised in the Management Plan Priorities, together with more examples of the types of projects that may be considered for funding through the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme.
The kinds of projects the programme might support include:
Promoting connectivity between habitats
Restoring drystone walls or hedges
Re-wilding an area of land and promoting natural processes
Action to reduce carbon emissions, or the use of plastics, on a farm
Gathering data and evidence to help inform conservation and farming practice
Providing new or easier access opportunities, links to the rights of way network or interpretation of farming and of the natural and historic features
Parking improvements at a key site to provide safe access to popular walking routes and reduce congestion for visitors and for local residents
Creating scrapes, ponds or other wetland to support a variety of wildlife
Conserving historic features on a farm, such as lime kilns or lead mining heritage
Working with new audiences to enable them to experience the Protected Landscape
Planning for nature conservation, energy efficiency and business resilience, including in farmer clusters
If an activity is equivalent to one under Countryside Stewardship (CS), the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme payment rate will be the same as the CS rate. If not, funding offers will be based on the projected costs of an activity. View the unit rates for Countryside Stewardship.
Payments for capital items will be paid in arrears. Management payments would be 50% in advance and 50% in arrears.
Farming in Protected Landscapes and other funding sources
The Programme will work alongside – not in competition with – Defra’s existing and new schemes, adding value where it is most needed. If a potential project can be rewarded through those schemes instead, you will be made aware of them. Note that those seeking support for machinery to increase productivity should utilise the Countryside Productivity Scheme rather than project grants through Farming in Protected Landscapes
Large scale tree planting may be best delivered through Forestry Commission funding including the England Woodland Creation Offer.
We are also expecting large scale peatland restoration to be delivered through the Nature for Climate Fund.
Expression of interest form
Applications for over £5000 will be judged by a Local Assessment Panel.
The Local Assessment Panel includes representatives from the AONB team, Natural England, the local farming and land management community, and other specialists, drawn from the AONB Partnership’s working groups. We expect that it will meet to make decisions every 8 weeks.
Applications for less than £5000 will be decided upon by a senior member of the AONB team who has had no previous role in advising on the application.
Applications will be scored on:
Fit with Programme Outcomes – 40% of scoring weighting
Value for money – 20%
Sustainability / legacy – 20%
Deliverability – 20%
Capital infrastructure assets (including, but not limited to, fences, gates, building restoration), should be maintained for 5 years from the date of completion.
Machinery assets (to deliver conservation work, for example a brush harvester for grassland restoration) should be maintained for 5 years from the date of purchase.
The requirement to maintain natural, cultural and access activities (for example, management of grassland, restoration of a limekiln) delivered as part of programme will cease no later than 1 April 2024.