The final Higher Tier deadline for Countryside Stewardship (CS) has been extended until 31 October 2015. This news has also been shared with the Agri-Environment Stakeholder Group.
The Forestry Commission will not be accepting any new woodland applications as a result of this extension. Woodland Officers will continue to work with applicants to improve their initial woodland application before the final deadline.
It is expected there will be earlier intermediate deadlines well before 31 October 2015 that the FC and applicants will need to work to and these will be confirmed as soon as possible. GOV.UK has been updated to reflect this extension.
The CS Manual has also now been updated with a number of enhancements that builds on your feedback, as well as comments from Natural England’s stakeholders. Thank you to all of you for your valuable input here.
Countryside Stewardship Manual
Countryside Stewardship Manual - Print version
Amongst the changes there is new wording on version control for the CS Manual, new advice on agricultural activity in woodland areas, new text on handling of the Business Viability Test, clarification on which elements of the scheme require a FER, an improved table specifying the options that require a HEFER consultation for Mid-Tier applications and extra wording on the Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package.
The FC are waiting on clearance on Chapter 8 Scheme Requirements and Procedures. This will be added to the Manual as soon as it is available.