The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been created by Defra and it forms part of the Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan (ATP).
It will provide funds to allow farmers and land managers to work with Protected Landscape organisations (National Park Authorities and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty teams) to provide benefits for nature, climate, people and places. The programme will run from mid-2021 to April 2024.
Our Protected Landscapes (PLs) – our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) - are special and unique and need to be managed, enhanced and protected while also supporting the farmers and communities who work within them and the wider local economy.
The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, which will operate in England, will provide additional investment in these places to allow farmers to work in partnership with Protected Landscape bodies to deliver bigger and better outcomes for the environment for people and for the place.
Protected Landscapes can make an important contribution to:
As part of the Agricultural Transition Plan, the government has committed to help farmers and land managers deliver against these four areas, in a holistic way - in order to meet the requirements of individual Protected Landscapes, helping strengthen their special importance and enhance their environments and accessibility.
The programme will be delivered by farmers, working in partnership with Protected Landscape teams – Protected Landscape teams and farmers living and working in these areas know the opportunities and challenges facing their landscapes and communities the best. This is an opportunity for Protected Landscapes, farmers and others within these areas to work better together, leading work at an individual landscape level, building on existing relationships.
The programme will be project based and take a bottom up approach - this means that funding will support individual projects proposed by farmers, and approved by Local Assessment Panels, which will support Protected Landscapes’ local priorities.
This is a time limited programme (2021-2024) to provide additional investment in our most special places - it will work alongside – not in competition with - existing schemes and add value where it is most needed. Over the longer term, Defra would envision the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the Local Nature Recovery scheme and the Landscape Recovery scheme playing a specific part across these landscapes, with farmers who lead on FiPL projects taking part in one of these schemes.
Applications will be accepted from farmers and land managers within an AONB or National Park in England, or the Norfolk Broads.
This programme supports activity on the following areas and features within a protected landscape:
The programme is also open to farmers and land managers on eligible land outside of protected landscape, but the project must benefit the protected landscape, or the protected landscape body’s objectives or partnership initiatives.
This programme does not support works on domestic property, or other areas outside of the definition above such as village greens, churchyards, school ground.
Your Protected Landscape FiPL officer can advise on whether your land / project is eligible.
Follow these steps:
You can receive funding through the programme for work in the above places if you:
Common land is eligible for support through the Programme. You can apply as a landowner with sole rights, or as a group of commoners acting together.
Applications will also be accepted from organisations and individuals delivering projects which are in support of the programme outcomes and the relevant Protected Landscape Management Plan/Priorities, as long as they are applying in collaboration with a farmer or land manager.
A summary of bodies/organisations who are directly eligible is set out below:
Government departments, executive agencies and NDPBs (for example, Ministry of Defence, Forestry Commission), with exception of the bodies listed below - can not apply
Natural England - can apply, for work on the National Nature Reserves which goes beyond other legal obligations
Other public bodies (including National Park Authorities, The Broads Authority, Conservation Boards and AONB Partnerships through their accountable bodies) - can apply, provided the work goes beyond the duty of regard and other legal obligations .
County, Unitary, District, Parish Council and former college farms - can apply.
Tenants of eligible public bodies - can apply. Ineligible where the work is already a requirement of the tenancy agreement. The public body must countersign the application if the tenant does not have security of tenure for the full term of the agreement.
Tenants of ineligible public bodies - can apply. Ineligible where the work is already a requirement of the tenancy agreement. Tenants must have security of tenure for the full term of the agreement, as the public body cannot countersign the application.
Other organisations and individuals - can apply, where the proposed activity or works is in support of programme aims.
Note that those taking part in the Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot cannot receive funding under this programme.
If you are including land in an application that you occupy under a tenancy, including under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (a Farm Business Tenancy) or equivalent, you must have:
If you are a landlord and can show that you have management control over land which has been let to a tenant, and the activities, you can include that land in an application.
If the application is made by the landowner who owns the whole common and has sole use and rights to the land, the common can be entered as the landowner’s holding.
Protected Landscape organisations and other bodies may be able to facilitate collaborative projects as a lead or responsible partner. Regardless of who applies, if the application is made by someone who does not have sole use of all the land and where there will be two or more beneficiaries to the agreement:
You can apply to the programme as part of a collaborative farmer group. You can choose out of the below three options how you and your collaborative farmer group would like to apply.
You will need to have partnership agreements between the participants and the lead applicant / applicant body. Your Protected Landscape team can support you to develop these.
You will need to demonstrate how your project:
The outcomes, of which you will need to demonstrate that your project delivers against at least one, are listed below under four key themes:
Examples of the types of work or projects that are relevant to the outcomes of this programme could include;
You will also need to ensure that your project delivers the management plan/priorities of the Lake District National Park Authority.
The management plans/priorities for the Lake District National Park are:
We will update this section of the application guidance with further details of priorities over the period of the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme.
For further advice on the types of projects that this programme can deliver please speak to your Protected Landscape team.
The maximum grant you can apply for through this programme is £250,000.
The minimum grant you can apply for through this programme is £1,000.
You can apply for both capital and revenue spend. Revenue spend is where funding is provided to support management actions which deliver FiPL objectives.
Capital spend is where funding is provided to purchase or invest in a physical asset (capital item) to achieve a stated outcome, for example increased business prosperity or improvements to the environment. Capital items can be natural landscape features (such as trees, hedgerows and ponds) or built (such as fencing, water, infrastructure, buildings, machinery and equipment).
The purpose of the programme is to enable additional support where it is most needed for farmers and other land managers in Protected Landscapes – and delivering for climate, nature, people, and place. As with Countryside Stewardship, some projects that achieve these ends will inevitably have a commercial dimension, and this factor is reflected accordingly in the payment rates.
You should be aware that the programme does not exist to support ordinary private sector interests. Project proposals will undergo a thorough assessment process, coordinated by Protected Landscapes’ staff and Local Assessment Panels, to ensure that only proposals in the spirit of the programme are taken forward. Other sorts of proposals would be better suited to alternative programmes. For any further queries on this matter, please contact your Protected Landscape team.
Where there is a Countryside Stewardship rate for the work you want to do, that rate will also be used in the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.
Where you are applying to fund an activity for which there is no standard Countryside Stewardship rate, you will need to be able show that the associated costs represent value for money - this is based on getting quotes for the work. Your Protected landscape team can advise you on this.
Where there is no obvious commercial benefit to doing the work (e.g. it may be solely focused on nature recovery) you can be paid 100% of the eligible costs. Where the work generates commercial benefit to the applicant, generally this will either be 40% or 80% of eligible costs.
Please speak to your Protected Landscape FiPL officer for advice on payment rates and intervention rates. You may have different payment and intervention rates for the different activities that make up your project.
You may also want to be paid to do the work yourself rather than through a contractor. This is possible providing it represents a reasonable rate for the job, benchmarked against known costs locally or standard costs.
For the first year of funding, you can apply from 1 July 2021 – 31 January 2022. You can submit your application at any time during this window, though as funding is limited early applications are encouraged.
Complete the enquiry form on the Lake District National Park Authority website
One of our Farming in Protected Landscape advisers will get in touch with you to discuss your proposal, and advise you on your application. We will help you fill out your full application.
You should expect to hear back from your Protected Landscape team within 10 working days of your application.
All projects will be scored using a common scoring system. You will be scored against the following categories which will be weighted differently for your final score:
There are a number of requirements you must meet for your application to progress and these will be made clear in the application template. Your Protected Landscape will consider whether you meet the essential criteria for the programme (see under ‘who can apply’). If you do not meet the essential criteria, your Protected Landscape will not assess your application further.
Your application will be assessed by a Local Assessment Panel made up of experts from across your Protected Landscape, including from the farming and land management community, where you project will be given a score using a common scoring system.
Your application will be assessed by a senior member from your Protected Landscape team who has not been involved in providing advice or guidance to your application. They will assess your application using the common scoring system giving you a score for your project. If you submit more than two applications for projects under £5,000 over the course of the programme, the third and any further applications will be assessed at the Local Assessment Panel whatever their value.
You will not need to maintain any natural, cultural and access activities you deliver as part of the programme after your agreement period ends.
You must maintain capital infrastructure such as fences, gates or restored buildings for 5 years from the completion date.
You must maintain machinery assets such as brush harvesters for grassland restoration for 5 years from the purchase date.
If your farm holding crosses the boundary of more than one Protected Landscape and you are interested in applying to the Farming in Protected Landscape programme please speak to an officer in either of the Protected Landscapes in which your holding lies. They will be best placed to advise which Protected Landscape body you should apply to.
Defra are funding an external contractor to review the effectiveness of the programme and show what Protected Landscapes bodies can deliver in partnership with farmers and land managers. Successful applicants will need to commit to participating in the programme evaluation; the input expected will be proportionate to the level of funding received.
It’s important to note that the programme isn’t an agri-environment scheme – it’s a programme supporting individual projects, enabling additional investment where it is most useful.
Being in an agri-environment scheme isn’t a barrier to receiving project funding through the programme as long as you’re not paid twice for the same work. The only exception to this is that you can’t be in the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot this year and receive funds through the programme.
Your Protected Landscape team will be able to provide you with more details, and guide you through the application process.
Defra will look to ensure that as far as possible, those who receive funding for a project under FiPL are not unfairly disadvantaged from applying for other E.L.M. schemes such as Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery or Landscape Recovery Schemes. Potential interactions and eligibility between FiPL and E.L.M. schemes will be set out as and when Defra provides further information about E.L.M. schemes.
We understand that you may be disappointed with a decision. If you would like appeal to the decision made you should make an appeal to your Protected Landscape by contacting Richard Leafe, CEO, Lake District National Park Authority, Murley Moss Business Park, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, LA9 7RL email@example.com
You can only query a funding decision if you think that the Protected Landscape has:
You must set out to the Protected Landscape team the reason for your appeal under one (or more) of these three criteria.
Appeals will be dealt with by your Protected Landscape team and if necessary escalated to Defra.
Alternatively if you would like to speak with one of our Farming in Protected Landscape advisers about the programme or a project you are considering please complete our enquiry form