NSA cautiously welcomes simplified countryside stewardship

12th February 2020

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is today welcoming the recent announcement of Government’s next steps regarding future funding for environmental schemes in England.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: “The next few years will undoubtedly bring some difficult times with changes to the way farm payments are structured and what money will be paid for. Uncertainty has been rife for a long time, so we welcome at least some immediate direction being given regarding a new simplified countryside stewardship scheme that is open for applications as from today. We know that many farmers have not had a positive experience with stewardship. Many of the prescriptions have been too rigid and payments have been appallingly late. This new scheme will be an early test of Defra and the RPAs ability to do things differently following our departure from the EU, but if environmental works and its income is important to a farm business then it has to be worth giving it a go.

“At the NSA we will do whatever we can to hold the Government and its administrative departments to their commitments and promises, and we will continue to work with Defra with the aim of ensuring ELMS delivers well in the future.”