Educational access payments are available via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to farmers and landowners who offer educational farm visits as part of Mid-Tier and Higher-Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) and the Higher-Level (HLS) strand of Environmental Stewardship (ES).
The final window to claim Countryside Stewardship is NOW OPEN. This could be the last chance for farmers to claim Educational Access payments.
Farmers and landowners claiming Countryside Stewardship could be entitled to £7,950 each year for hosting educational visits.
Since 2015 the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme has provided financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment. One objective of the scheme is encouraging educational access for school children through a system of payment for each school visit held. Funding for these visits is available via the Rural Payments Agency to those on Mid-Tier and Higher-Tier Countryside Stewardship.
Educational Access Payments are not currently included in SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive). However, anyone with a Countryside Stewardship agreement will be able to apply for SFI actions so long as they are not being paid for the same action twice. The Country Trust believes educational access payments should be available to all farmers wishing to host high-quality educational visits and that it should be included as an action in SFI.
If you agree with us, please write to your MP to tell them!
Watch this short film to hear why these farmers host for The Country Trust.
Get in touch with the Country Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our team will advise you on:
How we support you and what other support is available.
The learning opportunities on your farm, including the crops that you grow and the livestock you raise, wildlife, history, geography, environmental features, and other enterprises that might be included in the visit. Children love to see animals, even ponies and chickens! They also love meeting farmers and people who work on the farm.
Shaping a programme for the day, including activities that will showcase your farm and the way you make your living.
ED1 payments are available to Higher Tier and Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship claimants BUT not as a standalone item. It can only be applied for with other Mid Tier (including Wildlife Offers) and Higher Tier options, an agreement cannot be for ED1 only.
ED1 is NOT available as part of a Mid-Tier Wildlife Offer.
The Wildlife Offers are:
To achieve the aims and deliver the environmental benefits, do not carry out any of the following activities:
Money for CEVAS or similar training is currently also available to Higher Tier applicants, the plan is to extend this to Mid-Tier claimants too AC2: Countryside educational access visits accreditation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Grants for capital items associated with educational access have also been available for past schemes and continue to be available in CS (Countryside Stewardship) for example, hand washing facilities, toilets, and classrooms as well as educational materials and other projects. Defra is looking into the possibility of bringing these payments into Mid-Tier.
Guidance for the CS options is available from gov.uk
Funding is also available for educational access as part of the new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is open to all farmers and land managers within an AONB or National Park in England, or the Broads. Other organisations and individuals can apply when collaborating with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers. Country Trust is applying in partnership with several farms in protected landscapes.
ELMs was designed to replace all current payment schemes. It comprises 3 schemes that reward environmental land management:
These schemes are intended to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following: