**Update** Educational Access Payments


Over the past several months, the Country Trust has been liaising with the Rural Payments Agency and Defra around the availability and awareness of Educational Access Payments (ED1).
 
We've been listening to farmer hosts who report that the process to make or add an ED1 claim, particularly to an existing agreement, is difficult and unclear. We’re also aware that many farmers do not know that Educational Payments exist, and if they do, are unsure of what support is available to them to help them open the farm gate for visits.

 

Further details about ED1, other grants and how the Country Trust can support farmers is included below.

 


 

So what’s changed?

Farmers who signed up to new Mid-Tier agreements last year, who were unaware of the availability of ED1 should be able to add it to their agreement. In the first instance, they should contact their RPA adviser or email: [email protected] and request ED1 is added to their agreement.  
If they encounter issues having ED1 added to their agreement, they can contact Linda Kelsall at the Rural Payments Agency ([email protected]). I am in regular contact with Linda, and she has promised to help resolve any ED1 issues.  

 

 


 

Skip to section:

 

About Countryside Stewardship

ED1 Key Points

ED1 Restrictions

How the Country Trust can support farmers

Further funding and guidance

Timeline

 


 

About Countryside Stewardship

 

Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment. One element of the scheme is encouraging educational access. 
 
Educational Access Payments (ED1) 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 strand of Environmental Stewardship (HLS).  
 
The window for applications is currently open for both Mid and Higher Tier CS. Government advice is: 
• Applying this year is the best way to prepare for the government’s future Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme, which will reward farmers for producing ‘public goods’ 
• Those signed up to CS who secure a place in the ELM pilot from 2021, or wish to enter the scheme when it is fully rolled out from 2024, will be able to leave their agreements at agreed exit points, without penalty.  

 

ED1 Key Points

 

• 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 and Higher Tier options, (including Wildlife Offers) an agreement cannot be for ED1 only. 
• Mid-Tier applications are open now and close at midnight on 29 July 2022. 
• Higher Tier initial application open now until midnight on 29 April 2022 
• £309 per visit – up to 25 visits per year  
• Tour of farm / activities must last at least 2 hours  
• Tour of farm / activities must involve farm staff  
• Visit should help make links between farming, conservation and food production using the land as a classroom 
• Hosts must complete a Farm visit evaluation form for each visit claimed. 
• It is possible to deliver more visits, or to deliver visits to parties that would otherwise not be eligible and to charge these visitors if you wish. However, you cannot claim these visits through Countryside Stewardship. 

 

ED1 Restrictions

 

To achieve the aims and deliver the environmental benefits, do not carry out any of the following activities: 

 

• The children cannot be older than 18. There is no age limit on care farming 
• Charge for visits 
• Receive any other direct income relating to the educational visit 
• Youth clubs, toddler groups and extra-curricular events are not eligible visitors 
• Respite care and those set to work on tasks are not eligible visitors 
• As there is no maximum party size, only one group on the holding at a time is eligible to be claimed 
• You cannot claim for more than 25 visiting groups in any agreement year. 
• On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you have not carried out any prohibited activities. 

 

How the Country Trust can support farmers

 

• We have more than 40 years’ experience in organising farm visits
• We undertake all the liaison with schools, including pre-visits, timetables and curriculum links
• We work with you to ensure the visits go smoothly and that you feel confident welcoming a class of children to your farm.
• We will share our generic risk assessment to help you prepare your own for your farm or estate.

 


Interested in becoming a host?  Read News Article: 'Calling all Farmers and Growers - #EducationalAccess #EqualAccess 


 

Further funding and guidance

 

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  
ED1: Educational access - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  
AC2: Countryside educational access visits accreditation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  
AC1: Access capital items - GOV.UK (www.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.  

 

 

Timeline

 

**Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments **Update** Educational Access Payments