A new scheme to support hill farmers with payments for environmental management called Uplands ELS opened for business in July 2010. The new scheme makes grant payments to all upland farmers (including dairy producers) with land in Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs) regardless of the size of their holding. The new scheme is the successor to the Hill Farm Allowance, which has made its final payments this year - under the Hill Farm Allowance, dairy producers could not claim any grant funding whereas they are eligible under this new scheme.
Uplands ELS agreements are for five years - you can choose from over 80 different management options, such as cattle grazing, haymaking and maintenance of traditional farm buildings, so you have the flexibility to select the right options for your farm business.
The standard payment rate is £62 per hectare per year. This provides a secure and regular payment for your farm business. As well as management options you can choose from a range of capital works such as stone wall restoration and woodland fencing.
Provided you meet a points target and agree to carry out simple but effective environmental management (including some standard requirements) on your land, you will be accepted into Uplands ELS.
For further information, visit www.naturalengalnd.org.uk/uplandsels