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05th October 2015

Dual Use to continue in Countryside Stewardship

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DEFRA has now confirmed that it will allow “dual use” under Countryside Stewardship.

DEFRA has now confirmed that it will allow “dual use” under Countryside Stewardship. Therefore a tenant can continue to claim payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (providing he satisfies the BPS requirements) and the landlord can claim payment under the Countryside Stewardship scheme (providing he satisfies the requirements for the scheme). Dual use was previously permitted under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme. It is not permitted in Wales where Glastir applies. As under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, the ability of a landlord to claim under Country Stewardship hinges on the drafting of the tenancy agreement – the landlord showing he has sufficient management control. Therefore the landlord must ensure the tenant has a copy of the Countryside Stewardship agreement, and that the tenancy ensures the landlord can comply with its obligations under the Scheme, reserving sufficient rights of entry for management with corresponding obligations on the tenant The ability to claim dual use on a Mid Tier Countryside Stewardship scheme will be permitted from 2017 and for Higher Tier applications from January 2016. Given that the window for submitting Mid Tier applications closed on 30 September, some farmers may be frustrated that they are unable to apply for dual use until 2017. There may have also been confusion as to whether the landlord or the tenant should have been named as the applicant on the application. The delay in DEFRA making the announcement may lead to increased administration costs for both landlords and tenants if they now need to rely on the other in order to comply with the requirements of the Scheme. For more information on Countryside Stewardship, please contact Stephanie Dennis or 016046 233233 or click here to email Stephanie.