Natural England have reported that more than 3000 farmers have signed up to the Uplands Entry Level Stewardship Scheme since it was launched this summer. Mor than 500,000 ha (1.2m acres) of farmland had come under the scheme since its launch in 1st July.
Each farmer who joins the scheme will earn about £57,000 over the course of their five-year uplands ELS agreement with payments worth up to £62/ha (£25/acre) under the initative. The scheme replaces the Hill Farm Allowance (HFA) scheme and Natural England said it was particularly pleased that about 90 applications accounted for almost 1000,000ha of common land, which was an area where upatke was initially slow due to the complex was common land is owned and managed.
Robin Tucker, Director of Natural England, said uplands ELS could make a key contribution both to hill farmers and the countryside in which they worked.
He explained that Natural England has advisers waiting to give hill farmers free advice and support with their applications. .