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Defra has recently published information about two major schemes to be rolled-out under the ELMS (Environment Land Management Scheme) umbrella in replacing the BPS (Basic Payment Scheme).

These new initiatives are the Landscape Recovery Scheme (LR) and the Local Nature Recovery Scheme (LNR) and they follow on from the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme launched at the end of last year (2021).

The two latest schemes form major tiers in reinforcing central government’s post-Brexit policy push for ‘public money rewarding public good’ in creating and formalising a payment infrastructure for the countryside that is not mainly focused on food production.

The LR scheme will focus on projects of 500 to 5,000 hectares, whereas LNR schemes are for smaller projects suitably tailored to the prevailing habitat in a specific locale.

Defra is calling for and considering applications for pilot projects for both schemes.

It is anticipated that monitoring and analysis of these pilots will then provide Defra with the detail to roll out effective and efficient LR and LNR schemes as the basis for payments ahead of 2027, when BPS concludes.

Shouler & Son, along with many in the farming world, does have reservations about the practicality of the timescale and the effectiveness of the schemes - given the absence of detail available at this point.

However, now more than ever, the firm’s rural professionals feel that because scale, scope and style of eligible LR and LNR projects will be key to unlocking payment success for potential claimants, expert advice from experienced advisors is important at such a time of uncertainty in the farming sector.

For more information on Shouler & Son’s rural services and professional advice on eligibility for Defra schemes, contact Angela Wood, email, tel 01664 560181 or see