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Defra’s strong indication that ELMS (Environmental Land Management Scheme) is under rapid review - along with other previously announced farming policies - is not surprising, according to Shouler & Son’s rural professionals.

ELMS was announced in 2018 to replace the BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) as the model for re-framing farming funding in moving away from subsidy for food production to ‘reward for public good’.

Yet during the past four years, there has been little, to no, clear guidance from Defra as to how ELMS initiatives would work, in practice, for farmers.

This lack of information has meant it was impossible for many farming businesses to plan and project with any certainty how ELMS could be implemented within their operations.

For that reason, there has been little interest, far less active uptake, in the initial round of ELMS options by Shouler & Son’s clients - reflecting the poor financial returns for carrying out improvements to soils on farm.

Now that ELMS is under review, Shouler & Son, along with its peer rural business professionals, await further information and call for swift and clear guidance from Defra when any replacement is announced.

For more information on Shouler & Son’s rural services, including BPS & Compliance, see