Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
3:20 PM 5th March 2021

Farmers Urged To Act Fast For New Green Grants

The team at Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is urging farmers and land managers to apply for Countryside Stewardship to access new grants as EU subsidies are phased out.

Haymaking by David Tolcher
Haymaking by David Tolcher
The Nidderdale AONB Land management Team is offering free guidance to help farmers and land managers in the AONB with the transition.

Payments through the Basic Payment Scheme, which currently help to support the farming industry, reduce this year and will be phased out completely by 2027. Applying for Countryside Stewardship is the best way to keep payments coming in during the transition to the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme.

Marian Wilby, Nidderdale AONB Land Management Team Leader, will host four free online webinars for farmers and landowners in March, along with Farming and Wildlife Adviser, Claire Foster.

Nidderdale tractor by Paul Skirrow
Nidderdale tractor by Paul Skirrow
Marian Wilby said:
“It’s actually quite daunting for farmers to do their day jobs and keep up with the changes and bureaucracy. Our aim, via e-newsletters and free webinars, is to keep farmers fully informed and up-to-date, as well as answer any of their questions on the new grant schemes to help farmers and land managers keep payments coming in during this transition period.”

The webinars will cover Countryside Stewardship options, as well as the latest updates on the Environmental Land Management scheme, which will promote nature-friendly farming practices, and the new Farming in Protected Landscapes scheme due to launch this year.

Marian added:
“In these fast-changing times for the industry, we’ve outlined all the schemes available, when applications are open, and how to apply. Due to this upcoming transition, our Land Management Team is extremely busy, and it may not be possible to help everyone in the AONB on a one-to-one basis. Attending one of our free workshops will help you decide what options are available for you.”

These changes have an impact across all land management practices, including farming, moorland management and woodland creation and management. Under the new schemes, farmers and land managers will be paid grants to improve the natural environment, animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions.

Nidderdale AONB is also a lead partner alongside the National Trust for the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Skell Valley Scheme, working with the local community, landowners and farmers in the River Skell catchment.

Part of this innovative project will be to test out ‘Payment by Results’ where farmers and land managers receive payments for delivering successful conservation measures. Working in partnership with the farming community, the project will deliver natural flood management to reduce flood risk across the catchment and to improve the river’s water quality to encourage wildlife to return and thrive.

Haymaking - AONB
Haymaking - AONB
Iain Mann, Manager at Nidderdale AONB, said:
“Farming is part and parcel of what makes Nidderdale AONB’s landscape so special. A vital part of our role is to work with and support farmers, so that we can retain a thriving farming community. The new environmental grants will help us to collaborate even more with farmers and land managers to protect the AONB’s natural beauty, tackle climate change and safeguard our wildlife and heritage, while sustaining a vibrant working landscape.”

The free webinars are hosted by the Farmer Network on Zoom on behalf of Nidderdale AONB. Farmers and land managers in Nidderdale AONB can register by calling: 01768 868615 or email:

Webinar dates:

Monday 8 March 7.30pm – Upland Focus
Thursday 11 March 7.30pm – Mixed Farming
Monday 15 March 7.30pm – Upland Focus
Thursday 18 March 7.30pm – Upland Focus

Farmers and landowners can find out more about new grant schemes and sign up to the new Farm Support e-newsletter at: