The Basic Payment Scheme (the equivalent to the EU Pillar 1 payments) is expected to roll over until 2023, subject to funding from the UK government. A ‘Sustainable Farming Scheme’ will commence in 2025.
To be eligible for BPS funding, a farmer must engage in cross compliance with environmental or animal welfare regulations (for example, any hedges must not be cut between 1st March – 31st August, to protect nesting birds).
The equivalent of the Pillar 2 payments, the greening component of grant support, is included as part of the BPS payment. Farmers have to participate in ‘Greening’ in order to receive the BPS funding, and to do this they must have Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), unless they have permanent grassland or they farm organically. The Glastir scheme funded farmers to form EFAs. Glastir Woodland Creation has now closed for 2021. There will be a new scheme in 2022.
Eligibility for Grant Funding – Basic Payment Scheme
Land parcels with more than 100 trees per hectare are ineligible.
Groups of trees of more than 100 m2 area are ineligible.
Scattered trees at a density of less than 100 per hectare are eligible, but the area of the trunk and exposed roots cannot be claimed.
Hedges (up to a maximum width of 10 m), trees in strips or trees in a line on or adjacent to arable land are classified as an EFA.
Short rotation coppice is classified as an EFA.
Eligibility for Grant Funding – Glastir Woodland Creation
GWC allows for shelterbelts or small groups of trees down to 0.1 ha area. This is complemented by a single agroforestry option, with agroforestry described as an integrated approach to land management, where trees and agriculture co-exist to provide multiple benefits.
For the agroforestry grant, the land has to continue to be grazed at normal stocking levels (although a crop of hay or silage can be taken off), and the trees have to be individually protected. A capital grant for planting and an annual payment for five years after the year of planting are given. The land under the agroforestry measure is still subject to cross-compliance regulations. The field parcels with scattered trees under agroforestry continue to be eligible for BPS minus a deduction for the area of trees which are fenced off, as long as, including existing trees before planting the agroforestry trees, there are fewer than 100 scattered trees per hectare. A deduction for trunks and stumps will be made if the area of trunks exceeds 50 m2.
Last updated November 2021