Policy and Regulation

United Kingdom - Wales

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).

United Kingdom - Scotland

The Basic Payment Scheme is expected to roll over in Scotland until 2025.  To be eligible, farmers have to practise cross compliance with environmental and animal welfare regulations (the land has to be maintained under Good Environmental and Ecological Condition). 

The ‘Greening’ component of the BPS is applied for permanent pasture designated as environmentally sensitive grassland or Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), with 5% of an arable farm to be in an EFA.  There is a separate Forestry Grant Scheme.

United Kingdom - Northern Ireland

Active farmers receive payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), although BPS payments are subject to cross-compliance to ensure that environmental measures are adopted.

There is also an optional agri-environmental Environmental Farming Scheme until 2023.

Eligibility for Grant Funding – Basic Payment Scheme

Hedges (including fenced-off hedges) are eligible up to a maximum width of 4 m.

United Kingdom - England

The Basic Payment Scheme (the equivalent of the EU Pillar 1 payments) has operated as previously in 2021, with recipients required to comply with cross-compliance.  It will be phased out between 2021 and 2027.  Payments will be reduced each year, but proportionally more for larger land holdings.  It will be replaced by Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs), which will have three tiers.  Tier 1 – will pay for management changes directed at improving environmental performance of farming operations.  Tier 2 – will pay for management of land specificall


Eligibility for grant funding


Pillar 1

Farmers in receipt of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment may be eligible for the greening component.  If a farmer has more than 15 ha of land, 5% must be in an Ecological Focus Area. 

Hedges and trees in a line are considered as Landscape Features, and qualify for BPS as long as they are retained and maintained.  If a hedge must be removed for any reason, it must be replaced elsewhere on the land parcel. 

Policy and Regulation

The countries of the UK are producing devolved plans for financial support to agriculture following the UK's departure from the European Union.  These plans are loosely based on the EU regulations, but are showing increasing divergence with time. 

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