Dales farmers invited to online countryside stewardship scheme meetings

Swaledale. Photo: VisitBritain.

Dales farmers are being invited to attend online meetings about the updated countryside stewardship scheme and the Government’s new environmental land management scheme.

The farm conservation team at the national park authority will run nine hour-long Zoom meetings this month, between Wednesday, February 10 and Monday, February 22.

Each meeting will feature a presentation from the team and an informal discussion.

Five of the meetings are scheduled for the daytime, with four in the evenings.

Farmers can book a place by visiting the farm team’s webpage at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/farming

Senior farm conservation sdviser at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Helen Keep, who will be leading the meetings, said:  “Usually at this time of year we tempt farmers to meetings in village halls or function rooms by offering chips and sandwiches.

“This year we can’t do that, but I do hope people will attend the Zoom meetings, as a number of potentially attractive new income streams are about to become available for farmers in the national park.

“During the meetings we will present an update on the Countryside Stewardship scheme in time for the application window opening.

“The presentation will also cover key new funding schemes set out by Defra in its agricultural transition plan 2021 to 2024, including the proposed farming in protected landscapes scheme and the environmental land management scheme – Defra’s flagship scheme for the future.

“We are looking to meet around 15 farmers in each session which will hopefully enable a good discussion about the information presented.

“Defra is all ears at the moment as it shapes the new farming policies and payment schemes.

“These meetings are a chance for local farmers to get their views and ideas heard, as we will pass on key messages to Defra.”