Farmers in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being urged to apply now for a grant.
A total of £2.2 million is available for what will be the fourth and final year of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.
As all grants must be claimed and spent before the end of March 2025, ideas need to come forward in the early part of 2024 to stand the best chance of success.
Farming in Protected Landscapes is run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Since the scheme started in July 2021, the national park authority has provided grants to 154 farmers and landowners, worth a total of £2.7 million.
The decisions on the grant applications are made by an assessment panel, which includes local farmers.
Grants can be made to support projects which help nature to recover; mitigate against climate change; provide opportunities for people to understand and enjoy the farmed landscape of the National Park; or which protect or improve the quality and character of the place.
An example of a recent successful application is ‘Pasture for Life’, a project supporting farmers to produce beef from cattle fed only on grassland.
Through the project, four farming mentors are providing support to 12 farmers, helping them to adapt to changes in farm payments and try out new grazing and livestock management methods.
Member champion for the natural environment at the YDNPA, Mark Corner, said: “It is essential that farmers in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are supported through the agricultural transition period, because their businesses are vital both for local communities and the landscape we love.
“A Farming in Protected Landscapes grant could provide a boost to these businesses.
“Farmers are increasingly coming forward with ideas. Our Farming in Protected Landscapes team is receiving enquiries nearly every day.
“We have a sizeable amount of money to support local businesses but once it’s gone, it’s gone – so it would be great if more people got in touch.
“We’d particularly like to see applications for projects that support the people and place themes.
“The people theme can include educational work or access projects, while the place theme can incorporate farm diversification, equipment for new business ventures or environmental land management. Ideas please!”
Full details of the programme, as well as the phone numbers of the farming in protected landscapes officers, can be found here.