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Residential Management Team
On 2nd February 2023, it was announced that the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme will be extended until March 2025. With more money available, now is a good time for farmers in these areas to consider making an application.
First introduced in 2021, FiPL is part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan offering funding to farmers and land managers (public, private or charity sector) for projects which help to improve and protect National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and support local communities.
FiPL works differently from other schemes, avoiding prescribed options or actions in favour of a broader list of outcomes against which supported projects must deliver. The programme will pay for projects that result in at least one ‘climate, nature, people or place’ outcome and which also support the management plan objectives of the relevant protected area. Funding of up to 100% of the cost of the project is available where there is no commercial gain, and reduces depending on how much benefit there is for the business.
While this offers an amount of flexibility, the differing priorities and the broader scope of the scheme has led to confusion by some farmers and land managers as to what to apply for. The amount of funding available in each protected area also varies, creating differing objectives and affecting the type of projects they may be willing to fund.
To offer some clarity, we have shared guidance we have received from the FiPL officers in each of the protected areas in Northern England on their differing priorities and types of projects eligible for funding.
The focus in this area is on projects which benefit the landscape of the AONB. Examples of the type of projects which have been supported include:
The FiPL panel here are happy to provide funding for farm diversifications and nature-based projects and have funded:
The FiPL panel here are steering away from projects which can be delivered under other environmental schemes unless part of a wider package, and generally will not fund work which could be delivered under Countryside Stewardship. The panel also advised that capital items for machinery are more likely to be funded where farmers work together to form a machinery ring. This area has supported:
Projects funded in this area have been heavily focused on landscape preservation and nature themes. Any activities with a CS rate equivalent will be paid out at that rate. Projects with capital items, for example equipment to reduce soil compaction, are more likely to be accepted if part of a wider package. Funded projects have included:
The NYMNP FiPL team fund projects which are in line with their management plan, which focus on climate, nature, health and wellbeing objectives. They have an estimated project spend of £100,000 for this year which they expect to see increase next year. Funded projects have included:
This protected area has a large funding pot, funding £350,000 worth of projects last year. Applications in this area must support FiPL objectives and at least one management plan objective. Projects which have been funded include:
Traditional barn restoration projects have been popular in this area and are therefore very competitive – a strong application is crucial. Other examples of projects funded by the YDNP include:
Each protected area has a limited fund to allocate and other third sector organisations and land managers are being very proactive in putting forward projects. As such we encourage farmers to make the most of this funding while it is available. Funding is not limited to nature conservation work – farm diversification projects or items aimed at increasing the resilience and sustainability of your business are also eligible.