Grants available to AONB farmers
The Defra-funded Farming in Protected Landscapes is a three-year programme, which aims to support those who manage land in AONBs and National Parks across the UK.
Iain Mann, Manager at Nidderdale AONB, said: “The grant programme will run from July 2021 to March 2024.
“Projects will need to deliver a positive outcome in at least one of the four key areas.
“These are: climate, such as flood risk reduction or carbon storage; nature, with improved habitats for biodiversity; people, with better access or engagement with the land; and place, which includes enhancing the character of the land, its historic features, or increasing the business resilience of farms.”
Farmers and land managers will be eligible for financial support for one-off projects that fit various criteria, drawn up by Defra with AONB and National Park staff.
Projects must either support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
And schemes could be action to reduce carbon emissions or use of plastics on farms, enhancing habitat for wildlife, improving access on public footpaths, promoting a series of farm walks, conserving historical features on the land, or farm diversification to provide tourism activities, such as stargazing or dawn chorus walks.
All farmers and landowners within the AONB can apply – including those from the private, public and charity sector.
Other organisations and individuals are eligible too, as long as they are collaborating or supporting a farmer or land manager.
Applications under £5,000 will be decided by senior Nidderdale AONB staff. Grant requests for over £5,000 will be assessed by a Local Assessment Panel, made up of representatives from the AONB, Natural England and the farming and land management community.
Nidderdale AONB is currently recruiting a dedicated officer, project assistant, and administrator to ensure smooth running of the Farming in Protected Landscape programme. The team will be ready for applications this summer.
Iain Mann said: “Farming is part and parcel of what makes Nidderdale AONB’s landscape so special. A vital part of our role is to work with and support farmers.”
“These new grants will help us to collaborate even more with farmers and land managers to protect the AONB’s natural beauty, tackle climate change and safeguard our wildlife and heritage, while sustaining a vibrant working landscape.”
The funding is part of the government’s Agricultural Transition Plan after Brexit and the end of EU subsidies, as well as helping to address the climate crisis.
To find out more about eligibility and criteria: nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/farminginprotectedlandscapes