Farming in Protected Landscapes
Farming in Protected Landscapes is a grant scheme for farmers and land managers in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
The programme, developed by Defra, and delivered locally through Dartmoor National Park Authority, supports farmers and land managers in carrying out projects that support the natural environment, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide public access opportunities or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
The programme runs from July 2021 until March 2024 and the funding is front loaded available in 2021 than in remaining years.
The programme is open to all farmers and land managers from the private, public and charity sector.
You must manage all the land included in the application and have control of all the activities you’d like to undertake, or you must have written consent from all parties who have this management and control.
Other organisations and individuals can apply, if it’s in collaboration with a farmer or land manager, supports a farmer or a group of farmers.
Common land is eligible for support. You can apply as a landowner with sole rights or as a group of commoners acting together.
Funding will be allocated through a transparent application process managed by Dartmoor National Park Authority.
Applications for over £5,000 (to a maximum of £250,000 in exceptional circumstances) will be judged by a Local Assessment Panel. This kind of system has been used locally before for the ‘Sustainable Development Fund.’
The panel will be made up of 8 to 12 people including several representatives of the farming and land-owning community. Defra have also requested representatives from Dartmoor National Park Authority, Natural England, the Rural Payments Agency and other specialists as required.
We expect the panel will meet to make decisions every 6 to 8 weeks once the programme is established and resourced. Initially however we anticipate that the first panel meeting will be scheduled for September 2021.
Applications for less than £5,000 will be decided upon by the project officer with a minimum grant award of £2000.
This is a programme of funding for one-off projects, not an agri-environment scheme. Carrying out a project through this programme will not affect your ability to enter the new environmental land management schemes.
Applying for funding
Before applying, we would encourage you to contact the Farming in Protected Landscapes team at the National Park to discuss your application.
We also suggest you read Defra’s Guidance for Applicants document first for more details on eligibility.
Applications for the first year of funding should be made between 1 July 2021 and 31 January 2022.
Funding will be awarded to successful applicants throughout the application window, rather than after the window closes, so you should submit your application as soon as it is ready.
We will consider applications for funding in year 2, especially if they aim to begin early in the financial year.
Multi-year awards are possible for longer projects. All projects must end by March 2024.
Ideally, the Farming in Protected Landscapes project officers might visit your potential project location or meet you to discuss your ideas.
What will the funding pay for?
For example, the programme might support:
- Re-wiggling a straightened watercourse, for the biodiversity and natural flood management benefits this can bring
- Replacing stiles with gates on public footpaths to promote easier access
- Restoring drystone walls across a landholding
- Creating wader scrapes, or creating ponds to support a variety of wildlife
- Promoting connectivity between habitats
- Creating and promoting a series of farm walks across a cluster of farms, providing new access opportunities, links to the rights of way network and interpretation of farming and of the natural and historic features on the land
- Conserving historic features on a farm, such as lime kilns or lead mining heritage
- Parking improvements at a key site provide safe access to popular walking routes and reduces congestion for visitors and for residents
- A pop-up camping facility, alongside the provision of new walking trails and on-site activities, including e.g. stargazing and dawn chorus walks
- Supporting a locally branded food initiative which promotes the links between the product and the landscape in which it is produced
- Re-wilding an area of land and promoting natural processes
- Action to reduce carbon emissions on a farm
- Whole farm planning for conservation, energy efficiency and economic resilience, including in farmer clusters
- Gathering data and evidence to help inform conservation and farming practice
- Accessing farm business advice
- Working with new audiences to enable them to experience the Protected Landscape
What outcomes are expected?
The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme will pay for projects that provide value for money and meet at least one of the outcomes in these four themes.
- More carbon is stored and/or sequestered
- Flood risk is reduced
- Farmers, land managers and the public better understand what different habitats and land uses can store carbon and reduce carbon emissions
- The landscape is more resilient to climate change
- There is a greater area of habitat improved for biodiversity
- There is an increase in biodiversity
- There is greater connectivity between habitats
- Existing habitat is better managed
- There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
- There are more opportunities for more diverse audiences to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
- There is greater public engagement in land management, such as through volunteering
- Farmers and land managers feel increasingly comfortable with providing public goods
- The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced
- Historic structures and features are conserved, enhanced or interpreted more effectively
- There is an increase in farm business resilience
Your project must help to deliver at least one of the objectives in the Dartmoor National Park Management Plan
If you want to discuss your application or have any questions, please contact the Farming in Protected Landscapes Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01626 832093 and ask to speak with a member of the team.
As we receive further information from Defra, we will update this webpage and our Applicant Guidance page.