Free advice and support until 2025
The Farm for the Future programme is designed to provide information, support and guidance for farmers to navigate their way through the Agricultural Transition; due to changing policy, reduction and ultimate loss of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the emergence of new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.
The programme is funded by Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund, and any tenant or owner-occupied farm currently in receipt of BPS in England is eligible to join for free. The Hill Farm Project is working with the Royal Countryside Fund as one of 19 delivery partners across the country who can build on their existing relationships within their farming communities, to tailor activity to local needs. This ensures that the most important issues receive the right focus and are delivered via known and trusted people.
Following a successful initial pilot in 2021/22 which led to the current 3 year roll out, we are now about to start season two of the main programme which will be active this autumn/winter. This free programme offers the chance to join meetings or events which highlight and address some of the main concerns brought about by the changes in policy from the Agricultural Transition. As this is still seeing continual changes and news emerging, its understandable that farmers may be unclear about their options.
Our programme on Dartmoor is designed to help with this; to understand the implications to the farm business from the continued reduction of BPS payments, how to identify and compare potential income from new ELM Agri-Environment schemes, what's involved and how to approach these? We start with these core subjects, expanding into optional topic workshops as we progress into the new year.
With two seasons under our belts and having worked with over 100 Dartmoor farms so far through this programme, we want to focus more on tailored support this winter, which hopefully will result in greater understanding to adapt to the policy changes but also to build a stronger connection within and between farmers on the moor as well. We have also designed our wider events offer to be complementary and run in parallel, all of which are designed to provide insight, build knowledge and an opportunity to see or discuss practicalities first-hand.
We are mid season of our 2023/24 programme this autumn/winter with an outline of event content as below, and will continue to promote this for anyone interested to join at any stage. It follows the programme format but will also offer smaller working groups to help support practical steps of how to complete scheme applications and what you need to be aware of for record keeping or evidencing your later claims. Dates and numbers for these groups will reflect demand from our farmers, so we hope that this will be popular and useful.