The 2019 hedgerows and boundaries grant scheme offers farmers an ‘excellent opportunity’ to unlock public funding to help restore neglected hedges and stone walls, according to Strutt & Parker.

Hedges and walls are a valuable part of the country’s heritage, landscape and biodiversity, as well as being important from a management perspective.

The grant scheme, part of the Countryside Stewardship, gives farmers an opportunity to restore boundaries with the payments on offer representing a significant proportion of the actual costs of carrying out the work.

Ryan Lindley, farming consultant at Strutt & Parker, said: “The big change in 2018 was that landowners could apply for a maximum grant of £10,000, when in previous years the limit had been £5,000. This higher limit has been continued in 2019.

“The payment rates remain the same as in 2018, with options including £9.40/m for hedgerow laying, £9.50/m for filling in gaps and £25/m for stonewall restoration.”

The scheme is only aimed at the restoration of hedges and stone walls, so farmers wanting funding to establish a new hedgerow or boundary, including fencing options, are encouraged to make an application under the wider mid- or higher-tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

Applications for the Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant Scheme can be made online via the Rural Payments system.

The closing date for applications is 3 May.

Source: Farming UK