April deadline for Agri-Environment Climate Scheme
Update 10 April 2019, please note this article has been updated to reflect the extended deadline for applications.
The 2019 Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) round is currently open to applications and closes on 17 April 2019.
Collaborative applications (involving five or more RPID-registered businesses) have an application closing date of Friday 31 May 2019. This deadline only applies to collaborative projects which fully meet the requirements of the Collaborative Management Plan.
AECS offers a wide range of options, including for those managing species-rich grasslands, hedges, floodplains, wetlands, moorland and peatland.
Moorland grazed by livestock and/or deer is eligible for annual management payments to allow grazing at appropriate levels throughout the year, but especially in the winter months when heather and bog habitats are at greater risk from damage by grazing animals. In addition, AECS can fund summer cattle grazing on hill land where this would be of benefit.
To alleviate winter grazing pressure, AECS funding to away-winter sheep is available (to remove sheep to another holding over the winter months) and stock disposal (to reduce the overall breeding ewe numbers on the hill) is also available.
For hill ground with black grouse leks or which has a designation for ground nesting birds, additional predator control effort can be funded.
Deer control and management funding is also available.
A range of work to enhance peatlands can be funded through AECS. In addition to annual management payments for habitats such as moorland (including blanket bog), heath, wetland and lowland raised bog, the scheme also funds capital work to enhance and improve the condition of these habitats.
Funding for a range of capital works can also be accessed through AECS.
Check which options are available at http://targeting.ruralpayments.org/ and contact your local Scottish Government area office or Scottish Natural Heritage office for more information or for help with your online application.
Take a look at our short video below highlighting a project that benefitted from AECS funding.
For those land managers with peatland, the Peatland Action Fund is now open for applications to restore peatland and closes on 17 May 2019.