Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Environmental Land Management scheme

Peak District farmland sunset

Defra is developing its vision for agricultural policy post Brexit what will help to deliver the Government's ambition to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. Basic Payment Scheme and Countryside/ Environmental Stewardship will be replaced with a system of public money for public goods - 'Environmental Land Management'. The scheme is due for national rollout in late 2024.

Defra ran a consultation on the proposed new policy in the first half on 2020. You can read the Policy Discussion Document on Defra's website.

In November 2020, the Government published The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024. A summary is available for farmers and land managers called Farming is Changing, and sets out information on what farmers and land managers might need to get ready for the coming changes, including:

  • phasing out direct payment
  • changing how Defra work with farmers and land managers
  • changing rules and regulations
  • grant programmes.

Our Farm Advisers are available to advise you on the impacts the new agricultural policies and scheme could have on your farm business.

Tests and Trials

Defra are running Tests and Trials before the rollout of the new scheme. They are an opportunity for farmers and land managers to co-design the new scheme. Tests will help design some of the fundamental building blocks, such as developing a land management plan. Trials will make sure any interventions and innovations are viable and offer value for money.

The Peak District National Park Authority bid to run a Test in the White Peak in 2018, formulated using ideas put together by the Peak District Land Managers' Forum and White Peak Partnership. The White Peak was accepted as one of the phase one Tests, and ran from November 2019 until October 2020.

We are testing whether a National Character Area framework can be used as an approach to designing some of the building blocks for Environmental Land Management, and help change the relationship between Government and farmers and land managers.

The results of the White Peak Test are available in the report White Peak Test: Results from engagement with farmers and land managers.

The final results of the second part of the Test, including the Dark Peak and South West Peak, are available in the report The Methodology and Results of the Second Dark Peak and South West Peak Phase.

The National Park Authority has been successful in securing funding for phase two of the Test, which will run until October 2021 in the Dark Peak and South West Peak. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Sarah Bird on 01629 816 273 or

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