Tuesday 18 December 2018 11:41:06 PM

Environmental Farming Scheme (Wider) To Open
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Prepare now for Environmental Farming Scheme (Wider) opening on 20 August 2018 

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that a second tranche of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) Wider will open for applications on Monday 20 August 2018.

The EFS is a voluntary scheme. Farmers and landowners with a DAERA category 1 or 2 Business ID and 3 hectares of land that is eligible for Basic Payment are able to apply. The Wider EFS aims to deliver benefits across the countryside outside of environmentally designated areas.

More than 1,000 farmers are currently completing a range of environmental projects under the 2017 Wider scheme that enables them to farm in an environmentally friendly manner.

A DAERA Spokesperson advised potential applicants to carry out some research before applying to the scheme.

He said: “EFS is different to previous agri-environment schemes.  The usual options are available, including establishment of agroforestry, arable options, protection of watercourses, hedge planting and hedge laying, but we would advise farmers to read information regarding the scheme before applying.

“Information can be obtained from the DAERA website. Our advice is to only choose the options and amount that you can carry out, remembering that most options must be completed by 1 June 2019.  Once you have made your choices, the application is a simple on-line process but you do need to be registered with DAERA on-line Services.”

Applications to the Wider EFS close on 21 September and further information can be obtained at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/environmental-farming-scheme-efs-wider-level.

Notes for editors:

1. There are over 1,000 EFS Wider participants currently completing a range of environmental works funded partly under the NI Rural Development Programme.