Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)

This consists of four elements:

Countryside Stewardship – the latest agri-environment scheme. It is made up of the following:

  • Higher Tier – a scheme aimed exclusively at sites of high environmental importance. A wide range of management options will be available, and applicants must contact Natural England or the Forestry Commission before applying.
  • Mid Tier – open to all, however applications will be scored according to whether they achieve local environmental priorities, with only the highest scoring being accepted onto the scheme.
  • Hedgerows and boundaries capital grants – funding of up to £5000 for restoration of small-scale boundary features. Available to those not in Higher or Mid Tier, or existing HLS / ELS agreements.
  • Water Capital Grants – grants of up to £10,000 per holding for works to help reduce water pollution. Available to those in priority catchment targets areas.
  • Woodland Capital Grants – grants for creating and maintaining new woodland, preparing woodland management plans and for works associated with tree health.

Countryside Productivity Scheme – grants to invest in equipment and innovative technology

  • Grants of between £2,500 and £35,000 covering up to £40% of costs for investment in specific types of innovative equipment
  • Grants of more than £35,000 covering up to £40% of costs towards certain projects that improve productivity
  • Funding to help farmers improve skills, start businesses and towards specific projects

Growth Programme – grants to people and businesses to help them support their local rural community, including:

  • Starting up a business
  • Developing a business
  • Tourism
  • Renewable heat and energy projects

LEADER – funding allocated to local action groups (LAGs) in order to create jobs and growth in rural areas.