Reasons to Visit Wilson Wraight at Cereals 2023: BNG, Capital Grants and SFI

With the ever-increasing move towards environmentally sympathetic farming, Wilson Wraight are on hand to provide advice to help achieve this. Three areas which are of great importance are Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), Capital Grants and Environmental Land Management (ELM).

Biodiversity Net Gain is a scheme to ensure that future development of land has a positive effect on the environment. For example, on a housing development the loss of habitat must be offset either on or offsite based on the Natural England’s biodiversity metric 4.0 which places a value on land type. As you expect the metrics are complex, an example to illustrate this (which is not accurate to the metric) is, 1 acre of arable at a metric value of 1 lost to housing could be offset by half an acre of wildflower meadow if that had a metric of 2 per acre. Demand for BNG is highly variable and based on location and planning requirements.

Capital grants are available as a standalone grant, or part of mid or higher tier older environmental stewardship agreements and SFI. The agreements offer capital items to achieve specific environmental benefits within 4 groups.

  • Boundaries, trees and orchards
  • Improved water quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Improved natural flood management

There is now no limit to the value that can be applied for. However, the grant only offers a contribution towards the cost of each capital item. Capital grants are best used to enable the delivery of land options or for clear business and environmental benefits.

Which leads us on to ELM. The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is the first tier of ELM, it is made up of 3 year agreements with a high degree of flexibility through the selection of various ‘standards.’ The SFI scheme is likely to suit farms new to stewardship or those wanting to supplement countryside stewardship with some additional broader options.

Countryside Stewardship offers a more complex, longer-term approach with more options than SFI. If your considerations are more ambitious, the Landscape Recovery incentive is available for highly complex, bespoke and large areas of change.

Wilson Wraight will be at Cereals on the 13th and 14th June, please come and visit us on stand 260, if you wish to discuss the Environmental Schemes or any other matters in more detail.