The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs) which is to replace Countryside Stewardship and the Basic Payment Scheme, is currently being designed through various tests around the country, commissioned by Defra. The tests will work with farmers and land managers on the ground to continually feed into national pilots, to co-design the scheme and understand how new features of ELMs would work in real life environments.
The National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were chosen to develop an ELMs test and trial called ‘Farming for the Nation’, as the twelve Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK cover several geographies and sectors, enabling a series of objectives to be brought together.
In partnership with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and independent consultants, Cranborne Chase AONB launched the ‘Cranborne Chase AONB Environmental Land Management Scheme Test’ in January 2020, with the aim to co-design Land Management Plans (LMPs) with six selected farms within the AONB, building on existing farm plans and incorporating information such as soils, water, access and historic environment etc. The LMP creation process will look to highlight current issues and opportunities in relation to the Government’s 25 Year Plan objectives and will help form the basis of agreed actions and outcomes.
Jodie Case, research assistant at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, is the Test Facilitator on the project.