What to look out for in Landscape Recovery round two

Monday, 12 June 2023

The second round of the Landscape Recovery scheme is open for applications, but how are farmers feeling about the major changes occurring in domestic agricultural policy, and what are their attitudes towards the scheme? We recently conducted research in collaboration with Harper Adams University to assess farmers’ attitudes towards the schemes, exploring the benefits as well as any barriers and challenges they faced when applying.

Landscape Recovery is one of the environmental land management schemes (ELMs) that is open for farmers and land managers who want to undertake a large-scale, long-term approach to producing environmental and climate goods on their land. The first round was open last year, since when 22 projects have been announced which are now being finalised before heading into the development phase. The second round is looking for up to 25 projects of at least 500 hectares that target net zero, protected sites and habitat creation. Defra has in-depth guidance and information on how to submit your application.

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Jess Corsair

Senior Economist

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As part of our research with Harper Adams University we interviewed farmers to understand their experience and thoughts about the scheme. We developed case studies to explore whether farmers are engaging in the scheme and why, what they expect the benefits to be, their views towards collaboration, and how the partnerships are managed. We also spoke to farmers who did not apply for the scheme to understand their views and potential barriers.

Key takeaways from the research included top tips for those looking to apply in the next round. These top tips from farmers were:

  • Be proactive and ahead of the game!
  • Engage with local councils to gain support and coordinate efforts for the application
  • Establish good governance with cluster leaders and company directors
  • Work on gaining buy-in from local farmers as their involvement will be crucial
  • Seek expert guidance from organisations such as Natural England and The Wildlife Trusts
  • Have a dedicated facilitator to help manage the application process and coordinate the group
  • Have all the finance in place before proceeding with the application
  • Involve experts from early on in the process
  • Demonstrate a track record of reliable partnerships to evidence the ability to work collaboratively and effectively