DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has announced that Tranche 6 of the Wider Level of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) will open for applications on 30 August.
EFS Wider Level applies to land outside areas of environmental designation and as such will be available to most farmers in Northern Ireland. Applicants simply choose which options they feel best suit the needs of their farm business and then submit an application for the land they will have control of for the five year duration of the scheme.
Launching Tranche 6 of the Scheme, Minister Poots said: “The EFS supports farmers to implement environmental measures on their land. In this way we aim to protect and enhance biodiversity and water quality, and mitigate against climate change by sequestering carbon.
“I am therefore delighted to launch Tranche 6 of the Wider Level to help us support our agricultural and environmental objectives. The application process must be completed online, and for those who may experience issues with access, my staff within the EFS team can offer assistance. I’m encouraging those eligible to get ready now so that they can avail of this funding.’’
Applications for Tranche 6 EFS Wider must be submitted by Friday 23 September 2022.
Get ready now!
Consider the options for your farm
Although there will be 4 weeks to submit an application it is advisable to start thinking about what options might be best suited to your farm. Full details of the current range of Options are available on the DAERA website at or contact your local DAERA Direct office for more information.
Unlike previous agri-environment schemes, the EFS is designed so that the majority of the works are completed and claimed in the first year. This means that you should be confident that you can complete all the work you apply for within the stated time periods.
If you have already taken part in Tranche 1 of EFS Wider, your existing agreement will expire on 31 December this year and, so, you are now eligible to re-apply for a new Tranche 6 agreement (which will commence on 1 January 2023). Please note that your agreement will not automatically renew so you need to reapply if you wish to remain in the scheme.
Check your access to DAERA Online Services
As the application can only be made online there may be a few steps you can take now to ensure that you are ready to make an application.
For example, you will need access to DAERA Online Services and you must also have a current email address that you can access. If you already have a Government Gateway ID and Password that you use for the Single Application and Maps Service, then you can use the same log-in details to access the EFS online application.
If you do not already have access, you will have to apply to register. Alternatively, you may wish to use an agent who can represent your business online.
For further information or advice please telephone 0300 200 7848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- It is anticipated that EFS Tranche 6 agreements will start on 1 January 2023 and run for five years to 31 December 2027.
- Some amendments have been made to the scheme for Tranche 6. The payment rate for ‘Stock-Proof Fencing’ (SPF) and some of the Options which include a stock proof fence have been enhanced. Payment for SPF for Tranche 6 will be £6.90/metre.
- Those who entered Tranche 1 of EFS Wider will note that not all of the original suite of Options and NPIs remain available. Some have been withdrawn at various points along the last 5 years as their uptake targets have been met or, in some cases, where compliance issues have proved difficult.
- Over 5,500 EFS agreements are in place after five tranches.
- The Environmental Farming Scheme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
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