There are many different ways in which landowners and managers use Agri-environment schemes to enhance their holdings. Oakbank have an extensive working knowledge of the various schemes that are found on farms (ELS, HLS and Countryside Stewardship) from first discussions about their suitability for you, through to practical advice and products to successfully bring the scheme to life.
We focus on producing a scheme that fits your farm, so it is achievable and delivers the outcomes that all parties are looking for. Making good choices, in full possession of the facts at the outset, leads to far better agreements and outcomes.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.
We can guide you through the current rules and regulations, identify options that we feel would fit you and your farm, then complete all the necessary paperwork to submit the application on your behalf. There are pros and cons of the different versions of the scheme, particularly the Wildlife Offers that can be applied for online. This will undoubtedly suit some farms, but it does have some important limitations that you should be aware of, including no Capital Options at all. We can discuss these with you before making any commitment and finding that you are in the wrong version of the scheme, missing out on useful opportunities and income.
For the many agreement holders in CSS, ELS, OELS and HLS, there are still plenty of services offered by Oakbank to help you deliver your agreement over the coming years:
"Sarah’s ecological knowledge and survey experience has been a useful asset when making plans for future land management across the estate"
An annual ‘health check’ on your agreement – an annual visit to check prescriptions are being adhered to and to make sure the options are working for you. Advice on any problem areas.
A complete agreement audit – an ‘inspection’ of your agreement, measuring lengths, widths and areas with hand-held GPS and checking management of the habitat options is in accordance with the prescriptions. As detailed as an RPA inspection but without any fines!
A complete management package for new agreements – a quarterly visit during the first two years of the agreement to include GPS marking out of areas, ensuring all habitats are correct by end of year 2. Annual visit thereafter with the option to include a GPS audit as an add-on.
Management Plans and Ecological Surveys – surveys and plans to aid habitat management across archaeological sites, heathlands, within scrub and woodland areas, including Felling License applications.
"Being halfway through a 10 year scheme we decided to call in Oakbank to give us a healthcheck. Matt conducted a thorough check of all the options in our HLS agreement and produced a working map, alongside a clear and concise report, highlighting the areas that needed attention. They are both very useful tools when planning work schedules for the next year and beyond."