Rural Development Contracts - Rural Priorities
The Rural Priorities scheme is part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-13 (SRDP).
Extensions to existing Rural Priorities contracts in 2014
Scottish Government has announced on 20 September 2013 that land managers will be offered 1 year extensions for all Rural Priorities agri-environment contracts which end in 2013. This includes contracts on SSSIs or Natura sites. If you are eligible for an extension you will be contacted by Scottish Government in autumn 2013.
Rural Priorities in 2013
Land managers have previously been able to apply to Rural Priorities for a wide range of rural projects. However, in 2013, applications can only be processed if they are eligible for one of the following:
- RP9 Ongoing Approval process for SSSIs and Natura sites (see below).
- Forestry Ongoing Approval process.
- Axis 1 or Axis 3 options, where the applicant meets the criteria to qualify for the Young Farmer's Interest Rate Relief option (closing date for submitting proposals: 20/2/13).
Using Rural Priorities on SSSIs and Natura sites in 2013
Applications can be considered if they will benefit the SSSI/Natura features on your land and if the total cost is no more than £50,000. These applications will use the RP9 Ongoing Approval process and should be submitted under Regional Priority 9. Work which is not related to the SSSI or Natura features cannot be included.
Please contact your local SNH office to register your interest by 17 April 2013. This will allow SNH staff to discuss with you the management of your site. You can then decide whether to go ahead and submit an application. Applications should be submitted by 17 July 2013 at the latest, along with all supporting documents including maps and plans. After you get feedback from your Case Officer you should commit the application by 31 August 2013 at the latest.
For woodland SSSIs, a few cases may be suitable for the Forestry Ongoing Approval process. This does not have a £50,000 limit. However, there are significant restrictions on the types of forestry work that can be funded in 2013.
Please note that if you receive a contract in 2013 you cannot start the annual recurrent options until 31 December 2013. However, capital works can start earlier in 2013 where appropriate. Annual options will normally run for 5 years.
More information on Rural Priorities
Since 2008, the Rural Priorities scheme has offered land managers a share of almost £800 million to help deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to rural Scotland. Full details of Rural Priorities, including how to apply, can be found on the Scottish Government website .
Rural Development Contracts - Land Managers' Options
The Land Managers' Options (LMO) scheme was introduced in March 2008 to replace the Land Management Contracts Menu Scheme. LMO is non competitive, with funding available for a range of options, up to a limit that is based on available acreage. Applications are made on a form that is submitted at the same time as the Single Application Form (IACS 15 May). Land Managers' Options offers a more limited range of measures than Rural Priorities. Most of the management measures needed on SSSIs or Natura sites are found under Rural Priorities rather than LMOs; however, LMO measures may be suitable in a few cases.
Information on SSSIs and Natura sites
You can find information on the SNH SiteLink website. The 'Map Search' button allows searches by post code or farm code to find the sites in your area; the map scale can be changed using the bar at the bottom of the screen.