Agricultural Act 2020

The Agriculture Act 2020 came into effect on the 11th of November 2020 and will look to transform the future of farming. After the UK left the EU at the start of 2021, changes were necessary to provide farmers and land managers with a new system that rewarded them appropriately for their work now that the farming industry no longer operated under the control of the EU.

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The new 2020 Act brings into existence the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs), which focuses on the principle of ‘public money for public goods’. Under this new system, farmers will be able to receive payments for producing public goods. These can include improvements to air and water quality, supporting wildlife and plants, improving soil quality, contributing to combat climate change and tackling the issue of flooding. This new system is aimed at achieving the goals of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050

The 7 year period of transition will begin at the start of 2021 and will phase out the current reward system in place for farmers, known as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). Under BPS, payment is mainly based on the total amount of land farmed meaning there is little, if any, reward for smaller landowners who provide public benefits. Once the transitional period has ended in 2027, BPS will no longer operate, and direct payments under this scheme will no longer be possible. The transitional period provides farmers and land managers time to adapt and helps establish which aspects of the new system play to their strengths as well as ensuring long term business viability for the future. It should be noted that ELMs is not a replacement of BPS.

The passionate and friendly team at Blackstone Solicitors is here to guide you through what can be a complex and demanding process. Getting in touch to discuss your situation could not be easier. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or fill in our online contact form to allow us to get back to you at your earliest convenience.

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Blackstone is based in Manchester and we have an additional office in London We regularly take on clients from Cheshire, Chester, the rest of the UK and internationally.

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