Defra has now opened a consultation on the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). This is intended to replace the current Countryside Stewardship Scheme and will be a major part of the Government’s new Agricultural Policy. The discussion document and online survey can be found here:

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/elm/elmpolicyconsultation/

The National Coppice Federation will be looking through this document in detail and would encourage members to do the same. You may wish to submit your thoughts individually but we will also be looking to give a coordinated response to represent members across the country. As such, if you have any comments that you would like us to raise on your behalf, please email them to Pete Etheridge at greenwoodcoppice@gmail.com with ‘NCFed Consultation’ as the subject. In particular, we intend to lobby Defra to reinstate the levels of financial support that was previously provided to small woodland owners/managers through the now redundant English Woodland Grant Scheme. We will also be encouraging the continued support for hedgelaying, which is a service many of our members provide as well as producing hedgelaying crooks, stakes & binders.

Our thanks go to Pete Etheridge (Dorset Coppice Group) for offering to coordinate an NCFed response.

Please provide your comments no later than 31st March 2020.