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Farming in Protected Landscapes

Farming in Protected Landscapes is a grant programme for farmers and land managers in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The programme, developed by Defra and delivered locally through the New Forest National Park Authority, supports farmers and land managers in carrying out projects that support the natural environment, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide public access opportunities or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.

The programme runs from July 2021 until March 2024. For the first year of funding to March 2022, £174,000 in grants have been allocated. Applications for the 2022-23 programme are currently invited.

Who can apply

The programme is open to all farmers, commoners and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) in the New Forest  National Park.

You must manage all the land included in the application and have control of all the activities you’d like to undertake, or you must have written consent from all parties who have this management and control.

Other organisations and individuals can apply, as long as they do this in collaboration with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers. Common land is eligible for support through the Programme. You can apply as a landowner with sole rights, or as a group of commoners acting together.

The programme supports activity on any land within the New Forest National Park. It can also support activity on other land where projects can demonstrate benefit to the New Forest or the New Forest National Park Authority’s objectives or partnership initiatives. Most of the funding will probably be provided to projects within the National Park boundary.

Watch a video on the application process from the website

Check the New Forest National Park boundary.

What the programme will pay for

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme will pay for projects that provide value for money and meet at least one of the outcomes listed below, under four themes.

Climate outcomes:

  • More carbon is stored and/or sequestered
  • Flood risk is reduced
  • Farmers, land managers and the public better understand what different habitats and land uses can store carbon and reduce carbon emissions
  • The landscape is more resilient to climate change.

 Nature outcomes:

  • Existing habitat is better managed
  • There is a greater area of habitat improved for biodiversity
  • There is an increase in biodiversity
  • There is greater connectivity between habitats.

 People outcomes:

  • There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
  • There are more opportunities for more diverse audiences to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
  • There is greater public engagement in land management, such as through volunteering
  • Farmers and land managers feel increasingly comfortable with providing public goods.

 Place outcomes:

  • The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced
  • Historic structures and features are conserved, enhanced or interpreted more effectively
  • There is an increase in farm business resilience.

Your project must also help to deliver at least one of the objectives of the New Forest National Park Partnership Plan.

Read the New Forest National Park Partnership Plan.

View examples of projects the programme might support.

View a selection of projects funded by the first year grant.

Payment rates

The programme will work alongside – not in competition with – Defra’s existing and new schemes, adding value where it is most needed. If a potential project can be rewarded through those schemes instead, you will be made aware of them.

If an activity is equivalent to one under Countryside Stewardship (CS), the Programme payment rate will be the same as the CS rate. If not, we will base programme funding offers on the projected costs of an activity (with final payments made against evidenced costs).

Maintenance agreements

Capital infrastructure assets (including, but not limited to, fences, gates, building restoration), should be maintained for five years from the date of completion. Machinery assets (for example a brush harvester for grassland restoration) should be maintained for five years from the date of purchase.

The requirement to maintain natural, cultural and access activities (for example, management of grassland, restoration of a limekiln) delivered as part of programme will cease no later than 1 April 2024.

Application assessment

Applications for over £5,000 will be judged by a local assessment panel, a system which has been used locally before for the New Forest National Park Sustainable Communities Fund and New Forest LEADER programme.

The panel will be made up of eight to 12 people. It will include representatives from the New Forest National Park Authority, Natural England, representatives from the farming and land management community, and access and heritage specialists.

We expect that the panel will meet to make decisions every six to eight weeks. Applications for less than £5,000 will be decided upon by a senior officer of the National Park Authority team (who has no prior knowledge of the project).

Before you apply

1. Speak to the Farming in Protected Landscapes team for advice on the programme including to discuss your ideas, the payment rates and intervention rates for your project. Email

2. Read the application guidance.

3. Read the privacy notice.

4. Download the application form.

Head of Environment and Rural Economy


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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