£50m awarded for farm projects to improve environment

Roseanna Cunningham

Farmers and crofters are set to receive almost £50million for environmentally friendly land management projects.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed that £47.7million had been awarded to 801 projects over a five-year period through the 2017 round of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS).

“It is vital that we continue to protect and enhance our environment, safeguard our natural heritage and continue Scotland’s leading role in addressing environmental challenges,” said Ms Cunningham.

“I am therefore delighted to confirm the award of nearly £50million to 761 businesses across the rural economy through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme that will support a range of measures to create a greener and more prosperous environment, that protects our iconic species, habitats and improves public access.”

She said by promoting good land management practices to farmers and crofters, AECS helped agricultural businesses adapt to the challenge of climate change.

“I can reconfirm that agri-environment, diffuse pollution and organic schemes will open in January 2018, with a round for improving public access expected to open in the spring,” added Ms Cunningham.

Since its launch in 2014, AECS, which is delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme, has committed a total of £99million to 1,417 businesses in 2015 and 2016.