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Introduction: Supporting the rural economy and the transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme

The Programme for Government sets out our commitments to continue supporting farmers to produce food in a sustainable way, whilst taking action to respond to the climate emergency and to help reverse the decline in biodiversity. Funding support for farmers, land managers and associated rural sectors over the next 3 years is delivered through a flexible framework of support, with schemes – including the Growing for the Environment Scheme - delivering towards the following themes:

  • Farm scale land management
  • On farm environmental improvements
  • On farm efficiency and diversification
  • Landscape scale land management
  • Woodland and forestry
  • Food and farming supply chains

The framework is designed to both support action in response to the challenges and opportunities available over the next 3 years and to inform the continuing development of the Sustainable Farming Scheme, which will reward farmers for the work they do now to lower their carbon footprint, improve the environment and produce food in a sustainable way.

Further information on the themes and schemes being developed are available at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/walesruralnetwork/

Section A – Introduction

These Guidance Notes explain the Growing for the Environment Scheme. This application window supports the establishment of an unsprayed cover crop following autumn harvesting of cereals or maize where soil, after harvesting, is ordinarily left bare or stubble retained. The requirements have been specified along with a standard payment per hectare. Full details are available at Annex A.

If you then consider you may qualify for support under this scheme and you want to apply, please see Section D Applying for the Growing for the Environment Scheme and the How to Complete booklet.

The application window will open on 20 June 2022 and close on 29 July 2022.

The indicative budget allocation for this application window is £350,000.

Growing for the Environment is a grant scheme available to all eligible farmers in Wales. The scheme supports the growing and utilisation of crops, which can result in improvements in the environmental performance of a farm business.

The scheme objectives are to support farmers to:

  • Reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Adapt to climate change and build greater resilience into farm businesses.
  • Improve water quality and reduce flood risks.
  • Contribute towards a reversal in the decline of Wales’ native biodiversity.

Crops and activity supported through the Growing for the Environment scheme have been pre-identified as offering clear and quantifiable benefits to the environment and farm business.

Please read the Growing for the Environment rules and guidance document before submitting an Expression of Interest (EoI).

Any changes will be publicised via the Welsh Government website, GWLAD online and, where necessary, we will contact you directly.

A separate Growing for the Environment EoI window for spring sown crops will open later this year.

Section B – Growing for the Environment Eligibility

You are eligible to apply if:

  • You are registered with the Welsh Government and have been issued with a Customer Reference Number (CRN). Please refer to the Welsh Government website for the how to register guidance or call the RPW Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004.
  • You must:
    • be a primary producer of agricultural products
    • have 3ha of eligible agricultural land registered with RPW in Wales or
    • be able to demonstrate over 550 standard labour hours

We will check if you have an eligible Basic Payment Scheme or Glastir Organic claim to verify if you are a primary producer of agricultural products and you have 3ha of eligible agricultural land in Wales.

If you have not submitted claims for either of these schemes or we are unable to verify the land, you must submit documentary evidence with your EoI to verify that you are a primary producer of agricultural products and that you meet either the 3ha or 550 standard labour hours’ eligibility criteria.

The primary production of agricultural products includes the following farming sectors:

  • arable
  • beef
  • dairy
  • goats
  • horticulture (including hydroponics and aquaponics)
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • sheep
  • apiculture

You are not eligible if:

  • you are an Equine customer (including grazing horses)
  • you are a Forestry customer (including woodland only owners)
  • a group of farmers (including Producer Organisations)

However, if two or more agricultural holdings are managed as a single unit, or in a single ownership, or to some extent have common management, common financial accounts, common livestock, machinery and/or feeding stores that will be classed as a single business.

  • If you are an existing Glastir Advanced contract holder, field parcels where permanent Glastir Advanced management options are located are ineligible for Growing for the Environment support.  Where a Glastir Advanced rotational arable option is undertaken, the Growing for the Environment activity, must be in addition to the area you are currently committed to carry out under your Glastir Advanced contract.

Eligible costs

Only activity included in the List of Eligible activity set out in Annex A will attract funding.

The activity must meet or exceed the minimum specification described.

Ineligible Costs

  • Crops not included within the Annex A descriptions
  • Crops grown on land not registered to your CRN.

Maximum and Minimum Grant

The maximum grant award is £5,000.

The minimum grant award is equivalent to the payment rate for 1 ha of eligible crop.

Your application may exceed the maximum grant. If your EoI is selected, the related claim will be capped to the maximum £5,000.

Key Requirements

The minimum area that can be applied for is 1 ha of cover crops.  The 1 ha minimum area can be comprised of an accumulation of smaller areas in more than one field parcel, providing the contributing area does not fall below 0.10 ha in size in any individual field parcel.

Applicants can split the minimum 1ha area across one or more land parcels.

All crops to be grown to the standards set out in Annex A.

The choice of variety and mix of species needs to be appropriate to the location.

Only use certified seed at the recommended seed rate.

A soil test must be undertaken, or have been undertaken in the 12 months prior to application. The minimum requirement for this test is an analysis of P, K and pH levels. A soil test will be required for every individual field parcel, i.e. if a crop is grown in two field parcels, two separate soil tests will be required.

The results of the soil tests will inform future action required to rectify any deficiencies identified prior to the next crop being established. This could include the application of lime, fertiliser with appropriate P and K levels, slurry or manure.  Applications must be undertaken in compliance with a recognised fertiliser recommendation system, such as AHDB’s RB209.

A record of all field activity, including cultivation and sowing dates, seed rates, grazing date and stocking rates should be kept and submitted as part of the claim.

In situations where a crop has not been established successfully, due to adverse weather or pest damage, you should inform RPW immediately via your RPW Online account.

Applicants must ensure seed availability before accepting the contract.

The Contract for this window will end 30 April 2023, all claims to be submitted by this date.

Section C - Consents

You are required to comply with all legal requirements relating to your land. In certain circumstances, consent may be required from relevant authorities, e.g. Natural Resources Wales, in order to undertake certain activity.

It is your responsibility to seek any consent required to carry out the Growing for the Environment activity.

Note - this is not an exhaustive list.

Designated Areas:

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserves (NNR), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC):

Land designated as a SSSI (including SPAs and SACs) or a NNR can be included within your Growing for the Environment Contract area, but the requirements of your Growing for the Environment Contract must not conflict with the management requirements of land under such designations.

Natural Resource Wales (NRW) are the relevant authority for the management of SSSIs and NNRs. It is a legal requirement to obtain written consent from NRW where activity is located on that land.

Registered Parks and Gardens, Ancient Monuments and other Historic Environment Features:

The requirements of your Growing for the Environment contract must not conflict with the management requirements on land designated as Ancient Monuments or result in damage to Registered Parks and Gardens, Ancient Monuments or other Historic Environment Features. CADW are the relevant authority for the management of Ancient Monuments and Registered Parks and Gardens. Written consent may be required from CADW where you intend to undertake activity on that land.

If you intend to undertake activity involving ground disturbance on a Historic Environment Feature consent will be required, from the appropriate Welsh Archaeological Trust in your area.

Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) (EIA) Regulations 2007:

If you intend to disturb any vegetation which has a composition of less than 25% sown agricultural species, you may require consent under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) (EIA) Regulations 2007.

Public Rights of Way:

If you intend to undertake an activity that potentially obstructs a Public Right of Way you will require consent from the Local Authority or National Park Authority.

Other:

You must comply with minimum standards and legislative requirements regarding the environment, hygiene, animal welfare and all relevant health and safety standards.

Section D – Applying for the Growing for the Environment Scheme

RPW Online

You can only complete an EoI for the Growing for the Growing for the Environment scheme by accessing Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online.  If you already have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) you should have received a letter informing you of your Activation Code to set up your account. If you no longer have this, please telephone the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004 (Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 17:00, Friday 8:30 – 16:30) and tell the operator your CRN.  They will send you a new Activation Code.

To register your business details for the first time, you need to complete the online registration form. Please refer to the how to register guidance for further details. The vast majority of changes to business details can be done online. However, Welsh Government may require further details on any major changes. Please contact the Customer Contact Centre for further information.

Once registered, you can access your RPW Online account. The Growing for the Environment EoI is available from the “Applications and Claims” section of your account. 

Agents acting on behalf of a client will need to register as a Rural Payments Wales agent.  If you have yet to do this, you are advised to complete an online or paper copy Agent / Farming Union Customer Details (Wales) form immediately. The form is available on the Welsh Government website. Upon receipt of the form, we will send you an Agent Customer Reference Number (Agent CRN) and an RPW Online Activation Code. You will also need to complete an Association Authorisation Form which can be completed once you register with RPW Online, please refer to our how to register guidance.

If you have any questions about registering for RPW Online or completing your EoI, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004.  They will be able to provide advice, including the digital assistance that is available to you.

Further details regarding RPW Online are available on the Welsh Government Website.

Associated skills development and training:

To make full use of the support offered and to ensure the farm business gains the maximum benefit from the scheme, we strongly advise applicants to consider and undertake appropriate training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity that relates to the activity supported through the Growing for the Environment scheme.  In particular, the soils module: https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/land/soil.

Farming Connect provides a range of subsidised and free courses, further information on the available courses and how to apply is available at:  https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/

Section E - The EoI and selection process

Submitting an EoI

Guidance on how to submit your EoI via RPW Online is available here.

Annex A lists the eligible activity you can apply for under the Growing for the Environment scheme.

For land parcels submitted within an EoI for Growing for the Environment, no changes can be made via the RPW Online Manage My Land (MML) service. If changes are registered on the field parcels during the application process, those areas will not be eligible for support.

We will issue a maximum of 2 reminders for EoIs in draft via your RPW Online account prior to the closing date.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the EoI is correctly completed and that the information provided in support of your project is accurate.

Scoring

Applicants are required to select the area where the Growing for the Environment activity will be undertaken up to the maximum grant award of £5,000, or an additional area which exceeds this. The system will automatically calculate the applicant’s final score. The highest scoring projects will progress.

The Growing for the Environment activity has been scored following an assessment carried out against the following criteria:

  • Reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Adapting to climate change and building greater resilience into farm and forest businesses.
  • Managing our water resources to improve water quality and reduce flood risks.
  • Protecting the landscape and the historic environment while improving access.
  • Contributing towards a reversal in the decline of Wales’ native biodiversity.

The resultant score is given in Annex A.

On submission of your EoI, the activity has been given a score.  The final score is calculated by multiplying the area of activity you have selected by the activity score and adding scores for underlying objectives over the parcel in which the activity will be undertaken.  The scoring matrix and an example score is included in Annex B.

The purpose of this scoring is to allow the Welsh Government to rank the EoIs against the funding available for each EoI window.

Once the EoI is submitted, you cannot make amendments.  If, having submitted the EOI, you need to make changes, provided the EoI window is still open, you must first withdraw your originally submitted EoI and re-submit a new EOI before the deadline to submit expires.

Where applications have equal scores, the lowest value application will be selected first.

Where applications have equal scores and are of the same value and rank on the available budget threshold, the Welsh Government reserves the right to either select or reject these applications, depending on budget availability.

Selecting Successful EoIs

If your EoI is selected, you will be notified via your RPW Online account.

You must accept your contract within 30 calendar days of the date of the contract offer via the blue button on your RPW Online homepage. You cannot start the activity in your contract until you have been offered the contract.

If you do not accept the contract within 30 calendar days, the contract will be withdrawn.

Full details of when your contract must be accepted and when the items must be purchased and claimed for will be included in the contract.

We will issue a reminder via your RPW Online account prior to the contract acceptance deadline date.

If you accept a Growing for the Environment contract and withdraw once you have accepted the contract, the value of the contract will be deducted from the £5,000 maximum available grant available to you in any subsequent windows.

E.g. EoI submitted for Window 1 and contract accepted with a total contract value of £3,000. Where the contract is subsequently declined, the total amount available for the next window you apply in will be £2,000.

Where the claim submitted is partially valid, (e.g. one item does not meet the specification, or supporting documentation is not submitted) the contract value which was not eligible may be deducted from the total amount available for any subsequent window.

Withdrawal of EoIs

Once a business has submitted an EoI  can it be withdrawn?

  1. Yes - during an open EoI window

You can withdraw your application via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account; you may re-submit an application before the window has closed.

  1. Yes - after an EoI window has closed BUT before the business has received the contract.

You can withdraw your application via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account.

If you have selected the wrong location or have changed your mind about the activity, you must withdraw your application and apply again in the next round.

Please remember that the process is competitive and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in the next round.

  1.  No - once the business has been selected and been offered a contract

We cannot accept a withdrawal of the EoI once a contract has been offered.

We cannot accept changes to the contracts regarding the activity or its location at this point.

Section F - Conditions of Grant

The Growing for the Environment Scheme is subject to a range of relevant legislation (see Annex C). The Welsh Government and the applicant / recipient must act in accordance with that legislation.

The offer of a Growing for the Environment grant is made subject to terms and conditions, which will be set out in full in your contract and include those set out below. The contract will be for 8 months from the date the contract is issued.  Failure to meet the terms and conditions of the award could result in the cancellation of your award and / or the recovery of sums already paid, or a reduction of the amount of grant payable.

Conditions:

The award is made on the basis of statements and declarations made by you or your representatives in the application form and the claim form and any subsequent correspondence. The making of false or misleading statements is an offence.

You must meet any legal obligations imposed and UK law.

No alterations may be made to the contract, including the location of the activity, without the written approval of the Welsh Government.

The applicant is required to comply with the rules on eligible costs as detailed in the Scheme Guidance Notes.

Activities should be completed within the timetable agreed with the Welsh Government. You should not deviate from this without prior written agreement from the Welsh Government.

Claims must be submitted via the RPW Online Grants Claim application and be supported by all supporting documents as required by the scheme.

Claims must be submitted in accordance with the timetable set out in the contract. You must not deviate from the agreed timing and value of your claims without prior written agreement from the Welsh Government.

You must provide confirmation that no other public funding has been sought. If it is found that you have received public funding from another source your claim may be rejected, payments may be recovered and penalties may be applied.

Records concerning the application and claim for this grant, must be retained for at least five years after the contract end date.

You must allow representatives of the Welsh Government, the Auditor General for Wales or their representatives to inspect the project. On request, you must provide them with information and / or access to original documentation in relation to the project.

The information provided in the application and any supporting documentation is subject to the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Public Access to Information, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

You should be aware that, if successful, the Welsh Government reserve the right to publish the name of your business or company, the amount of grant you were awarded and a summary of your project.

The information provided in the application is subject to the Privacy Notice. The Privacy Notice explains the Welsh Government’s processing and use of your personal data and your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Section G – Payments

Claims

The Growing for the Environment scheme is only available to claim using the Grants Claim page on your RPW Online account. Payments will be made following the successful validation of your claim. Claims will only be paid when the Welsh Government is satisfied the relevant expenditure has taken place and that the work has been completed according to plan. Payment will be made by electronic transfer to your bank account.

In order to receive a Growing for the Environment payments you must:

  • Have accepted a Growing for the Environment contract within 30 calendar days of the offer date and adhere to all the requirements.
  • Ensure that you have completed all activity listed in your contract after you have accepted the contract offer.
  • Ensure that you have undertaken all of the activities listed in your contract.
  • Submit the claim using the Grant Claim page on your RPW Online account by the claim deadline – 30 April 2023.
  • Submit all supporting documentation.

We will issue a maximum of 2 reminders for any outstanding claims via your RPW Online account prior to the claim submission deadline.

A claim is not considered valid unless it has been submitted via the RPW Online Grants Claim page and until all supporting documentation has been submitted.

You can submit your claim at any time once the activity has been completed.

Requests for extensions to the claim deadline date can only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.  Requests should be submitted using “My Messages” on your RPW Online account, setting out the reasons for your request.  Each request will be considered on an individual basis.

Supporting Documentation

You can submit invoices and supporting documentation by scanning them and sending them via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account.

The following evidence is required to be submitted by the claim deadline:

  • Evidence of soil test (copy of results report that is dated, includes name and address of applicant with field referenced).  A soil test is required for each individual field parcel.
  • Copy of all seed invoices.
  • Copy of all seed “tickets” which must include details of seed mixture composition.
  • Copy of all contracting invoices (if contractors used).
  • Geo-tagged photographs of the field/s at these stages:
  • Prior to cultivations or direct drilling.
  • During cultivations and sowing activity.
  • On 15 February 2023 showing full crop cover.
  • Copy of field activity record.

Guidance on submitting geo-tagged photographs is available at https://gov.wales/growing-environment-geotagged-photo-guidance

Where insufficient evidence is provided by the claim deadline, your claim may be rejected.

Activities not delivered

If you have been advised by suppliers that they cannot deliver seeds within the required timescale, you will need to contact us via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account notifying us of the issue.

Where you are unable to deliver the activity, within the required timescales, (e.g. sowing not undertaken within 10 days of harvest due to adverse weather), you will need to contact us via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account notifying us of the issue prior to the activity deadline.

In exceptional circumstances where it was impossible to sow the crop for an extended period following harvesting and the planting of the cover crop is no longer a viable activity for environmental reasons, you will need to contact us via “My Messages” in your RPW Online account to notifying us. In these circumstances all cases will be considered on an individual basis.

You will need to provide documentary evidence to support your notification.

Incorrect claims and penalties

You have a responsibility to make sure the claim submitted is eligible and accurate.

All of the activity approved must have been carried out after the contract has been accepted.

Your claim is incorrect if you:

  • Have not completed the activity listed in the contract.
  • Establish crops of the wrong kind or specification.
  • Have commenced any work before the contract was offered.
  • Have not submitted all of the requested documentation. 

You must claim for all of the activity listed in your contract.

Where we find that activity did not meet the specification, or the area sown did not meet the contract requirements, payments will be reduced to the amount of activity undertaken to the required specification.

If it is found the amount of ineligible activity is determined to be more than 10% of the eligible payment, an amount equivalent to the value of ineligible activity will be deducted from your payment.

For example:

A customer claims the following activity worth a total grant value of £3,000

Activity Quantity Grant value
Cover crops 30 Ha £3,510
Total   £3,510

In this example, 1ha, worth £117, does not meet the specification. (There was no seed invoice submitted to evidence that the crop had been planted across the full 30 ha and no soil tests result for one land parcel). The total amount claimed is £3,510 and the value of the activity not determined is £117. As the value of the ineligible activity is less than 10% of the eligible payment (£3,510) the total payment due is £3,393.

However, if 8ha, worth £936, does not meet the specification, the total amount claimed is £3,510 and the value of the item not determined is £936. The value of the ineligible activity, £936, is deducted from the original claim of £3,510 leaving a remaining amount of £2,574. As the value of the ineligible activity is more than 10% of the eligible costs (£2,574) an amount equivalent to the value of ineligible item, £936, is also deducted from the remaining amount. The total payment due is £1,639.

It is essential, if you have any doubts about anything you need for your contract, you request written confirmation of its eligibility, before you incur the costs.

Offences

Regulation 13 of the Rural Development Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2014 (No. 3222 (W.327)) establishes criminal offences and penalties in relation to certain aspects of rural development funding.  That Regulation and those offences are applicable to the Growing for the Environment Scheme.  Examples of offences include knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information in relation to rural development funding, obstructing an inspector or official, and refusing to provide information when requested to do so.

Section H - Changes to Scheme Rules

Legislation Changes (Including Changes in Interpretation)

Legislation may change from time to time and you will be required to abide by any changes to the scheme rules following notification from the Welsh Government.

Changes to Scheme Rules or Contract

We may need to make changes to the scheme rules and/or your contract for a number of reasons. For example, we may need to update the management conditions to take account of the latest scientific advice, amend scheme rules to take account of any changes to legislation. We will publicise changes on the Welsh Government website and where necessary contact you directly.

Section I - Controls, Monitoring and Record Keeping

Controls

The Welsh Government must enforce the Growing for the Environment Scheme rules.

Your claim may be selected for a visit to verify the realisation of the activity before the payment is made to you or it may be selected for a visit after the payment has been made.

All the details in your EoI, the details in your claim and the declarations you made in submitting the EoI and claim will be checked.

The Welsh Government and the specialist control bodies will try to ensure visits cause you the minimum of disruption, but some checks require visits to be unannounced, which means it may not be possible to give you notice. You may be subject to more than one visit during a calendar year.

If you refuse to allow a visit or obstruct an officer or fail to give reasonable assistance, your claim may not be paid, we may recover payments and you may be prosecuted.

Monitoring

It is a requirement that all grant awards are monitored and the effect of the grant on the business is evaluated following completion.

You must allow officials from Welsh Government, or their representatives, to carry out inspections.

Record keeping

You must keep all records and information you need to evidence you have provided complete and accurate information and have complied with your undertakings for five years.

You will also be required to:

  • Supply to the Welsh Government any information about your Growing for the Environment contract and supply that information within the period determined by the Welsh Government.
  • Make available to the Welsh Government, its authorised persons or its agents, records, accounts, receipts and other information including access to computer data relating to your Growing for the Environment contract.  Permit the Welsh Government to remove any such document or record to take copies or extracts from them.

Section J - Appeals and Complaints Procedure

Appeals procedure

There are no grounds for appeal if your EoI is unsuccessful

The ‘Independent Appeals Process for Rural Grants and Payments’ allows you to request a review if you feel the Welsh Government has not reached a correct decision according to the rules of the scheme.  

The appeals process consists of two stages:

  • Stage 1: review by RPW
  • Stage 2: review by an Independent Appeals Panel (if you are dissatisfied with the Stage 1 response).

The Independent Panel make recommendations to the Welsh Ministers, who take the final decision, which concludes the process.

There is no charge for Stage 1 of the process, but there is a charge at Stage 2 – £50 for a written hearing or £100 for an oral hearing.  These charges are repaid in full if the Stage 2 appeal is either partially or fully successful.

Appeals, including supporting evidence, must be submitted via RPW Online within 60 days of the date of the letter outlining the decision you wish to appeal against.

We welcome appeals in Welsh and will respond to any correspondence in Welsh.  This will not lead to delay in processing your appeal.

Further details of the appeals process and how to submit an appeal using the online appeal form, can be obtained from the Customer Contact Centre or our website at: Rural Grants and Payments appeals: Guidance.

Complaints procedure

Complaints will be dealt with under the Welsh Government’s procedure on Complaints. Further advice on how to make a complaint can be obtained from the Complaints Advice Team:

Welsh Government 
Crown Buildings 
Cathays Park 
Cardiff 
CF10 3NQ

Tel: 03000 251378 
E-mail: complaints@gov.wales 
Website: Complaints about Welsh Government

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh

You may also choose to contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales:

1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae 
Pencoed, 
CF35 5LJ

Tel: 0300 790 0203
Website: Ombudsman

Section K - Privacy Notice: Welsh Government grants

How we will handle any personal data you provide in relation to your grant application or request for grant funding.

The Welsh Government provides a wide range of grant schemes to help deliver our policies and create a fairer, more prosperous Wales.

The Welsh Government will be data controller for any personal data you provide in relation to your grant application or request for grant funding. The information will be processed as part of our public task (i.e. exercising our official authority to undertake the core role and functions of the Welsh Government) and will help us assess your eligibility for funding.

Before we provide grant funding to you, we undertake checks for the purposes of preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity. These checks require us to process personal data about you to third party fraud prevention agencies.

If we, or a fraud prevention agency, determine that you pose a fraud or money laundering risk, we may refuse to provide the grant funding you applied for, or we may stop providing existing grant funding to you.

A record of any fraud or money laundering risk will be retained by the fraud prevention agencies, and may result in others refusing to provide services, financing or employment to you.

In order to assess eligibility, we may also need to share personal information relating to your application with:

  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Veterinary Medicine Directorate
  • Welsh Local Authorities
  • Food Standards Agency Wales
  • DEFRA
  • Other UK Government Agriculture Offices.
  • Regulatory authorities, such as HM Revenue and Customs, Local Authorities, Health and Safety Executive and the Police.

We may also share your information with organisations which deliver training, knowledge transfer and innovation advice and support on behalf of the Welsh Government for the purposes of appropriate targeting of support.

Your information, including your personal information, may be the subject of a request by another member of the public. When responding to such requests the Welsh Government may be required to release information, including your personal information, to fulfil its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental information Act 2004 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Welsh Government will publish details of the amounts paid to Rural Support beneficiaries. Data will be published for all beneficiaries on a searchable website and will include the name and locality of the farmer/land manager and details of the amounts and schemes for which subsidy has been paid. However, for those receiving less than the equivalent of £1,250 in subsidies the name will be withheld. The data will be published annually on 31 May and remain available for two years from the date it is published. The information will be available on the Defra website at: www.cap-payments.defra.gov.uk

We will keep personal information contained in files in line with our retention policy. If successful in your application, then your personal data will be kept for 7 years after the date when you, as grant recipient, are free from all conditions relating to the grant awarded and all payment have been made. If you are unsuccessful your details will be kept for one year after the date you provided them.

Under the data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to access the personal data the Welsh Government holds on you
  • to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
  • for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is the independent regulator for data protection.

For further details about the information the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you want to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:

Data Protection Officer 
Welsh Government 
Cathays Park 
CARDIFF 
CF10 3NQ

Email: dataprotectionofficer@gov.wales

The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:

2nd Floor, Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Telephone: 0330 414 6421
Website: https://ico.org.uk/

Should you have any queries regarding this privacy statement please contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre.

https://gov.wales/privacy-notice-welsh-government-grants

Section L - Legislation

The Growing for the Environment Scheme delivers against a range of Government commitments and objectives, these are listed below along with the legislation and governance that applies.

The growing for the Environment Scheme is governed by Retained EU Law (REUL) Council Regulations No. 1305/2013, 1303/2013 and 1306/2013, Implementing Regulation No. 808/2014 and No. 809/2014 and Delegated Regulation 640/2014 and 807/2014 (all as amended from time to time).

The retained EU Law is implemented in Wales through the following domestic law (all as amended from time to time), including by the Agricultural Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021/400 (W.129):

  • the Rural Development Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2014/3222 (W.327)
  • the Common Agricultural Policy (Integrated Administration and Control System and Enforcement and Cross Compliance) (Wales) Regulations 2014/3223 (W.328)

Funding support for farmers, land managers and associated rural sectors over the next 3 years in response to four Welsh Government strategic objectives which are:

  • fostering the competitiveness of agriculture.
  • contributing towards the sustainable management of natural resources as set out in Part 1 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
  • ensuring climate resilience.
  • achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities including the creation and maintenance of employment.

In addition, there are three cross cutting objectives for the Growing for the Environment Scheme:

  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Innovation.
  • Environment.

Your project will contribute to these cross-cutting objectives. 

Your project will contribute towards the Welsh Governments cross cutting themes of:

  • Equality of opportunity and Gender mainstreaming.
  • Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion.
  • Welsh Language.

In addition, applications for the Growing for the Environment scheme will address the strategic and thematic objectives of the Welsh Government.

Activities will address at least one of the following Welsh Government priorities:

(1)  fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas.

(2)  enhancing farm viability and competitiveness of all types of agriculture in all regions and promoting innovative farm technologies and the sustainable management of forests.

(3)  promoting food chain organisation, including processing and marketing of agricultural products, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture.

(4)  restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry.

(5)  promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors.

(6)  promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.

World Trade Organisation and Subsidy Control

 1.    Subsidies provided under this scheme are considered to be payments under an environmental programme, which fall within the scope of Annex II of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and have been classified as ‘green box’.

2.    As such, these subsidies are exempt from the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and the interim UK subsidy control regime.

Section M - Contacts

Enquiries – Customer Contact Centre

For all enquiries, please contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre

Enquiries can be submitted via RPW Online at any time.

Access to Welsh Government offices for people with disabilities or special needs

If you have any special needs which you feel are not met by our facilities contact the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004. Welsh Government officials will then endeavour to make arrangements to accommodate your requirements.

Welsh Government Website

For all of the latest Agricultural and Rural Affairs information, visit the Welsh Government’s website. By visiting the website, you can also sign up to receive the Rural Affairs e-newsletter which delivers the latest news directly to your e-mail inbox.

Gwlad

The Gwlad e-newsletter is the Welsh Government’s e-newsletter for farm and forestry businesses and all those involved with agriculture and rural Wales.  It contains news stories, guidance and information in an accessible, easy-to-read format.  To keep informed and up to date with all the latest agriculture news and developments in future we would encourage you to sign up to receive the Gwlad e-newsletter. You can do this either at www.gov.wales/news-alerts or at https://beta.gov.wales/subscribe-farming-and-forestry-news-gwlad.

Annex A

Eligible Growing for the Environment activity (autumn crops) descriptions and minimum requirements

Crop / activity Description and minimum requirements Grant value (£/ha)

1. Cover crops (26 points)

Description

Establish an unsprayed cover crop following autumn harvesting of cereals or maize where soil, after harvesting, is ordinarily left bare or stubble retained.

Benefits

The crop will:

  • Reduce nutrient loss and soil erosion during the winter
  • Improve soil structure by breaking up compaction in the soil and encouraging water uptake.
  • Increase soil organic matter, structure and mineral composition through aeration and locking in nitrogen, making it available to the following spring sown crop.
  • Provide winter shelter and feeding areas for farmland birds and small mammals.

Minimum requirements

  • Minimum total area of 1 ha (you can split the minimum 1ha area across one or more land parcels).
  • No artificial fertiliser, manure, or slurry to be applied between harvesting the preceding crop and 15 February in the following year.
  • Soil test (minimum P, K, and pH) undertaken on field/fields, or undertaken in the 12 months prior to application. The soil test will inform future action required to rectify any deficiencies identified in P, K and pH levels prior to next crop being established.
  • Seed mixture to include a minimum of 2 crop species which are suitable for late season germination and will cover the ground quickly before the winter, such as: Radishes, Mustard, Phacelia, Rye, Vetches, Italian ryegrass, Westerwolds ryegrass, etc.
  • Italian ryegrass, Westerwolds ryegrass and Rye cannot be grown in combination.
  • Where Italian or Westerwolds ryegrass is included in the mixture, the seed rate for these species should not exceed 15kg / ha.
  • Use certified seed sown at recommended seed rate, taking into account the species combination. (Maximum seed rate for Italian and Westerwolds ryegrass to be observed).
  • The inclusion of perennial ryegrass, wheat, barley, oats or triticale in the mixture is not eligible.

Establishment

  • Crop to be sown within 10 days of the previous crop being harvested.
  • Established by direct drilling or broadcast with light cultivations.
  • Do not plough and avoid significant cultivations that will disturb soil structure.
  • Once the previous crop has been harvested, do not use pesticides.
  • Maintain a 1m grass buffer strip adjacent to a hedge, earth bank or watercourse.
  • Cover crop must remain in situ until 15 February of the following year, at which time it can be grazed, cut or desiccated prior to ground preparation for the following crop.
  • A record of all field activity must be kept for submission and inspection.
£117

 

Annex B

EoI Scoring

Cover crops score = 26 points

Layer

Lake

River

Pond

Ditch

Biological SSSIs & 300m buffer

Prioritised Biological Coastal and Lowland SSSI

Great Crested Newt 1km

Gwyniad

Freshwater pearl mussel

Lichens of old wayside trees and parklands

Brown Banded Carder Bee

Shrill Carder Bee

Lowland Priority one

Upland Priority three

Water Quality - Priority one

Water Quality - Priority two

Water Quality - Priority three

Water Quality - Priority four

Water Quality - Priority five

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 40-50%

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 50-60%

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 60-70%

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 70-80%

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 80-90%

Proportion of catchment where land management can reduce flood risk & protect water supplies 90-100%

Reduce flood risk (Water Storage and flood peak regulation - wetland and washland restoration and creation)

WFD & protected areas which have a deadline for achieving environmental objective by 2015

Evidenced Nutrient Issues

Example score:

Cover Crops = 26 points

2.4ha of cover crops selected in one field parcel with the following underlying objectives:

Biological SSSIs & 300m buffer (6 points)

Sensitive river (4 points)

Water quality priority five (1 point)

Scoring carried out as follows:

2.4 (ha of cover crops) X (26 points (cover crops) + 6 points (SSSI + 300m Buffer) + 4 points (Sensitive River) + 1 point (Water quality priority area five))

Therefore: 2.4 X (26 + 6 + 4 + 1 = 37)

Therefore: 2.4 X 37 = 88.8

Final score = 88.8 points