In February, the government published the 2017 version of their Countryside Stewardship: Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant Manual. Farmers and other land managers can apply for this grant to help provide environmental and landscape benefits on their land.

The Countryside Stewardship: Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant is a one-off payment designed to help farmers improve farmland boundaries. The grant is worth up to £5,000. A minimum of £1,000 is available for restoring a range of traditional boundaries including hedgerows, dry stone walls, stone-faced banks and earth banks.

As with all Countryside Stewardship Schemes, the process of obtaining a grant is a competitive one. Applications will score more highly if your business has been in a previous Environmental Stewardship agreement or England Woodland Grant Scheme.

If you are a farmer wanting to restore boundary features (such as hedges and stone walls) in order to protect local wildlife or landscape, you can select from a range of capital items. These include:

  • Hedgerow laying
  • Hedgerow coppicing
  • Hedgerow gapping-up
  • Planting standard hedgerow
  • Earth-bank restoration
  • Stone-faced bank repair
  • Stone-faced bank restoration
  • Stone wall restoration

The grant demonstrates the government’s willingness to maintain dry stone walls due to their historical significance and role in the UK’s rural landscape. And it shows the government’s support for the maintainance of hedges – in recognition of the contributions made by hedgerows to natural ecosystems – and boundaries as part the rural landscape.

Deadline for grant applications

Please note that the deadline to apply for the grant is Friday 28 April. Offers will be made to successful applicants from July 2017. You can learn more about the grant via the government’s website.

To gain our advice on the issues in this article or any other rural planning and development matters, call Richard Edge or Alex Orttewell on 01935 852170 or email