Farming opportunities

Checking the efficiency of your current herd and flock may identify opportunities to offset falling BPS income.

AHDB provide a wealth of information and tools on the feeding, breeding, health and marketing of livestock including the following:


Environmental opportunities

Although a number of the previous Rural Development Plan for England payment schemes closed in 2020, the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme will remain open until 2024 when ELMs is expected to fully replace it. A new Countryside Stewardship Plus scheme will form part of ELMs in the coming years. You can read our Countryside Stewardship page for more detail about the current options.

ELMs has been launched and is gradually being implemented. It focuses on six categories of “public goods”:

  • clean and plentiful water
  • clean air
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • protection from environmental hazards
  • reduction of and adaptation to climate change
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment

Read about the scheme on our Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) page.

To help you understand what your opportunities might be, start read our Farming pages. You can also try our CS / SFI Calculator to estimate potential payments from the schemes.

The Farming for a Better Climate website includes lots of information about new ways of farming including a podcast, Climate Change Focus Farmers, Optimising Livestock Performance, Soils, Fertilisers and Manures, and more.

The Farm Advisory Service Scotland biodiversity page has information topics including a Natural Capital podcast, the Thrill of the Hill podcast, Farm Management and Biodiversity, Insect Pollinators, Hedgerow Management, Boosting Biodiversity to Build Business, and more.

The Nature Friendly Farming Network have published a useful report: Nature Means Business – Establishing the balance between food production and improve nature. This short report sets out the environmental and climate challenges facing the UK, discusses public support for nature friendly farming, and provides a number of case studies from farmers already adapting the way they farm.


Diversification opportunities

Farmers have been finding ways to diversify their farm income for many years, but it’s never too late to look again at the opportunities you might be able make or take advantage of. Talk to your family and friends about possible ideas. Diversification opportunities can also be a great way to start discussing farm succession planning with your family and help the next generation get excited about farm businesses.

Read our Farm Diversification page.

Continue to step three

Find out how to decide the best options available to you to offset the loss of BPS.

(c) Rob Fraser/Our Upland Commons – Ingleborough

Developing a plan to mitigate the loss of BPS

Step three: How to decide upon the best option available to you to offset the loss of BPS?

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To help you understand what your opportunities might be, start read our Farming pages.

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A female farmer leans against her Land Rover in the foreground with sheep in the background.

Farmer Health and Welfare

Change is often difficult and can affect all parts of your life. Find out more about the help and support you can get when you need it most.

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