Agroforestry and the Basic Payment Scheme

ORC welcomes the recognition by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) of the benefits of agroforestry with new guidance on how agroforestry can be compatible with the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). This is a major breakthrough and the result of many years of lobbying by ORC, the Woodland Trust, the Soil Association, Abacus Agriculture and others.

Silvopasture: Fife. Photo Jo Smith

When the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) was introduced, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) stated that grazed woodland was no longer eligible for payment.

The RPA has stated “This has led to some confusion that BPS is not compatible with agroforestry systems. However, some forms of agroforestry are allowed by the scheme rules. As simplifications are being made to BPS, it’s a good time to clarify these rules, especially considering the environmental benefits of having trees on farms, the government commitment to planting new trees, and the desire to support agroforestry through land management schemes.”

Read the guidance:

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