Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL)

13th September 2022

DEFRA’s new programme – Farming In Protected Landscapes – was introduced from July 2021 to March 2024 to invest in protected landscapes such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks. It is designed to allow farmers to work in partnership with these sites, so as to strengthen their special importance. 

DEFRA will consider applications for up to £250,000 for a single project but will not support works on domestic property, and does not fund projects where there is an existing legal duty to undertake the work, or where they relate to the conditions of a planning application. 

The scheme is open to all farmers and land managers, primarily within an AONB or National Park in England, or the Broads, FiPL has four ‘themes’.

  • To support nature recovery
  • To mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • To provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • To support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses

DEFRA will also be looking for projects that enable and encourage collaboration between farmers and other land managers; and collaborations between farmers and land managers engaged in access provision and visitor management. 

What FiPL will pay for

DEFRA says it will fund projects that provide value for money and result in at least one climate, nature, people or place outcome. Projects must also support the priorities of the protected landscape body’s management plan. These might include:

  • Carbon storage and/or sequestration
  • Reduced flood risk
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Supporting nature recovery with, for example, greater area of wildlife-rich habitat, better management of existing habitats for biodiversity
  • Providing opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • Supporting nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses that enhance the quality and character of the landscape and historic structures and
  • Increased resilience of farm businesses, contributing to a more thriving local economy  

How to apply

  • Application forms are available from the Protected Landscape Body in which your land resides.
  • Any application will be scored on a balance of project outcomes - climate, nature, people and place; value for money; sustainability and legacy.
  • DEFRA has advised that where possible, projects should be funded which deliver on more than one of the four themes (listed above) of the programme. 

Applicants who bring in third party investment, or matched funding may increase their value for money scoring as part of the assessment process. 

DEFRA has also said that, as far as possible, anyone receiving funding for a project under FiPL should not be unfairly disadvantaged from applying for other E.L.M. schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery or Landscape Recovery Schemes. 

Middleton advice.

Consider very carefully whether your project is eligible, and discuss this with the Protected Landscape body first. 

With special thanks to Duncan Hartley, Rural Solutions 

Advice papers Middleton Advice is a series of top-level answers to questions that are often raised over the course of our client relationships.

It’s important to note that you should not proceed with any investment decision on the basis of the advice contained in these papers without further consultation with Middleton or other professional advisors. Information accurate at publication date of October 2021.

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