Farming in Protected Landscapes


Introducing: Farming in Protected Landscapes

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is now running in the Cotswolds National Landscape. Created by Defra, the programme will help farmers, land managers, and others to deliver work on the farmed landscape under the themes of climate, nature, people, and place.

Applications are now open.

Guidance on how to apply can be found below.
Please contact us if you would like to make an application

For updates about the programme and other news sign up to our Farming Mailing List here.

We hosted a short webinar and Q&A for potential grant applicants on Thursday 15th July 2021.

The background

Defra has launched the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, which will run from July 2021 to March 2024. Their hope is that by supporting the farmers, land managers, and people who live and work in protected landscapes like National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty like the Cotswolds, they can help protect these exceptional places and support local communities.

Through the programme, farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses. This is a programme of funding for one-off projects covering these areas of work, not an agri-environment scheme.

The programme is part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan. It has been developed by Defra with the support of a group of AONB and National Park staff from across the country.


    • The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is open to all farmers and land managers
      (including from the private, public and charity sector) in a National Park, AONB, or the Norfolk Broads – or where activity on the ground can bring benefit to one or more of those areas.
    • You must manage all the land included in the application, and have control of all the activities you’d like to undertake,
      or you must have written consent from all parties who have this management and control.
    • Other organisations and individuals can apply, as long as they do this in collaboration with a farmer or land manager,
      or in support of a farmer or group of farmers.
    • Common land is eligible for support through the Programme.
      You can apply as a landowner with sole rights, or as a group of commoners acting together.
    • The programme supports activity on any land within the Cotswolds.
      It can also support activity on other land where projects can demonstrate benefit to the Cotswolds or the Cotswolds’ objectives or partnership initiatives. Most of the funding will probably be provided to projects within the Cotswolds National Landscape boundary.
    • You can see the boundary by visiting the MAGIC mapping website.
      Click on ‘designations’, ‘land-based designations’, ‘statutory’, and then ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty England.’

What the Programme will pay for

The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme will pay for projects that, in the opinion of the selected Local Assessment Panel, provide value for money and meet at least one of the outcomes from the four themes below:

    • Climate – e.g. action to reduce carbon emissions on a farm; natural flood management; carbon sequestration; land management planning
    • Nature – e.g. improving connectivity between habitats; gathering data and evidence to inform conservation and farming practices
    • People – e.g. replacing stiles with gates on public footpaths, for easier access; helping more diverse audiences explore, enjoy and understand the landscape and farm businesses
    • Place – e.g. conserving historic features on a farm; supporting a locally branded sustainable food initiative that promotes links between the product and the landscape

Your project must also demonstrate support of the current Cotswolds National Landscape Management Plan.

Funded projects

How to apply

Before applying, we would encourage you to contact us to discuss your application. Ideally, the Farming in Protected Landscapes project officers might visit your potential project location or meet you to discuss your ideas. Before contacting us, please read the following two guidance documents. The first is detailed funding criteria from Defra. The second describes how you can link your project objectives to our Management Plan in the Cotswolds. Please note Defra update their guidance from time to time, so please check back to ensure you have the most up to date version of the detailed funding criteria.

More information

Please contact Scott Brown, Farming Engagement Lead, at for more information and guidance.