The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has today revealed a new £20 million funding pot, which will help UK farmers, foresters and horticulturalists develop green projects.

Announced today by DEFRA’s Farming Minister, Jim Paice, the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme will pay out grants of up to £25,000 that can be used to invest in sustainable business ideas.

The Scheme will fund new profit-boosting green schemes that save energy, reduce carbon emissions and save and recycle water. The funding will also be used to reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers, improve soil quality and animal welfare and promote woodland management.  

“Great news will hit the doormats of about a thousand rural businesses and farms over the next few weeks as we enable them to take new opportunities to boost their profits,” commented Paice.

“Grants of thousands of pounds will allow businesses to adopt greener and more efficient ways of working that will protect and improve the environment as well as grow the rural economy.”

Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 will cover 40 percent of the total cost of projects, with up to 50 percent funding available for projects in upland areas.

The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme is part of DEFRA’s £100 million package of investments through the Rural Development Programme for England, which was announced in the Rural Economy Growth Review in November last year.