Farming in Protected Landscapes

This is a Defra funding programme from July 2021 to April 2024 aimed at farmers and land managers in England’s Protected Landscapes (AONBs and National Parks). 

The programme is for one-off farming projects that can demonstrate benefits to climate, nature, people and place.

It is open to farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) with land within the Shropshire Hills AONB.

The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is providing support and administering the programme locally.  Farmers and land managers can apply for grants for projects to provide benefits to climate, nature, people and place on land in the Shropshire Hills AONB;


  • More carbon is stored and/or sequestered
  • Flood risk is reduced
  • Farmers, land managers and the public better understand what different habitats and land uses can store carbon and reduce carbon emissions
  • The landscape is more resilient to climate change


  • There is a greater area of habitat improved for biodiversity
  • There is an increase in biodiversity
  • There is greater connectivity between habitats
  • Existing habitat is better managed


  • There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
  • There are more opportunities for more diverse audiences to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape
  • There is greater public engagement in land management, such as through volunteering
  • Farmers and land managers feel increasingly comfortable with providing public goods


  • The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced
  • Historic structures and features are conserved, enhanced or interpreted more effectively
  • There is an increase in farm business resilience

Application and advice

If you are interested in making an application, please read through the following documents: 

Once you have a project idea, if you would like some advice or guidance before you submit your application, please complete this short enquiry form. 

 Enquiry Form 

This will help us to direct your project idea to the most suitable member of our team. We can advise on how well your proposal meets the programme aims, how the application could be strengthened, and answer any queries you have about the application process. 

To get in touch with our Farming in Protected Landscapes Advisor, Alison Jones, please email or telephone 01743 254745.

Summary information is provided below 

Tree planting in the Redlake Valley by Sarah Jameson

Who can apply to us?

The programme is open to all farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) with land within the Shropshire Hills AONB. 

view the AONB boundary

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.  

This is a programme of funding for one-off projects covering these areas of work, not an agri-environment scheme.

Further detailed guidance on eligibility is contained within the guidance.


What are the payment rates?

If an applicant will not make a commercial gain through a project, they could receive up to 100% of the costs.

Where an applicant would benefit commercially from a project, they could receive up to 80% of the costs through the programme.

The programme will work alongside – not in competition with – Defra’s existing and new schemes, adding value where it is most needed. If a potential project can be rewarded through those schemes instead, you will be made aware of them.

If an activity is equivalent to one under Countryside Stewardship, the programme payment rate will be the same as the Stewardship rate. 


How to apply?

Applications are now invited for funding in years two (2022/23) and three (2023/24) of the programme, for work starting from 1st April 2022. Multi-year awards are possible for longer projects.  

To apply, please read through the application guidance and local priorities documents which is are available to download on this webpage. We strongly encourage you to discuss your project with us before applying – see application and advice

All projects must end by March 2024.