Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL)

England’s (44) protected landscapes, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), are special and unique places. They are living, working landscapes that support a huge range of habitats and species, and are enjoyed by millions of people every year. Over 75 per cent of the South Downs National Park is farmed, made up of a mosaic of farm types including small family run farms and large farming estates. The mixture of livestock and arable farming gives the South Downs a very special feel, and has shaped the landscape we see today.

As we transition from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to a new agricultural support system, farming is going through a significant period of change. To help farmers and land managers in the country’s protected landscapes during this time and in recognition of the role they play in managing these areas, Defra has developed the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme as part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan, which will run from July 2021 to March 2024. 

What will the Programme Fund?

Through the programme, farmers and land managers within protected landscapes can apply for funding to carry out projects that:

Climate outcomes: Mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • 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
Nature outcomes: Support nature recovery
  • 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
People outcomes: Provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage
  • 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
Place outcomes: Support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.
  • 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
Supporting delivery of the South Downs National Park Partnership Management PlanYour project must also help to deliver at least one of the outcomes of the South Downs National Park Partnership Management Plan

You can find details of the South Downs National Park Management Plan here


How long will it run for?

The programme will run from 2021-2024. For the first year of the programme, applications can be received from 1st July 2021 until 31st January 2022.


Who can apply?

FiPL is open to all farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) where activity on the ground can bring benefit to the South Downs National Park in one or more of the programme objectives.

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.


How will the Programme be managed in the South Downs National Park?

Within the South Downs National Park, FiPL will be delivered by the Authority’s Farming Team.

A Local Assessment Panel, comprising predominately of farmers, is being developed.

The Panel will meet regularly to decide on which projects, based on guidance from Defra and relevance to our Partnership Management Plan, should be supported.


How to apply

Applications must be developed with the National Park’s Farming Team before being submitted. 

An application form and guidance (including all the criteria) will be available to download from the SDNPA FiPL webpage when the programme opens on 1 July 2021 and from the South Downs National Park Authority Farming Team







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