On 20th October the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question he had asked Government about the restoration of wood pasture:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scheme they intend to establish to replace Natural England’s Wood-Pasture Restoration Option within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. [HL8829]
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: The Wood-Pasture Restoration option is still available for lowland farmers and land managers under the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme and has not been removed. Defra, Natural England and the Rural Payments Agency are currently considering how best to support wood pasture restoration through CS options for upland farmers and land managers. In the meantime Natural England advisers are working with this year’s CS applicants to find alternative options to ensure this important habitat can be restored in the uplands.
Wood pasture is a valuable habitat that provides a new generation of scattered trees and scrub. This habitat allows flower-rich unimproved grasslands and mires to flourish for pollinators and provides benefits for both water management and the reduction of soil erosion.