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Countdown to BPS 2015 deadline

There are seven weeks remaining for farmers to make their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application.

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There are seven weeks remaining for farmers to make their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS 2015) application.

The vast majority of farmers should now have received their pre-populated BP5 claim forms. Anyone who has not received their form, either by email or post, by the end of April should contact the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301.

The Rural Payments Agency has received more than 5,500 applications within the first two weeks of BP5 claim forms being sent out.

Responding to feedback from farmers, the Agency has published supporting guidance to show how Ecological Focus Areas can overlap on GOV.UK. This provides examples and illustrations to help farmers.

Updated ‘Request for changes to the Rural Land Register and for the transfer of entitlements’ (RLE 1) forms and guidance, have also been published on GOV.UK. RPA will continue to accept old RLE1 forms.

Customer Director Justin Chamberlain said:

“The deadline for applications this year is midnight on 15 June, meaning there are now fewer than 50 days to go.

“This may seem like a long time but we would strongly urge people to make their claims as soon as possible so they have time to access any support they may need.

“Those who have not yet registered for Rural Payments are leaving it late and should make sure they do so as soon as possible.”

Support

Farmers and agents are reminded that help is available to them at 50 support centres across England. A map showing details of locations and opening times can be found on GOV.UK.

The Agency also has 10 mobile support units and one of these will be at the Grassland UK show, in Somerset, on 7 May.

The Rural Payments helpline will be open between 8am and 4pm this Bank Holiday Monday (4 May). The helpline is also available during the same hours on weekends and between 8am and 6pm on weekdays. Call 03000 200 301.

Environmental Stewardship guidance

In line with BPS, farmers and land managers who need to make a claim under existing agri-environment or woodland grant schemes must do so by 15 June 2015.

RLR map packs will be sent to all customers by the end of April. In order to complete their annual claim, existing agri-environment or woodland grant scheme agreement holder should use these maps. Further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

Top tips and common mistakes to avoid

  • If you haven’t previously told RPA about ineligible features but just reduced your claim area for affected fields, you will need to check the totals in column C8 (eligible area you want to claim BPS for) and C4 (maximum eligible area for BPS) on your BP5 carefully and make sure the information is correct.
  • Land you use to claim BPS in 2015 has to be ‘at your disposal’ on 15 May 2015.
  • The land use codes for your BPS application can be found in the how to apply guidance.
  • If you can’t fit everything on your BP5 form, use a continuation booklet available on GOV.UK.
  • If you submit your claim now you will still have time to amend it before June 15.
  • Don’t forget to sign your claim form.

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