Sugar Beet © Derrick Furlong

The Lincolnshire Wolds high scenic quality depends almost entirely upon the areas use for agriculture.  Overall approximately 80% of the AONB is in arable use, with 13% as permanent pasture and 2.5% woodland cover.  The Lincolnshire Wolds is a living, working landscape and it is widely recognized that much of the attractiveness of the Wolds today is a result of the activities of generations of farmers, landowners and foresters, read more in our leaflet Farming & Forestry of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Farming in Protected Landscapes

Protected Landscapes - our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - are special and unique places. They are living, working landscapes that also support a huge range of habitats and species, and they are enjoyed by millions of people every year. By supporting the farmers, land managers and people who live and work in these areas, we can help protect these exceptional places and support local communities.

To help do this, Defra has introduced the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, which will run from July 2021 to March 2024. Through the programme, farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses. This is a programme of funding for one-off projects covering these areas of work, not an agri-environment scheme.
The programme is part of Defra's Agricultural Transition Plan. It has been developed by Defra with the support of a group of AONB and National Park staff from across the country.

What the Programme will pay for
The Farming in Protected Landscapes is a programme of funding for one-off projects, not an agri-environment scheme. The Programme will pay for projects that, in the opinion of the Local Assessment Panel provide value for money and meet at least one of the outcomes listed below, under four themes.

• support nature recovery
• mitigate the impacts of climate change
• provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
• support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses

For example, the programme might support:
• promoting connectivity between habitats
• replacing stiles with gates on public footpaths, to promote easier access
• conserving historic features on a farm, such as deserted medieval settlements, roman farmsteads or Neolithic burial mounds
• supporting a locally branded food initiative that promotes the links between the product and the landscape in which it is produced
• action to reduce carbon emissions on a farm
• gathering data and evidence to help inform conservation and farming practice

Your project must also help to deliver at least one of the policies of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB Management Plan 2018-2023.

In the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service will be awarding up to £285,000 between now and the end of March 2022, with further allocated funds up to March 2024.

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is open to all farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) in a National Park, AONB or the Norfolk Broads – or where activity on the ground can bring benefit to one or more of those areas.
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.

The programme supports activity on any land within the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB.  It can also support activity on other land where projects can demonstrate benefit to the Lincolnshire Wolds or the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service's objectives or partnership initiatives.

You can see the boundary by visiting the MAGIC mapping website. Click on ‘designations', ‘land-based designations' and then 'Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty '.

We can advise potential applicants from the 1st July, but we are currently seeking additional staffing to help us to support and administer the programme whilst also working to establish a Local Assessment Panel. We are doing our best to get the scheme up and running over the coming weeks. Please see the documents below for further information and guidance. If you would like to receive updates directly, please contact

Your project must also help to deliver at least one of the policies of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB Management Plan 2018-2023. See here for a list of Lincolnshire Wolds Priorities, with indicative projects.

•             Guidance for applicants 2021-2022
•             Application Form 2021-2022
•             Adviser Pack Farming in Protected Landscapes

Constant updates and changes to policy directives are hard to keep up with. Wherever possible, this page will provide links through to the most relevant websites that are of significance to the farming community and any interested person.

Championing the Farmed Environment Find out how to receive the best possible advice and guidance on how to retain and increase the environmental benefits provided by your farmland.


January 2018 - Defra 25 Year Environment Plan

NFU (National Farmers Union)

CLA (Country Land and Business Association)

Labour Machinery Resources

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)

Natural England – Environmental Stewardship

Natural England – Catchment Sensitive Farming

Louth Market - Lincolnshire's Livestock Market



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