Results-Based Agri-environment Payment Scheme (RBAPS) pilot study in England

11/10/2019 0 By wildfeed

In 2016 the EU Directorate General awarded a 3-year grant to Natural England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) to jointly run a pilot study, known as the Results-Based Agri-environment Payment Scheme (RBAPS).

The project is continuing to March 2021 with Defra funding. It is part of the Tests and Trials programme to inform the new Environmental Land Management system.

Agreement holders get paid by results, not by following set methods. Management actions taken are not assessed. Agreement holders can choose the most suitable method to achieve the agreed end result.

RBAPS is being applied to 4 land management options – 2 options each in 2 locations in England. The tables show how RBAPS management options compare to current Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) options.

Study areas

The 2 pilot study areas test grassland and arable management options.

Grassland options – Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

RBAPS optionSpecies rich hay meadow
ES comparable optionsHK6 – maintenance of species rich, semi-natural grassland, HK7 – restoration of species rich, semi-natural grassland
CS comparable optionsGS6 – management of species rich grassland, GS7 – restoration towards species rich grassland
RBAPS optionHabitat for breeding waders
ES comparable optionsHL7 – maintenance of rough grazing birds, HL8 – restoration of rough grazing for birds
CS comparable optionUP2 – management of rough grazing for birds

Read the grassland factsheet on this page for progress in Wensleydale.

Arable options – Norfolk and Suffolk

RBAPS optionWinter bird food
ES comparable optionsEF2/HF2 – wild bird seed mixture, HF12 – enhanced wild bird seed mixture
CS comparable optionAB9 – winter bird food
RBAPS optionPollen and nectar
ES comparable optionEF4/HF4 – nectar flower mix
CS comparable optionAB1 – nectar flower mix

Read the arable factsheet on this page for progress in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Study aims

Natural England and the YDNPA will:

  • design and implement the pilot scheme
  • develop ways of measuring results for the 4 management options
  • monitor control sites
  • analyse results

Measuring success

Results will test how:

  • RBAPS affects environmental performance
  • accurately farmers carry out self-assessment as part of the new approach
  • cost effective the approach is
  • well farmers and stakeholders respond to the approach

The final report for the 2016 to 2018 study concluded that the results-based approach has considerable potential for the design of future land management schemes. The Defra trial will continue to publish newsletters each year.

The National Audit Office report on the government’s use of payment by results schemes concluded that sharing good practice and gathering strong evidence is vital for the success of these schemes.

Other studies

The EU funded 2 other pilot studies. These were in: