Assessing the Effectiveness and Cultural Value of Countryside Stewardship Option 

Funded by Natural England, this five-month project, which started in November 2021, mapped the uptake of Environmental Stewardship and Countryside Stewardship building maintenance options. Once the mapping was complete, analysis of the geographic pattern of uptake was compared to the national character mapping to identify gaps in uptake.

In addition, the project reviewed the buildings that were chosen for maintenance at a farm level, considering whether they were the most appropriate for selection, whilst looking at the impact the use of the wildlife template and building maintenance logs had on agreement holder decision making. These assessments provide the basis for consideration of whether further guidance is required, for example around the better use of wildlife and maintenance logs, all with the aim of enhancing choice of buildings, completion of traditional repairs and making space for nature.  

Farmer attitudes were also sought via interviews, to determine whether better maintenance has enhanced views on and appreciation of the buildings, their position and role in the local landscape, and the craft skills required to repair them. Outputs will be used to adapt the options and promote them within an E.L.M. outcome framework to ensure they deliver across the beauty, heritage and engagement agenda of the 25 YEP.  

The CCRI team, led by Dr Peter Gaskell, included Rob Berry, Dr Charlotte Chivers, Katarina Kubinakova, Nick Lewis and Jeremy Lake. In addition, we worked with experienced farm building surveyors in five regions of the UK. 

Final Report

CCRI Ref: 2021-004