Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, has announced that Tranche 6 of the Wider Level of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) is now open for applications.

Minister Poots said:

“We now have over 5,500 EFS agreements in place across Northern Ireland and it’s been such a tremendous success.

Having seen much of the good work undertaken by farmers in this scheme I would commend it to all farmers in Northern Ireland for consideration.

“Much can be achieved where even a little is done by many.’’

Applications are open until September 23.

He added: “EFS Wider Level will be available to most farmers as it applies to land outside areas of environmental designations and they can apply at DAERA online services.

“Farmers have just over three weeks to apply so I would encourage all our farmers to consider this scheme and get their applications in well in advance of the closing date of September 23.”

Applicants use the online system to choose which scheme options best suit their needs.

Although most of the scheme works must be completed in the first year, EFS Wider is a five-year scheme which seeks to establish and enhance biodiversity and water quality.

If you had a previous EFS Wider Tranche 1 agreement and you wish to apply again, it is important to note that options previously established cannot be claimed for, or applied for again in the same location, in Tranche 6.

There are no plans at this time for further EFS Wider tranches.