Accounting firm Moore Thompson is urging farmers and landowners to keep up with changes in payments around the Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.

The east England-based company said that rural businesses should get up to speed on the latest ELM changes to ensure that they benefit as much as possible.

Partner at Moore Thompson, Rob Blair, said: “The government is offering farmers who sign up the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) in England up to £1,000 as a management payment.”

This new payment has been brought in because, the company believes, there was low take-up of the initiative at the beginning.

Increases in the budget for the Countryside Stewardship is part of a wider trend with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) encouraging farmers and landowners to move away from seeing themselves exclusively as food producers to being custodians of the land, according to the accounting firm.

This will include taking on the responsibility of improving the biodiversity and all-round environmental quality of their land holdings for the public good.

“As we see the Basic Farm Payment scheme being wound down, it’s more important than ever for famers and landowners to keep abreast of what’s happening when it comes to schemes and payments for Environmental Land Management,” said Blair.