Defra is encouraging farmers to look again at Countryside Stewardship. Following a review, the majority of payment rates will increase with effect from this month and there will be improvements to how the scheme operates. Defra plan to open the 2023 offer in February 2022 (for agreements starting in 2023).   Some payment rates have stayed the same and rates for a minority of options have reduced – because in these cases costs have gone down. For these options, Defra will apply the reduced rates to new agreements starting from 1 January 2023. This will be the final review of Countryside Stewardship revenue payment rates. Here is a table of the full payment rate changes.