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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Tree Champion supports Daily Mail’s ‘Be a Tree Angel’ campaign and RPA makes payments to thousands of rural businesses

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Launched on 23 November to mark the start of National Tree Week, The Daily Mail’s ongoing tree planting campaign continues with positive coverage today of a £100,000 donation to the papers ‘Be a tree angel’ campaign.

Philanthropist and restaurateur Richard Caring made the donation to allow 1,000 schools to grow orchards.

The Mail’s piece notes the positive impact of trees on our environment and names the Prime Minister and Tree Council CEO Sara Lom amongst the campaign’s supporters.

Our Tree Champion, Sir William Worsley, has been heavily involved in the ‘Be a tree angel’ campaign, welcoming the opportunity to urge people to plant more trees, especially in urban areas and schools.

Showing his support for the campaign, Sir William said:

Trees are vital to the health of our planet and our wellbeing, and it is great to see the Daily Mail’s 1,000 orchards for 1,000 schools campaign opening up and improving the natural environment for young people.

Through this campaign and Defra’s ‘Trees for Schools’ programme, delivered with the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust, we are giving hundreds of thousands more children the chance to get up close and personal with nature.

RPA makes full payments to thousands of rural businesses

Image of fields and trees in the backgrounds

There has been factual coverage in Farmers Weekly, Farming UK and across regional titles about farmers receiving £1.6 billion from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) within the first two weeks of the payment window.

The latest figures from the RPA show that 92.4% of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims were made by the end of Friday 13 December, worth £1.6 billion. This builds on the 59,600 farmers who received payments totalling £1.2bn on 2 December, the first day of the payment window.

Further to this, those who claimed in 2019 on their Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements will receive one full payment this year, as part of a wider improvement plan to deliver a better service to farmers and land managers. Eligible customers should expect to receive their payment within the payment window which runs between December 2019 and June 2020.

RPA Chief Executive, Paul Caldwell, said:

We are committed to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers, so that rural businesses can plan for the year ahead.

We remain focussed on continuously improving the delivery and performance of BPS, CS and ES schemes, and this year CS and ES customers will receive their one full payment against their annual claim.

We also urge claimants to be vigilant against fraud and to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 without delay if you are concerned.

Further information on BPS 2019, including scheme rules and details of how payments are calculated are available on GOV.UK.

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