Defra announced yesterday a new methodology for calculating payments on common land under the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS, the direct payments subsidy for farmers under pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy). The change means that, from 2015, the whole area of a common will generally be allocated among those who claim on it for the purposes of the BPS. That means a larger notional area for claimants on most commons, and subject to other factors, potentially larger payments.

Defra has also announced that, following a legal challenge to the existing methodology under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), it has concluded that the methodology used since 2005 was unsound, and that certain commoners may be eligible for compensation.

As the announcement is closely connected with my role in Defra, please refer to the website for further information.