The floods and Force Majeure and Derogations

Did you know that you can be formally released from your Environmental Stewardship (ES) commitments where unforeseeable events, such as flooding mean that it is impossible or impractical for you to meet the terms of your ES Agreement.

Force Majeure applies when there is long term damage and you are unable to meet the management prescription required, for example:

  • If you have lost ES funded capital works and you are unable to replace them , or you plan to replace them in the future if you get HLS or Flood Recovery Funding
  • If land has been lost downriver, is covered with boulders and gravel, or other types of flood impacts and it is impossible to continue delivering your ES prescriptions on individual fields/features

You must make a Force Majeure request soon, as a time delay could be a reason for turning it down. You do this by filling in a “Request for consideration of Force Majeure” form. This will protect you from reclaims/penalties by RPA.

If in the short term you cannot follow ES prescriptions, but there is a realistic expectation that you will be able to get back to normal land management in the near future then you need to get a Derogation. For example:  as a result of field scouring, gully formation, damaged boundaries, debris in fields or other flood related issues that can be rectified. This will allow a short term release from the need to comply with your Agreement prescriptions and protect you from reclaims/penalties.

Full details can be found in the Environmental Stewardship handbooks. You can get the forms from your local Natural England advisor or phone 0300 060 600, or you can download them here