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Environmental Co-operation Fund dropped from SRDP

It was confirmed earlier this week that the Scottish Government will not be re-introducing the ECAF (Environmental Co-operation Action Fund) scheme into the current Scotland Rural Development Programme.
The scheme was included at the time the SRDP was launched in 2016 but was withdrawn late last year over concerns that the design of it did not meet Audit compliance.  The government had hoped to modify it and bring it back for the 2018 application window, but it confirmed this week that it could not sensibly address the Audit issues and the scheme would now be dropped altogether from the programme.
The purpose of the scheme was to fund co-ordination and facilitation of landscape scale environmental work involving multiple landowners and managers.  Scottish Land & Estates are disappointed that it will not return.  We saw it as a mechanism that could help deliver well integrated land management.  We have however asked to be included in Scottish Government discussions on how other aspects of the SRDP can be promoted to deliver similar outcomes.

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