Environmental Stewardship Scheme
Environmental Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme which provides funding to farmers and other land managers in England to deliver effective environmental management on their land. It is a two-tier agri-environment scheme, comprising Entry Level Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship, as well as the Organic Entry Level Scheme. Environmental Stewardship has replaced previous agri-environment schemes including the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme and the Organic Farming Scheme.
The Entry-Level Scheme (ELS) and Organic Entry-Level Scheme (OELS) are available to all farmers with land registered on the Rural Land Register, altough land already in an Agri-Environment Scheme will have to be excluded. Farms that can meet the scheme requirements will receive a flat-rate payment of £8 per hectare for LFA fields over 15 hectares in size, £30 per hectare for LFA fields less than 15 hectares in size and non-LFA fields. Organic farms will receive £60 per hectare on LFA fields less than 15 hectares in size. Conversion payments of £175 per hectare are also available for LFA fields less than 15 hectares and non-LFA ground. There are no capital works payments in this scheme. Agreements last for 5 years. Our Farming and Rural Enterprise officers can help you complete an application free of charge.
Higher-Level Stewardship is a highly-targeted and competitive scheme, agreements are for 10 years with a 5 year break clause. payments are made for specific management of certain features on the farm. Capital works eg. walling, hedging, fencing and special projects eg. lime kiln restoration can also be funded. As part of the application process a Farm Environmental Plan (FEP) has to be undertaken. This is an in-depth environmental appraisal of the holding. Farm and Rural Enterprise officers can undertake this work for farms within the National Park for the cost of the grant awarded by DEFRA plus VAT.
Higher-Level Stewardship is currently an invitation-only scheme. A pre-FEP visit and FEP authorisation is required from Natural England before an application can be made. No FEP work should be started before obtaining this authorisation from Natural England.
The Farming and Rural Enterprise Teams in the North and South of the National Park can advise you on eligibility for the Environmental Stewardship Scheme and help with applications.
For more information contact:
Farming and Rural Enterprise
Telephone (South): 01434 611534 / 611546
Telephone (North): 01669 622070 / 622066
Further information on these schemes are available on the DEFRA website.