We work closely with Natural England who administer the Government's agri-environment schemes. We are currently in a transition period with the schemes. Up until the end of 2015 farmers had been applying to Environmental Stewardship. This scheme has two levels - Entry Level or Upland Entry Level ((U)ELS) which is usually a 5 year whole farm agreement and Higher Level (HLS) which is usually a whole farm 10 year agreement. Details of this scheme can be found on the Natural England website.
However, Natural England have now released the new new agri-environment scheme, Countryside Stewardship. This is alongside the changes to the Single Payment Scheme and the switch over to an online service. All of the most up to date information is being published on the Government website.
Countryside Stewardship has two tiers, similar to ELS or HLS - the Mid Tier and the Higher Tier. Unlike Environmental Stewardship, Countryside Stewardship is parcel based and not whole-farm. Applications are scored and applicants are not guaranteed to get an agreement.
Application windows are now open:
- Higher Tier is open for applications from 10 March until 5 May 2017. Note an application pack must be requested by 13 April.
- Mid Tier is open for applications from 10 March until 30 September 2017. Note an application pack must be requested by 31 July.
Countryside Stewardship also has the Hedgerow and Boundaries Grant Scheme and the Water Items. These can be incorporated into the Mid or Higher Tier agreements or can be a stand alone capital grant.
Hedgerow and Boundaries Grant
The application window for the Hedgerow and Boundaries Grant has now opened - the deadline is 28th of April 2017. Please contact the Farm team if you would like any help or advice with these applications. Contact details below.
Water Capital Grant
The Water Capital Grant application window is now open for 2017. The dates are the same as Mid Tier window - it is open for applications from 10 March until 30 September 2017. Note an application pack must be requested by 31 July
Farmers that currently have an ELS or HLS agreement are not able to apply to the new scheme until their existing agreement expires, with the exception of:
- the Water Capital Grant Scheme if they are in a priority area for Water Quality. The priority areas can now be seen on Magic.
- Hedgerows and Boundaries – you can apply if you are in ELS. Unfortunately you cannot apply if you are currently in HLS or UELS.
How we can help
We offer a first stop service for farmers and landowners on both the old and the new agri-environment schemes. We can also help people who are having difficulty with accessing any of the information. This includes
- Free advice visits to explain the range of national and regional grants available and how to apply for them.
- Help with all aspects of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme application process and the different levels of the Scheme. There may be a charge associated with some of this work but please contact us to find out how we can help.
- If you are interested in applying for Water Items you will need to have your application endorsed by the Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) and inside the National Park Boundary we are the acting CSFOs. Please contact us.
Please contact us by:
- phone 0300 456 0030
- email firstname.lastname@example.org.