Since January 2015 Environmental Stewardship (ES), the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) and capital grants from the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) programme have been replaced by a new Countryside Stewardship scheme.
The main priorities of the new scheme are biodiversity and water. Other objectives include historic environment, landscape quality and character, genetic conservation and educational access as well as contributing to climate change adaption and mitigation. The scheme is open to all eligible land managers, owners and tenants and most agreements will run for five years.
There are three ways to apply for the scheme:
- Higher Tier: for the most environmentally important sites, holdings and woodland that require complex management.
- Mid Tier for other holdings: Agreements will be awarded following a competitive application process, based on environmental priorities in the local area.
- A range of capital grants. Grant funding of up to £5000 will be available for measures that can help reduce diffuse water pollution or for operations such as hedge restoration.
The scheme application window for 2019 is March to July. This also applies to applications for grants to reduce diffuse water pollution. We can help you from initial planning and budgeting through to guidance and advice for your application.
If you have an agri-environment agreement, either under the new scheme or an existing Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) or Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme agreement, you may find that you need support or advice to manage your options.
We can help you to get the best from your agreement with advice on all aspects from establishment techniques and seed mixes, through sourcing contractors, to coping with your end-of-scheme inspection.
We can also carry out a check on the management of your options, for your peace of mind, and discuss practical ways to best manage your agreement, including:
- Help & advice on how derogation forms can be used to overcome problem issues;
- Mock compliance inspections, assessing compliance of option management and / or a field inspection to check the location and size of options;
- Completion of Land Transfer & Amendment (LTA1) forms;
- Production of wall maps or laminated maps showing the location of ELS/HLS options.