Environmental Grant Schemes

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to implement land management practices on their farm to look after and improve the environment. The scheme will run until 2024 (last year of application 2023) before being replaced by the Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.

The main priorities of the scheme are biodiversity and water. Other objectives include historic environment, landscape quality and character, flood risk management, woodland creation and management 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.

The Countryside Stewardship scheme is made up of the following elements:

For the most environmentally  important sites, holdings and woodland that require complex management. Application window February to April. The scheme lasts from 5 to 20 years depending on the agreement type. 

Agreements for all other holdings, which will be awarded following a competitive application process. These are based on environmental priorities in the local area, consisting of both annually paid options and one of payments for capital items. The application window is from February to July and the scheme lasts for five years. Please note that an application pack must be requested by the end of June.

Non-competitive scheme in which farmers choose from a set list of annually paid options to fit their farming system. This can be applied for along with the capital only grant scheme. The application window is from February to July and the scheme lasts for five years.

Provides grants for boundaries, trees and orchards: water quality and air quality. The application window is from February – April and agreements last for two years.

A range of woodland grants are available to apply for throughout the year. Woodland grants under the Countryside Stewardship scheme include:

  • Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant supports new woodland and its longer term maintenance
  • Woodland Management Plan to help create UK Forestry standard (UKFS) compliant 10 year woodland management plan
  • Woodland Tree Health grant to help restore and improve tree health

 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 Countryside Stewardship 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.


Application Management

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 (RLE1) forms;
  • Production of wall maps or laminated maps showing the location of ELS/HLS options.