Entry Level Stewardship agreements
29 November 2007
Natural England will not be issuing any new Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) agreements for the next couple of weeks, while we await the outcome of formal EU procedures for approving the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
Land managers currently preparing ELS applications are therefore advised not to send them to Natural England until we are able to give further guidance.
We hope that we will get approval in December and we plan to make a further announcement to clarify the position then.
As a condition of EU approval, we will have to make some changes to Environmental Stewardship, which will have to apply to those provisional agreements issued from January 2007 and to any agreements issued from now on.
Once the current EU discussions have been concluded, and we know in detail what will have to change, Natural England will be contacting agreement holders to discuss whether, and how, they will be affected.
Environmental Stewardship agreements entered into before 1 January 2007 will not be affected by these discussions.
Anyone who has entered into an Environmental Stewardship agreement since 1 January 2007 will be eligible for payment for work they have undertaken so far under the provisional agreement.