3 October 2008
Natural England has today (Friday 3 October) published new Environmental Stewardship (ES) handbooks to provide farmers with a comprehensive guide to ES and how to apply.
A dedicated Environmental Stewardship phone number has also been established - 0300 060 1115; and for the first time applicants for Entry Level Stewardship schemes (ELS) can now apply online – www.naturalengland.org.uk
The new handbooks – which cover every available ES scheme - apply to all agreements starting on or after 1 October 2008. The handbooks have been re-designed and include information on new options and changes to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) bringing farmers up to date on how ES can help their farm business and how they can apply.
Almost £3 billion is earmarked for ES and other agri-environment schemes from 2007-2013, under the RDPE.
Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: “Environmental Stewardship remains essential to the health of our natural environment and the success of certain species and we know this can go hand in hand with a successful farming enterprise. We will work closely with the farming industry to ensure these ES schemes continue to work for the benefit of farming, the countryside and wildlife.”
Existing agreement holders must keep their old handbooks as the terms and conditions remain part of the legal basis of their agreement.
Notes for editors
Environmental Stewardship is a Government-funded scheme open to all farmers, which funds the delivery of environmental benefits through agriculture. The scheme aims to conserve wildlife, maintain and enhance our landscape quality and character, protect our natural resources, and promote public access to the countryside.
For more information please contact the Natural England Press Office on 0845 603 9953, firstname.lastname@example.org, out of hours 07970 098005. For further information about Natural England please visit: www.naturalengland.org.uk
Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas. We conserve and enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings.