Environmental Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme that provides funding to farmers and other land managers in England to deliver effective environmental management on your land.
For an introduction to Environmental Stewardship take a look at our new, easy-to-use, interactive guide. With case studies, video clips and links to more information and online application, it is the best place to start if you are thinking about joining Environmental Stewardship, or are keen to move to the next level. Look after your land with Environmental Stewardship .
There are are three elements to Environmental Stewardship:
Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) provides a straightforward approach to supporting the good stewardship of the countryside. This is done through simple and effective land management that goes beyond the Single Payment Scheme requirement to maintain land in good agricultural and environmental condition. It is open to all farmers and landowners. ELS Handbook (3rd Edition)
Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) is the organic strand of ELS. It is geared to organic and organic/conventional mixed farming systems and is open to all farmers not receiving Organic Farming Scheme aid. OELS Handbook (3rd Edition)
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) involves more complex types of management and agreements are tailored to local circumstances. HLS applications will be assessed against specific local targets and agreements will be offered where they meet these targets and represent good value for money. HLS Handbook (3rd Edition)
Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (Uplands ELS) was launched in February 2010 to support hill farmers with payments for environmental management. This strand of Environmental Stewardship succeeds the Hill Farm Allowance. It is open to all farmers with land in Severely Disadvantaged Areas, regardless of the size of the holding. ELS Handbook (3rd Edition)
(18 February 2011) See our new interactive version of the leaflet Look after your land with Environmental Stewardship.
(20 January 2011) See the latest edition of Environmental Stewardship Update , our regular newsletter for those involved in agri-environment schemes.
(12 January 2010) See our new Seasonal tips for farmers in Entry Level Stewardship.
(20 December 2010) Defra has confirmed the details of spending on Higher Level Stewardship until 2014. We are now able to lift the temporary freeze on HLS agreements and will inform all applicants about the progress of individual applications within the next four weeks. Defra has also announced some changes; more money will spent on protecting wildlife and reducing water pollution and less on farm renovations and access to the countryside. For more details see our HLS Q&A .
New home for Government online services for farmers
Business Link is the new home for Government online services to the farming industry, replacing the existing Whole Farm Approach portal. It gives access to services such as RPA Online, ELS Online and Defra Farm Surveys and Assessments.
Campaign for the Farmed Environment
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment is seeking to increase the uptake of ELS and is encouraging farmers to choose the priority options. Visit the Campaign's website.