Natural England - Entry Level Stewardship

Entry Level Stewardship

Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is open to all farmers across all farming types, including the uplands, to deliver simple yet effective environmental management.

ELS requires a basic level of environmental management and you can choose from a wide range of more than 80 management options. These cover all farming types and include things such as hedgerow management, stone wall maintenance, low input grassland, buffer strips, maintenance of traditional farm buildings and arable options.

How does ELS work?

You will receive a payment for all the land entered into ELS. The standard payment rate is £30 per ha, with £8 per ha on land parcels of 15 ha or more above the Moorland Line. There are higher payments for Uplands ELS - up to £62 per ha.

Provided you meet a points target and agree to carry out simple but effective environmental mangement on your land, you will be accepted into ELS.

Five-year agreements are available, with monthly start dates and automatic payments every six months.

How can I get advice and help?

There is a wide range of advice and help available to you:

  • To arrange a farm visit from an adviser, please call 0300 060 1695.

  • If you would like to attend one of our ELS events in your region, please see our Farm events page or call 0300 060 1695.

  • Natural England maintains a register of agents who are able to complete Environmental Stewardship applications.

  • For information about how to apply, and land management queries please call 0300 060 0011

  • You can also get advice and help from the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.

How do I apply?

You can apply at any time for an ELS agreement. There are monthly start dates. The straightforward application involves completing a Farm Environmental Record.

Our target is to provide an agreement within three months of receiving of a valid application.

To apply for an ELS agreement please contact your regional office. Or to apply online contact the ELS Online Team.

What information and documents do I need to apply?

The following documents will help you with your application

Existing agreements

If you have an existing agreement that started between October 2008 and December 2009 you should refer to:

If you have an existing agreement that started before October 2008 you should refer to:

ELS Seasonal tips

moorhen nest

Seasonal tips for farmers in Entry Level Stewardship provides a reminder of some of the work on ELS options that may need doing at this time of year.

Campaign for the Farmed Environment

Campaign for the Farmed Environment logo

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.