Natural England - Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (Uplands ELS)

Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (Uplands ELS)

Launched in February 2010, supporting hill farmers with payments for environmental management. Uplands ELS follows on from the Hill Farm Allowance which had its final payments to farmers in 2010.

Uplands ELS closed for new 2013 applications on 1 September 2013. The Uplands ELS scheme will be open for applications in 2014. Please see the Transition page for more details.

Quick link to how to get registered and apply.

Uplands ELS Handbooks and documents to help with your Uplands ELS application

Changes from 1 January 2013
The Making Environmental Stewardship More Effective (MESME) webpage provides details on new ELS options which will be available from 1 January 2013. There will also be changes to some existing ELS option prescriptions and points values from 1 January 2013. The new options and changes have yet to receive formal EU Commission approval.

Key information

Uplands ELS is open to all eligible farmers with land in Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDA), regardless of the size of your holding.

There are many management options to choose from, such as cattle grazing and maintenance of traditional farm buildings – ensuring that you have the flexibility to select the right options for your farm business.

The standard payment rate is £62 per ha per year (£23/ha on moorland parcels of 15ha or more) – this provides a secure, regular payment. You can also choose from a range of capital works such as stone wall restoration and woodland/watercourse fencing.

Providing you are eligible and meet a points target and agree to carry out simple, yet effective environmental work (including some standard requirements) on your upland farm, you will be accepted into the scheme.

Examples of management options

In addition to a set of compulsory requirements applied to all SDA land (moorland, commons and grassland/arable categories), agreement holders will also need to deliver one or more options to meet the points target for the holding. Options can be selected from the existing suite of ELS options and/or from Uplands ELS options. They include a limited number of capital items in recognition of the importance of the upland landscape, for example, the restoration of stone walls, stone hedge banks and earth banks.

You can find details of all ELS and Uplands ELS options in the Entry Level Stewardship Handbookexternal link or from your local Natural England office.

Options for Uplands ELSMoorland parcels 15ha or largerMoorland parcels smaller than 15 haGrassland and arable below the Moorland Line
Stone-faced hedge bank management
24 points per 100m (both sides of the bank)
12 points per 100m (one side of the bank)
Stone wall protection and maintenance
32 points per 100m
Earth bank management
18 points per 100m(both sides of the bank)
9 points per 100m(one side of the bank)
Hedgerow restoration
Maximum 40m per year, 10 points per metre
Stone-faced hedge bank restoration
Maximum 40m per year, 55 points per metre
Earth bank restoration
Maximum 40m per year, 12.5 points per metre
Stonewall restoration
Maximum 40m per year, 30 points per metre
Sheep fencing around small woods
Maximum 900m erected in year one
50 points per 100m per year