Environmental Stewardship [ES] is a government scheme open to all farmers, land managers and tenants in England which provides financial rewards for land management that maintains or improves the quality of the environment.
Tamar Wildlife can provide advice and explain in easy to understand language the process that will help secure funding. This will enable farmers and land managers to undertake work to conserve, enhance and promote the countryside by:
· looking after wildlife, species and their habitats
· ensuring that the traditional landscape character is retained
· protecting historic features, buildings and natural resources
· ensuring the conservation of traditional breeds of livestock and crop varieties
· providing opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about the countryside
Entry Level Scheme [ELS]
The ELS is the basic scheme open to all farmers and land managers. It enables environmental management to be tailored to existing farming operations creating your own integrated programme.
It is a points based system, whereby points are awarded for a range of environmental projects. You will generally need to achieve 30 points for each hectare of land entered into the scheme which then returns a payment of £30 per hectare.
A 70 ha lowland holding would need 2100 points to qualify for ELS [70ha x 30pts] and receive a payment of £2100. The points may be achieved by:
|Option description||Points Available||Measurement||Your total|
|Enhanced hedgerow management||42 per 100m||500m||210|
|Permanent grassland with low inputs||85 per ha||6 ha||510|
|Management of field corners||400 per ha||0.5 ha||200|
|Wild bird seed mixture||450 per ha||1 ha||450|
|Overwintered stubbles||120 per ha||5 ha||600|
|2m buffer strips||300 per ha||0.5 ha||150|
Organic Entry Level Stewardship [OELS]
The scheme is similar to ELS but the land must be registered as ‘fully organic’ or ‘in conversion to organic’. In addition to the 30 option points per hectare an additional 30 points is awarded for each hectare of organic land entered into the scheme. This will give a return of £60 per hectare.
Higher Level Stewardship [HLS]
This scheme is available to those applying for, or already in ELS / OELS, generally in targeted areas across England. HLS applications are assessed against specific local themes and agreements offered, providing targets for these can be met. In the south west, one such theme is reversing the decline of farmland birds. There are a range of options that build on those offered under ELS to enhance habitats for birds such as the Chough or Cirl Bunting
There is also provision for capital payments for works such as hedge planting, pond creation or fencing where it is appropriate.
Applicants for HLS will need to provide a Farm Environment Plan [FEP] which identifies the important environmental features on the farm. Tamar Wildlife has provided such plans for farmers and is able to offer advice or undertake an HLS application on your behalf. We can discuss and agree management options and provide support to ensure that the agreement is successful.
What to do next
Contact Tamar Wildlife for a free consultation. We will visit you at your farm and discuss the stewardship schemes in more detail, options that might be applicable and how to proceed and if you are already in a scheme such as Countryside Stewardship we can help your smooth transition to ELS.