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Countryside Stewardship 2015

In 2015 the existing Environmental Stewardship Schemes will be replaced by a new Countryside Stewardship programme. An introduction to the scheme can be found by clicking on the link below;

The leaflet will outline

• how Countryside Stewardship will work
• how and when to apply
• when agreements and payments will start
• what funding will be available in 2015

Proposed payment rates (including capital items)

The link below sets out the proposed payment rates for land management options and capital items under new Countryside Stewardship. These payments are subject to approval by the European Commission.


Environmental Stewardship (old Scheme being replaced in 2015 –  see above)
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

Low input grazing

Fallow land / set aside

Uncultivated buffer strip





Schemes available

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.

For example
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
Total 2120 points

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.

Cirl Bunting country, habitats for farmland birds

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.