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Countryside Stewardship

Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment.

Latest news

Read the Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses page for the latest updates.

How to submit your supporting documents and evidence for claims

Do not email us a link to an external shared drive facility (for example Dropbox or Google Drive). We cannot accept supporting documents and evidence sent in this way.

You can scan and email your documents and evidence to ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk. Or you can post documents to RPA. You can find more information in the How to submit your supporting documents and evidence section of the How to submit claims online guides.

Extra month to claim for farm payments

The Government has confirmed the deadline to make a claim for Countryside Stewardship (CS) will be extended by one month.

Rural Payments service

You can now view information from a date in the past. From 6 April, in the View Land screens, you can choose to see your land parcel map and information for a date in the past as far back as 01/01/2015. For more information click the Help link in the Land summary screen.

Change land tenure form

You can now use the Change land tenure form to change your holding type or land share, so you can transfer land online or make a BPS claim.

Countryside Stewardship applications

Applications for Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier, Mid Tier including Wildlife Offers, and Hedgerows and Boundaries opened on 11 February.

You can apply for woodland creation, management plan and tree health grants all year.

Rural Payments service

You can now use the Rural Payments service to:

  • submit a CS revenue claim
  • transfer land parcels until 15 June
  • add land by email for CS only until 30 June
  • update land use until 10 July
  • view land parcel map and information for a date in the past.

About the scheme

The aim of the scheme is look after and improve the environment by:

  • conserving and restoring wildlife habitats

  • flood risk management

  • woodland creation and management

  • reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture

  • keeping the character of the countryside

  • preserving historical features in the landscape

  • encouraging educational access

The main elements to the scheme are:

  • Mid Tier

  • Wildlife Offers

  • Higher Tier

  • Capital grants

  • Woodland support grants

Contact

Contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) if you have any queries, including woodland options and grants:

Rural Payments Agency

(Countryside Stewardship)
PO Box 324
Worksop
S95 1DF

Opening times: 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Find out about call charges at www.gov.uk/call-charges

How to apply for a Countryside Stewardship agreement

The scheme is:

  • open to all eligible farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers

  • suitable for many types of land use, for example conventional and organic farmland, coastal areas, uplands and woodlands
  • competitive

  • scored against local priority targets to maximise environmental benefit
  1. Countryside Stewardship: How to apply

How to claim for payment on an existing CS agreement

All the information you need to know about making a claim for payment is in the relevant scheme manual.

Information for agreement holders

The Agreement holders’ information provides the manual relevant to your scheme and agreement start date. the information you need to know about your agreement is in the relevant scheme manual.

CS forms

The CS forms available to apply for or support a CS agreement.

  1. Countryside Stewardship forms
Published 11 February 2020
Last updated 19 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. The latest news box has been updated to tell you not to email us a link to an external shared drive facility (for example Dropbox or Google Drive). We cannot accept supporting documents and evidence sent in this way.

  2. Latest news - Rural payments service updated: deadline to update land use extended to 10 July; removal of transfer BPS entitlements as deadline was 15 May.

  3. Deadline for transferring land parcels amended to 15 June.

  4. Link added to news article regarding the 'Extra month to claim for farm payments'

  5. Link to the Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses page added to latest news.

  6. Change land tenure form added.

  7. Rural Payments service downtime affecting CS revenue claims until 6 April. From 6 April you can use the Rural Payments service to view land parcel map and information for a date in the past.

  8. Update to 'add land by email' date to 30 June, for Countryside Stewardship.

  9. Page updated to advise customers they can submit a CS revenue claim using the Rural Payments service.

  10. Update to Latest news section to include 'Update land' using the Rural Payments service.

  11. First published.