Collection

Countryside Stewardship

Funding for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to make environmental improvements.

Information for agreement holders is available on the agreement holders page.

About the scheme

Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for farmers and land managers to look after their 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 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

There are 4 main elements to the scheme:

Contact

Contact Natural England if you have any queries, including woodland options and grants:

Enquiries

Natural England
County Hall, Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP

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

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

Applications

Send paper-based applications and supporting information for online applications to the office for your county.

For woodland grants (woodland creation, woodland tree health and woodland management plan), send all supporting information to Crewe.

County Office Address, email, telephone
Avon, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hereford and Worcester, Isles of Scilly, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Tyne and Wear, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Wiltshire, Worcestershire Crewe Countryside Stewardship Delivery Services, Natural England, PO Box 380, Crewe CW1 6YH - Email ts.crewe@naturalengland.org.uk - Telephone 020 8026 1806
Derbyshire, Humberside, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Nottingham Countryside Stewardship Delivery Services, Natural England, PO Box 10276, Nottingham NG2 9PD - Email ts.nottingham@naturalengland.org.uk - Telephone 020 8026 2018
Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Greater London, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, West Sussex Reading Countryside Stewardship Delivery Services, Natural England, PO Box 2423, Reading RG1 6WY - Email ts.reading@naturalengland.org.uk - Telephone 020 8026 7254

Mid Tier

Mid Tier closed for applications on 31 August 2018.

Mid Tier offers options, supplements and capital items to achieve simple and effective environmental benefits.

There are no Mid Tier grants for woodland or educational access.

Capital items for improving water quality are also available through Mid Tier.

Wildlife Offers

The Wildlife Offers closed for applications on 31 August 2018.

These new Offers for 2018 were designed to be quicker and simpler to apply for. They are not scored. You will get an agreement if you made a valid application.

Higher Tier

Higher Tier closed for applications on 13 April 2018.

Higher Tier covers the more environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands.The options, supplements and capital items available are more complex than Mid Tier due to the needs of these sites.

You can get help with your application from Natural England, Forestry Commission or Catchment Sensitive Farming officers.

Capital grants

Capital agreements are made up of just capital items and last for 2 years. They’re available when the application window is open for:

Use the CS grants finder tool to see the capital items available.

Hedgerows and boundaries grant

Hedgerows and boundaries grant closed for applications on 30 April 2018.

The funding produces environmental and landscape benefits by improving hedgerows and boundaries on your land.

Historic buildings restoration grant

Historic buildings restoration grant is open for applications, provided you applied for the implementation grant by 29 June 2018. The closing date is 31 January 2019.

Woodland support

Woodland creation, management plan and tree health grants are open all year for applications.

See woodland support for information about the woodland creation, management plan, tree health and improvement grants.

Catchment Sensitive Farming

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a project that aims to reduce the amount of water and air pollution caused by farming operations. CSF officers provide free advice and training on reducing pollution in priority areas, and support when applying for water and air quality capital grants in Mid Tier.

Facilitation fund

The facilitation fund is closed for applications.

Find out how the facilitation fund supports facilitators who bring together groups of farmers and land managers to improve their local natural environment.

Forms and supporting information

Use:

Published 15 June 2015
Last updated 1 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Link to guidance for those finding it difficult to meet scheme requirements due to hot and dry weather conditions.
  2. Deadline for first stage of historic buildings restoration grant application process passed.
  3. Mid Tier application deadline extended to 31 August 2018.
  4. Higher tier closed for applications.
  5. Added details of the 3 offices where applications and supporting information should be sent.
  6. Mid Tier (including the 4 new Offers for Wildlife), Higher Tier and the hedgerows and boundaries grant open for 2018 applications.
  7. Updated woodland support section with woodland creation fund 2018 information.
  8. Mapping updates section added.
  9. Event timetable for Mid Tier applications 2017 published.
  10. Mid Tier and Higher Tier open for 2017 applications.
  11. Information about the 2017 hedgerows and boundaries grant added.
  12. Information about the woodland management plan grant for 2017 added.
  13. Information about the woodland creation grant for 2017 added.
  14. Mid Tier has now closed for new applications in 2016.
  15. Added payment timings to agreement holders section.
  16. Updated page to show that the Higher Tier application period has ended for those with agri-environment options.
  17. Mid Tier and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship applications open for 2016.
  18. Facilitation fund opens for second round of applications 18 January 2016.
  19. First published.