Countryside Stewardship: How to apply

Manuals explain the scheme rules and How to apply guides will help you with your application

Latest news

12 June: Countryside Stewardship (CS) annual revenue claims are now closed

The final deadline to submit your CS annual revenue claim was midnight on 11 June 2021.

Claims received after 11 June 2021 will be rejected (apart from cases accepted as force majeure and exceptional circumstances).

For more information, please read Countryside Stewardship 2021: how to complete a revenue claim.

12 June: changes to the Rural Payments service

We have switched off parts of the Rural Payments Service.

You can use the Rural Payments service to:

  • register for rural payments
  • update your personal and business details
  • give someone else (like an agent) permission to act on your behalf
  • see and print digital maps of your land parcels
  • submit a CS capital claim
  • request an application pack for CS Mid Tier
  • apply for the CS Wildlife Offers
  • print your CS Farm Environment Record (FER)/Options map
  • print your CS Environmental Information Map (EIM)
  • use the CS Options Finder
  • view land parcel map and information for a date in the past

You can no longer use the service in 2021 to:

  • request an application pack for CS Higher Tier
  • apply for CS Capital Grants
  • transfer entitlements
  • transfer land
  • update land use
  • add or delete common rights
  • submit a CS revenue claim

Countryside Stewardship applications are open

You can apply for:

  • Mid Tier

  • Wildlife Offers

  • Woodland support grants

Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant

The updated Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant is now open for applications. The payment rates for the grants have not changed, but the application process for the maintenance element of this grant is different.

Apply for this grant if you want to create new woodland through Countryside Stewardship.


All the information you need to know about agreements is in the relevant scheme manual or on the Agreement holders’ information page.


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

Find out how to submit a claim at Online claims for Countryside Stewardship.

Mid Tier

Applications for Mid Tier are open from 9 February 2021 and close at midnight on 30 July 2021.

Find out more about Mid Tier in the Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier: an overview

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

Applications for the Wildlife Offers are open from 9 February 2021 and close at midnight on 30 July 2021.

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

Find out more about the Wildlife Offers in the:

Countryside Stewardship: Arable Offer overview

Countryside Stewardship: Lowland Grazing Offer overview

Countryside Stewardship: Mixed Farming Offer overview

Countryside Stewardship: Upland Offer overview

Higher Tier

Applications for Higher Tier are now closed.

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.

The deadline for the Forestry Commission to receive your final, woodland only application for the Higher Tier Woodland Improvement grant has changed to 31 August 2021.

CS Capital Grants

Applications for CS Capital Grants are now closed.

Capital Grants offers 67 standalone capital items within 3 groups:

  • Boundaries, Trees and Orchards
  • Water Quality
  • Air Quality

The aim is to protect and enhance the natural environment by increasing biodiversity, boosting habitats and improving water and air quality.

Woodland support grants

You can apply for the following grants all year:

  • Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant
  • Woodland Management Plan grant
  • Woodland Tree Health grant

The updated Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant is now open. The payment rates for the grants have not changed, but the application process for the maintenance element of this grant is different.

CS Higher Tier also offers grants to support woodland management. Read more information about this in the Higher Tier manual.

Use the links below to:

  • read the relevant manual
  • download one of the new application forms and find details of how to request a copy of the annex which accompanies the form
  • read guidance to help you apply

Historic buildings restoration grant

Historic buildings restoration grant is now closed for applications.

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 and the CS Capital Grants scheme.

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.

Read the facilitation fund guide for more information.

Forms and supporting information

Use the Rural Payments service to apply online for the woodland management plan grant

Published 15 June 2015
Last updated 12 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Edited latest news to include information about changes to the RP service and confirmation that claim deadline of 11 June 2021 had passed for 2021 CS revenue claims.

  2. Higher Tier and Capital Grants applications have now closed and have been removed from the list of open applications.

  3. Latest News updated with opening times for helplines between 1 and 6 April

  4. Latest News and elements of the scheme sections updated to show applications are now open for CS

  5. The Latest news and woodland support sections have been updated to explain the Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant opens on 9 Febraury 2021.

  6. Added link to the Countryside Stewardship forms page

  7. Information on the Woodland management plan grant has been updated - you can now apply for this grant.

  8. New details for Woodland Management Plan grants added covering domestic regulations for agreements with a start date after 1 January 2021.

  9. New manual added covering domestic regulations for agreements with a start date after 1 January 2021.

  10. 'Countryside Stewardship: How to apply' page and links updated to reflect scheme deadlines that have passed.

  11. Information for agreements with a start date from 1 January 2021 (domestic regulations) added.

  12. Woodland grant section updated with information about the grants moving from EU funding to domestic funding from 8 July.

  13. Added Information on Farm Advice for farmers and land managers under Mid Tier

  14. Transition of page from collection page to How to apply for CS, and information updated for applications made in 2020.

  15. Updates to 'Add land by email' section: subject title in email to state: 'CS 2020 add land'; deadline to receive emails is 4 May 2020, further dates have been removed.

  16. You can now transfer land parcels and BPS entitlements for 2020 until 15 May, using the Rural Payments service. You can also now add land by email.

  17. Countryside Stewardship query form added

  18. Update to Latest news section to include text and link to the new RPA remittance advice guidance page.

  19. Deadline for submission of PA2 and HE2 applications now 30 March 2020 wording added to Historic buildings restoration grant section.

  20. Added the 'Minor and temporary adjustment (MTA) form: Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship' to the Forms section.

  21. Revised Woodland creation grant: Countryside Stewardship page

  22. Facilitation Fund is open for applications

  23. Added latest news - Applications for Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier, Mid Tier including Wildlife Offers, and Hedgerows and Boundaries are now closed for 2019. Woodland creation, management plan and tree health grants are open all year for applications.

  24. Latest news: Change to the way customers contact us about Countryside Stewardship

  25. Text updated due to deadline for CS revenue claims.

  26. Rural Payments service ‘Land use’ screens removed from latest news as the screens are available to customers.

  27. 5 June 2019 - Land use screens in the Rural Payments service are not working.

  28. Change to clarify that we must receive add land requests by midnight on 29 May so that we can action the request by 31 May.

  29. Updates to information following 15 May deadline.

  30. 'Add land by email' deadline for requests extended to 31 May.

  31. Added Mid Tier: Farm Advice Framework (FAF) events to Mid Tier section

  32. Information published about Drop-in centres.

  33. Updated Latest news with detail that you can now submit a revenue claim.

  34. Added detail to Latest news about 'How to request MT application pack'

  35. Land-use codes for 2019 published.

  36. We've added information about our latest digital land map checks.

  37. Update page to include information about 'Add land by email'.

  38. Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier, Higher Tier, and Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant opened on 18 February 2019.

  39. Countryside Stewardship opened for applications on 18 Feb

  40. Use the Rural Payments service to edit land use.

  41. Updated Latest News

  42. Land and entitlement transfers available for 2019

  43. Link to guidance for those finding it difficult to meet scheme requirements due to hot and dry weather conditions.

  44. Deadline for first stage of historic buildings restoration grant application process passed.

  45. Mid Tier application deadline extended to 31 August 2018.

  46. Higher tier closed for applications.

  47. Added details of the 3 offices where applications and supporting information should be sent.

  48. Mid Tier (including the 4 new Offers for Wildlife), Higher Tier and the hedgerows and boundaries grant open for 2018 applications.

  49. Updated woodland support section with woodland creation fund 2018 information.

  50. Mapping updates section added.

  51. Event timetable for Mid Tier applications 2017 published.

  52. Mid Tier and Higher Tier open for 2017 applications.

  53. Information about the 2017 hedgerows and boundaries grant added.

  54. Information about the woodland management plan grant for 2017 added.

  55. Information about the woodland creation grant for 2017 added.

  56. Mid Tier has now closed for new applications in 2016.

  57. Added payment timings to agreement holders section.

  58. Updated page to show that the Higher Tier application period has ended for those with agri-environment options.

  59. Mid Tier and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship applications open for 2016.

  60. Facilitation fund opens for second round of applications 18 January 2016.

  61. First published.