Countryside Stewardship: How to apply

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


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 opened on 11 February and close on 31 July 2020.

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 Wildlife Offers opened on 11 February and close on 31 July 2020.

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.

Higher Tier

Applications for Higher Tier opened on 11 February, and close on 1 May 2020 for initial applications.

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 to see the capital items available.

Hedgerows and boundaries grant applications opened on 11 February and close on 1 May 2020.

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

Woodland support

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

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

Historic buildings restoration grant

Historic buildings restoration grant is open for applications, provided you applied for the implementation grant by 29 June 2018. Deadline for submission of PA2 and HE2 applications now 30 March 2020.

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 open for applications from 5 August to midnight 4 October 2019

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


Published 15 June 2015
Last updated 11 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Transition of page from collection page to How to apply for CS, and information updated for applications made in 2020.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Countryside Stewardship query form added

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

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

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

  8. Revised Woodland creation grant: Countryside Stewardship page

  9. Facilitation Fund is open for applications

  10. 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.

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

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

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

  14. 5 June 2019 - Land use screens in the Rural Payments service are not working.

  15. 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.

  16. Updates to information following 15 May deadline.

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

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

  19. Information published about Drop-in centres.

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

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

  22. Land-use codes for 2019 published.

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

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

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

  26. Countryside Stewardship opened for applications on 18 Feb

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

  28. Updated Latest News

  29. Land and entitlement transfers available for 2019

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

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

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

  33. Higher tier closed for applications.

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

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

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

  37. Mapping updates section added.

  38. Event timetable for Mid Tier applications 2017 published.

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

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

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

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

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

  44. Added payment timings to agreement holders section.

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

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

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

  48. First published.