Collection

Countryside Stewardship

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

See Countryside Stewardship Offers for Wildlife for information on 4 new Offers for the 2018 application round.

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

About the scheme

Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides financial incentives for land managers to look after their environment through activities such as:

  • 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 features important to the history of the rural 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 3 main elements to the scheme:

Choosing priority options and capital items

For a successful application, you’re encouraged to choose management options and capital items which provide the environmental priorities for your local area.

See the statements of priorities for your area and use the CS grants finder tool to help you decide which options and items to include in your application. See which CS options can help reduce the impact of flooding.

Information about the options, supplements and capital items are also available as downloadable PDFs from the Mid Tier and Higher Tier pages.

Your agreement will depend on the type of management options and capital items you choose.

Contact

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

Countryside Stewardship Delivery Services

Natural England
County Hall, Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP

Mid Tier

The Mid Tier element of Countryside Stewardship offers options, supplements and capital items to achieve simple, but effective environmental benefit.

You can apply for Mid Tier from 15 January 2018.

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

See the Mid Tier options and capital items available using the CS grants finder tool. Capital items for improving water quality are also available through the Mid Tier.

See section 2: ‘How it works’ in the Mid Tier manual for more information.

Higher Tier

The Higher Tier element of Countryside Stewardship covers the most environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands.

You can apply for Higher Tier from 15 January 2018.

The options, supplements and capital items available are more complex than Mid Tier as they reflect the needs of these environmentally significant sites. An adviser from Natural England or the Forestry Commission will help you with your Higher Tier agreement.

See the Higher Tier options and capital items using the CS grants finder tool. See the woodland support page for information about woodland-only Higher Tier applications.

See section 2: ‘How it works’ in the Higher Tier manual for more information.

  1. Higher Tier: Countryside Stewardship

    • Guidance

Capital grants

Capital grants are made up of just capital items. Agreements last for 2 years and are available when the application window is open for:

See the capital items available using the CS grants finder tool.

See section 2: ‘How it works’ in the Higher Tier manual for more information.

Hedgerows and boundaries grant

See the manual for information about the funding available to help produce environmental and landscape benefits by improving hedgerows and boundaries on your land.

You can apply for the hedgerows and boundaries grant from 15 January 2018.

Woodland support

See the woodland support page for information about the grants available for:

  • woodland creation (open for applications from 2 January to 16 February 2018)
  • woodland management plans (apply all year round)
  • woodland tree health (apply all year round)
  • woodland improvement (open for applications from 15 January to 13 April 2018 through Higher Tier)

Catchment Sensitive Farming

Catchment Sensitive Farming is working with farmers in selected areas to provide Countryside Stewardship grants.

Some Countryside Stewardship capital items require support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming officer.

Facilitation fund

Find out how to get paid to help land managers apply for Countryside Stewardship and improve their local natural environment.

The facilitation fund closed for applications on 14 November 2017.

See the facilitation fund page for more information.

Supporting forms, guidance and documents

Use the Countryside Stewardship forms and additional guidance to help you with your CS application and agreement.

Refer to the agreement holders page if you have an existing Countryside Stewardship agreement.

You can use the Rural Payments service to:

  • apply online for the woodland management plan grant
  • submit online claims for Countryside Stewardship revenue and capital payments
Published 15 June 2015
Last updated 15 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Mid Tier (including the 4 new Offers for Wildlife), Higher Tier and the hedgerows and boundaries grant open for 2018 applications.
  2. Updated woodland support section with woodland creation fund 2018 information.
  3. Mapping updates section added.
  4. Event timetable for Mid Tier applications 2017 published.
  5. Mid Tier and Higher Tier open for 2017 applications.
  6. Information about the 2017 hedgerows and boundaries grant added.
  7. Information about the woodland management plan grant for 2017 added.
  8. Information about the woodland creation grant for 2017 added.
  9. Mid Tier has now closed for new applications in 2016.
  10. Added payment timings to agreement holders section.
  11. Updated page to show that the Higher Tier application period has ended for those with agri-environment options.
  12. Mid Tier and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship applications open for 2016.
  13. Facilitation fund opens for second round of applications 18 January 2016.
  14. First published.