Guidance

Higher Tier: Countryside Stewardship

Funding and eligibility information for Higher Tier applicants for the 2018 application round (closed to new applications).

Documents

Higher Tier manual 2018

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Higher Tier options, supplements and capital items

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Mid Tier options, supplements and capital items (can also be included in a Higher Tier application)

Higher Tier conversion guidance

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Details

Higher Tier closed for applications on 13 April 2018.

Use the manual to understand:

  • the payments you could receive and how this scheme benefits the environment
  • eligibility requirements
  • the rules and conditions

Use the Higher Tier and Mid Tier options, supplements and capital items documents or the CS grant finder:

  • to understand the rules for the options, supplements and capital items
  • for advice on how to carry them out

Use the conversion guidance if:

  • you’re in the final year of an Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement and want to put the land into a Higher Tier agreement
  • there’s a risk of environmental decline to a site caused by loss of management between the end of your ES agreement and the start of a Higher Tier agreement

The manual has portrait and landscape pages. Before printing, select ‘auto rotate’ in your printer settings.

Overlap of Countryside Stewardship (CS) options with Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) in 2019

You can no longer overlap the following CS options with EFAs declared on your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2019 application:

This is to avoid funding the same activity on the same land parcel under both CS and BPS, known as ‘double funding’. You can continue to place CS options and EFAs in the same land parcel but they cannot overlap.

In 2018, your Ecological Focus Area (EFA) cover crops must be established by 1 October 2018 and retained until at least 15 January 2019. Natural England will not consider the retention of the EFA cover crops as an overlap with 1 January 2019 CS agreements. This assumes you’ll move the cover crops to a different location in 2019.

Hedges can be used for EFA and for Entry Level Stewardship, Higher Level Stewardship and CS options without payment deductions.

Find out more about CS funding

See:

Published 14 March 2016
Last updated 6 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Options, supplements and capital items PDF updated to show option SW12 cannot be used on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas declared for Basic Payment Scheme.
  2. Section on 'Overlap of certain CS options with Ecological Focus Areas in 2019' added.
  3. Scheme now closed for applications.
  4. Higher Tier manual amended. The 6 changes are listed in revisions table on page 2.
  5. Deadline to request an application pack has passed. Removed form for requesting a pack.
  6. Application pack request form added.
  7. Higher Tier manual 2018 published with links to Offers for Wildlife.
  8. Quick guide to application process added.
  9. New versions of manual, options document and conversion guidance for 2017 application round.
  10. Added manual addendum about 'dual use' with the Basic Payment Scheme.
  11. Replaced Higher Tier options, supplements and items document. Minor change to text.
  12. Replaced the initial version of the Higher Tier options, supplements and capital items PDF with revised version.
  13. Added document for Higher Tier options, supplements and capital items.
  14. First published.