Mid Tier and Wildlife Offers manual: Countryside Stewardship

Manual for all Mid Tier multi-year (including Water Capital item) agreements and Wildlife Offers agreements starting on 1 January 2021



Applications for Mid Tier closed on 31 July 2020.

Use the manual to understand:

  • the payments you could receive and how this scheme benefits the environment
  • eligibility requirements
  • the rules and conditions that apply to Mid Tier and the 4 Wildlife Offers

Use Countryside Stewardship grants:

  • to understand the rules for each of them
  • for advice on how to carry them out

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 2020

You can no longer overlap the following CS options with EFAs declared on your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2020 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 2020, your Ecological Focus Area (EFA) cover crops must be established by 1 October 2020 and retained until at least 15 January 2021. RPA will not consider the retention of the EFA cover crops as an overlap with 1 January 2021 CS agreements. This assumes you’ll move the cover crops to a different location in 2021.

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 Countryside Stewardship for details of other funding.


Contact the Rural Payments Agency if you have any queries:

Rural Payments Agency

(Countryside Stewardship)
PO Box 324
S95 1DF

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

Find out about call charges at

Published 14 March 2016
Last updated 16 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. How to complete guide removed as application window is closed

  2. Removed How to apply guides as application deadline has passed for 2020

  3. Wildlife Offers leaflets removed from this page and moved to the Arable, Lowland Grazing, Mixed Farming and Upland pages.

  4. Overview leaflets for Mid Tier Offer and each of the Wildlife Offers (Arable, Lowland Grazing, Mixed Farming and Upland) added to the page.

  5. 4 May deadline changed to 30 June on the 'How to request a Mid Tier or Higher Tier application pack online' document.

  6. 'How to complete your Mid Tier application' guide published.

  7. Publication of Mid Tier manual for agreements starting on 1 January 2021, and How to apply for a Mid Tier application pack online

  8. Updated - Applications for Mid Tier closed on 31 July 2019. Removed details -How to apply.

  9. Update 'How to apply' section to highlight 31 May deadline to request an application pack has passed.

  10. Added 'How to request a Mid Tier application pack online' guide.

  11. Countryside Stewardship is now open for applications for 2020 agreements

  12. New Countryside Stewardship opened for applications on 18 February

  13. Mid Tier is closed for applications.

  14. Added link to evidence checking tool to 'How to apply'.

  15. Updated 'How to complete the application form' guide (PDF).

  16. Options, supplements and capital items PDF updated. Options AB1, AB3, AB4, AB5, AB6, AB8, AB9, AB11, AB15, AB16, HS2, OP2, SW1, SW3, SW4, SW6, WD3 and WT2 cannot be used on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas declared for Basic Payment Scheme. Link to stocking calendar added to UP2. List of permitted active ingredients added to AB7, AB10 and AB14.

  17. Application deadline extended to 31 August 2018.

  18. Deadline to request an application pack has passed. Removed form for requesting a pack.

  19. New shorter version of application pack request form.

  20. Text added to clarify that the application request pack form on this page only applies to Mid Tier applications. There is a different application pack request form for the 4 Wildlife Offers.

  21. Section on 'Overlap of certain CS options with Ecological Focus Areas in 2019' added.

  22. How to complete the application form guidance added.

  23. Mid Tier manual amended. The 3 changes are listed in revisions table on page 2.

  24. Application pack request form added.

  25. Mid Tier manual 2018 published with links to Offers for Wildlife.

  26. Quick guide to making an application added.

  27. New versions of manual and options document for 2017 application round.

  28. Mid Tier has closed for new applications in 2016.

  29. Added addendum document about 'dual use' with the Basic Payment Scheme.

  30. Replaced Mid Tier options, supplements and capital items document. Minor change to text.

  31. Replaced the initial version of the Mid Tier options, supplement and items PDF with revised version.

  32. Added Mid Tier options, supplements and capital items document.

  33. First published.