Environmental Land Management schemes: overview

Published 15 March 2021

Applies to England

There are 3 new schemes that will reward environmental land management:

  • Sustainable Farming Incentive
  • Local Nature Recovery
  • Landscape Recovery

These schemes are intended to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following:

  • clean and plentiful water
  • clean air
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • protection from environmental hazards
  • reduction of and adaptation to climate change
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment

Sustainable Farming Incentive

The Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme will pay farmers to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable way.

The scheme is made up from a set of standards. Each standard is based on a feature like hedgerows or grassland, and contains a group of actions you need to do.

You can choose which standards you want to do, and where on your land to apply them.

You’ll be paid for doing the actions within the standards you choose.

Piloting the Sustainable Farming Incentive

The Sustainable Farming Incentive will begin piloting in 2021 before it launches in 2022.

Read more about the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

Local Nature Recovery

The Local Nature Recovery scheme will pay for actions that support local nature recovery and meet local environmental priorities.

The scheme will encourage collaboration between farmers, helping them work together to improve their local environment.

The scheme will begin piloting in 2022, and launch in 2024.

Landscape Recovery

The Landscape Recovery scheme will support landscape and ecosystem recovery through long-term projects, such as:

  • restoring wilder landscapes in places where it’s appropriate
  • large-scale tree planting
  • peatland and salt marsh restoration

The scheme will begin piloting around 10 projects in 2022, and launch in 2024.

Tests and trials

The new schemes are being designed by working closely with farmers, and environmental and agricultural stakeholders. Part of that collaboration involves running a programme of tests and trials in partnership with farmer groups, representative bodies and non-governmental organisations.

Tests and trials help us to understand how parts of the future schemes could work across a range of regions and sectors.

Tests and trials focus on trying on individual parts of the future scheme, like land management plans or different payment methods. The pilots test a working version of the scheme.

Find out more about tests and trials and how you can get involved.

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