Guidance

Agreement holders’ information: Environmental Stewardship

Guidance on how to meet the requirements for an Environmental Stewardship agreement.

Environmental Stewardship (ES) is a land management scheme. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages existing agreements until they reach their agreed end date.

There are 3 levels to the scheme:

  • Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) – includes Uplands ELS: simple and effective land management agreements with priority options
  • Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) – includes Uplands OELS: organic and conventional mixed farming agreements
  • Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) - more complex types of management and agreements tailored to local circumstances.

Use the correct handbook for your agreement

The terms and conditions of your existing agreements are determined by the relevant scheme handbook.

Handbook 1: agreement start dates from 1 February 2006 to 30 September 2008

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook

Handbook 2: agreement start dates from 1 October 2008 to 31 December 2009

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook:

Handbook 3: agreement start dates from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook:

Handbook 4: agreement start dates from 1 January 2013 to 1 December 2014

Forms and guidance

Use the forms and guidance to help you manage your ES agreement.

Contact

Contact the office for your county.

County Office Address, email, telephone
Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly, Somerset, Wiltshire Bristol Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 3135, Bristol BS1 9GN - Email ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk - Telephone 03000 200 301
Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Essex, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey Cambridge Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 247, Cambridge CB2 2WW - Email ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk - Telephone 03000 200 301
Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Humberside, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, West Yorkshire Leeds Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 798, Leeds LS1 9NA - Email ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk -Telephone 03000 200 301
Derbyshire, Dorset, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Sussex, Worcestershire Worcester Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 530, Worcester WR5 2WZ - Email ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk - Telephone 03000 200 301
Published 11 September 2012
Last updated 1 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. Office details updated with new single point of contact telephone number and email address
  2. Removal of information about hot and dry weather conditions, payment information,and changes to digital maps. Updates to address details.
  3. Link to guidance for those finding it difficult to meet scheme requirements due to hot and dry weather conditions.
  4. Link to guidance on how changes to digital maps in Rural Payments service may affect agreements added.
  5. Added section on the way payment split is changing for multi year grants.
  6. Mapping updates section added.
  7. Page updates for new Countryside Stewardship scheme
  8. notice about ELS schemes closing to new applicants
  9. update for transition to GOV.UK
  10. Added note about closure for new 2013 applications.
  11. Updated links to 4th edition handbooks. Removed case study.
  12. First published.