Environmental Stewardship: funding to farmers for environmental land management
As a landowner or manager find out about Environmental Stewardship, how to manage your existing agreement and new schemes available.
Environmental Stewardship (ES) is a land management scheme in England which is now closed to new applicants. Existing agreements will still be managed, until they reach their agreed end date.
There are 3 levels to the scheme:
- Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) – includes Uplands ELS (UELS): 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) - includes more complex types of management and agreements tailored to local circumstances
More details about the ES scheme can be found on the Natural England website archive.
Countryside Stewardship has replaced:
- Environmental Stewardship
- English Woodland Grant Scheme
- capital grants from the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme
To find out more about these new schemes and how to apply, see Countryside Stewardship.
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
Handbook 2: agreement start dates from 1 October 2008 to 31 December 2009
- 2nd edition: October 2008 (NE108)
- options, capital items and management conditions: 2nd edition October 2008
- payments booklet: 2nd edition October 2008
Handbook 3: agreement start dates from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012
- 3rd edition: February 2010 and official list of changes: November 2010 (NE228)
- ES - supplement for 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions (NE360)
- 3rd edition: February 2010 and official list of changes: November 2010 (NE227)
- ES - supplement for 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions (NE359)
Handbook 4: agreement start dates from 1 January 2013 to 1 December 2014
- ELS: 4th edition January 2013 - includes uplands ELS (NE349)
- OELS: 4th edition January 2013 - includes uplands OELS (NE351)
- HLS: 4th edition January 2013 (NE350)
Use these publications to help with management if your land includes common land or traditional orchards:
- Look after your land with Environmental Stewardship
- Look after your uplands with Environmental Stewardship
- Common land toolkit: agri-environment schemes on common land factsheet
Forms and guidance
Use the forms and guidance to help you manage your ES agreement.
Who to contact about your agreement
Or you can contact our offices directly by post or email:
East of England
(Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk)
PO Box 247,
(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland)
PO Box 10276,
(Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, former county of Cleveland)
PO Box 1316,
Newcastle upon Tyne
(Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside)
PO Box 380,
(Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex)
PO Box 2423,
(Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, The Scilly Isles, Wiltshire, former county of Avon)
PO Box 3135,
(Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire)
PO Box 530,
Yorkshire and the Humber
(East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire)
PO Box 798,
Published: 11 September 2012
Updated: 23 March 2015
- Page updates for new Countryside Stewardship scheme
- notice about ELS schemes closing to new applicants
- update for transition to GOV.UK
- Added note about closure for new 2013 applications.
- Updated links to 4th edition handbooks. Removed case study.
- First published.
From: Natural England
Related guides: Environmental Stewardship: site inspection and what impact it has on your agreement Environmental Stewardship: educational access visits on your land Environmental Stewardship: how to get paid under an agreement Offshore Renewable Energy Installations: impact on shipping