Guidance on how to meet the requirements for an Environmental Stewardship agreement.
Applies to England
Modified terms and conditions effective from 1 January 2023
You must follow the modified terms and conditions that come into effect on 1 January 2023.
Read the 2022 addendum for the detailed changes made to the 2nd edition (2008), 3rd edition (2010) and 4th edition (2013), Entry Level, Organic Entry Level, Uplands Entry Level and Higher Level Stewardship handbooks.
About Environmental Stewardship
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
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)
Forms and guidance
Use the forms and guidance to help you manage your ES agreement.
Telephone: 03000 200 301
Rural Payments Agency (ES)
PO Box 390