Agreement holders’ information: Environmental Stewardship
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 (NE226)
- 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
Or use the postal address for your county.
|County||Address of office for these counties|
|Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly, Somerset, Wiltshire||Rural Payments Agency, Environmental Stewardship (Bristol), PO Box 4894, SLOUGH SL1 0FU|
|Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Essex, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey||Rural Payments Agency, Environmental Stewardship (Cambridge), PO Box 4896, SLOUGH SL1 0GB|
|Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Humberside, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, West Yorkshire||Rural Payments Agency, Environmental Stewardship (Leeds), PO Box 4895, SLOUGH SL1 0FW|
|Derbyshire, Dorset, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Sussex, Worcestershire||Rural Payments Agency, Environmental Stewardship (Worcester), PO Box 4897, SLOUGH SL1 0GE|
Last updated 31 October 2022 + show all updates
Addendum to the terms and conditions for 2nd edition (2008), 3rd edition (2010) and 4th edition (2013), Entry Level, Organic Entry Level, Uplands Entry Level and Higher Level Stewardship agreement holders added as a PDF attachment.
Office details updated with new single point of contact telephone number and email address
Removal of information about hot and dry weather conditions, payment information,and changes to digital maps. Updates to address details.
Link to guidance for those finding it difficult to meet scheme requirements due to hot and dry weather conditions.
Link to guidance on how changes to digital maps in Rural Payments service may affect agreements added.
Added section on the way payment split is changing for multi year grants.
Mapping updates section added.
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.