Environmental management – guidance

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): more complex types of management and agreements tailored to local circumstances

More details about the ES scheme can be found on the Natural England archive website.

Countryside Stewardship

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 1 September 2008

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook

Handbook 2: agreement start dates from 1 October 2008 to 1 January 2010

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook:

Handbook 3: agreement start dates from 1 February 2010 to 1 December 2013

ELS handbook:

OELS handbook:

HLS handbook:

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

Use these publications to help with management if your land includes common land or traditional orchards:

Forms and guidance

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

Who to contact about your agreement

Natural England offices are open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

You can call our central telephone number: 0300 060 3900 Email address: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk

Or you can contact our offices directly by post or email:

East of England

(Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk)

Natural England

PO Box 247,
CB2 2WW.

Email: cs.cambridge@naturalengland.org.uk

East Midlands

(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland)

Natural England

PO Box 10276,
NG2 9PD.

Email: cs.nottingham@naturalengland.org.uk

North east

(Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, former county of Cleveland)

Natural England

PO Box 1316,
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 4PB

Email: cs.newcastle@naturalengland.org.uk

North west

(Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside)

Natural England

PO Box 380,

Email: cs.crewe@naturalengland.org.uk

South east

(Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex)

Natural England

PO Box 2423,

Email: cs.reading@naturalengland.org.uk

South west

(Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, The Scilly Isles, Wiltshire, former county of Avon)

Natural England

PO Box 3135,

Email: cs.bristol@naturalengland.org.uk

West Midlands

(Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire)

Natural England

PO Box 530,

Email: cs.worcester@naturalengland.org.uk

Yorkshire and the Humber

(East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire)

Natural England

PO Box 798,

Email: cs.leeds@naturalengland.org.uk