Environmental Stewardship: funding to farmers for environmental land management
As a landowner or manager find out how to manage your Environmental Stewardship agreement.
Environmental Stewardship (ES) is a land management scheme. It’s closed to new applicants. Natural England 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
See the Natural England website archive for more details about Environmental Stewardship.
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is making updates to their digital maps from July 2017 to autumn 2017. For more information on these updates see the RPA’s RLE1 webpage.
To view your individual land parcels go to www.ruralpayments.service.gov.uk. From the ‘Business overview’ screen, click ‘Land’ then ‘View land’.
If the mapping changes affect your Environmental Stewardship agreement, Natural England will:
- pick the changes up from the RPA - you don’t need to alert Natural England to these changes
- incorporate the mapping changes when it next needs to take any action in relation to your agreement - for example when processing a claim for payment or to process a transfer or amendment which you have requested
- contact you if it needs to discuss any changes
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.
Or contact our offices direct by post or email:
East of England
(Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk)
Natural England, PO Box 247, Cambridge CB2 2WW
(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland)
Natural England, PO Box 10276, Nottingham NG2 9PD
(Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, former county of Cleveland)
Natural England, PO Box 1316, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 4PB
(Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside)
Natural England, PO Box 380, Crewe CW1 6YH
(Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex)
Natural England, PO Box 2423, Reading RG1 6WY
(Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, The Scilly Isles, Wiltshire, former county of Avon)
Natural England, PO Box 3135, Bristol BS1 9GN
(Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire)
Natural England, PO Box 530, Worcester WR5 2WZ
Yorkshire and the Humber
(East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire)
Natural England, PO Box 798, Leeds LS1 9NA
Published: 11 September 2012
Updated: 14 August 2017
- 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.
- 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