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Environmental Stewardship (ES) is an agri-environment scheme which is funded by DEFRA and the European Union and is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (2007-2013). It provides financial assistance for farmers and other land managers for the environmental management of their land.
There are 3 tiers to the ES programme: Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), Organic Entry Level Stewardship(OELS) and Higher Level Stewardship(HLS).
ELS is a non competitive ‘whole farm scheme’ and can be entered, providing enough management options are agreed to be delivered and the schemes criteria are met.
OELS is open to all farmers and land managers who manage all, or part of their land organically to deliver simple environmental management options. Land must be registered with an approved Organic Inspection Body and farmed organically to qualify for the scheme.
HLS is a discretionary, competitive scheme, with a higher level of environmental land management options that benefit local priority plant and animal species, habitats and landscapes. The Farm Environment Plan (FEP) is a pre-requisite for an HLS application and is a structured survey of all environmental features on a farm. The survey involves identifying and mapping any features of historical, wildlife and landscape interest and making an assessment of their condition and acts as a baseline for deciding management options within HLS. It will also consider the potential for creating environmental features and habitats, improving public access and managing land for flood management and natural resource protection.
NWS has been providing professional expertise in conservation management & agri-environment scheme advice for farmers, land agents, private individuals and major utility companies for over 10 years. If you are considering entering the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, NWS can offer you the highest quality of service and independent advice as well and exclusive access to a major resource of local environmental knowledge and expertise. We can help you decide if the scheme is right for you or if another grant scheme such as the English Woodland or Energy Crops Scheme may be more suitable.