Farming and Conservation
 
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Environmental Stewardship  
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP  
   
The Environmental Stewardship Scheme (ES) was available between 2005 and 2014. This will be replaced by a new environmental land management scheme to be opened for applicants from 2015. All existing ES agreements will be allowed to continue to full term, with some minor changes to payment timings and other changes related to ‘greening’ and ‘double funding’ which will affect agreements which started on or after January 2012.  
   
In summary there are 2 tiers to ES;  
  • The Entry Level Scheme (ELS) and Organic Entry Level Scheme (OELS) are non-competitive, whole farm schemes which offer a standard payment rate over the whole farm area through the delivery of points, which are attached to simple environmental management options. There are a wide range of options to choose from such as hedgerow management, low input grassland, protection of historic sites and buffer strips. The list of ELS and OELS options covers all farming types and farmers have the flexibility to decide how much of each option to sign up to and where to locate them on the farm. The payment rates are; for ELS £30/ha per year and for OELS £60/ha per year. ELS and OELS agreements last for 5 years.
 
  • The Higher Level Scheme (HLS) was much more targeted and competitive and aimed at more complex management on high priority sites. Payment rates for HLS agreements are variable depending on the type and quantity of management options chosen. HLS agreements last for 10 years with a 5 year break clause.
 
   
 
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