The last start date for Environmental Stewardship was 1st December 2013 due to CAP Reform. The only remaining live agreements are Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements as they were generally for a 10 year term although they are also underpinned by Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) options.
Entry Level Stewardship (ELS)
The ELS is a five year, points-based scheme open to all farmers and landowners which provided payments in return for undertaking a range of simple conservation options. Acceptance was guaranteed provided you could the scheme requirements.
The payment rates for ELS were £30/ha or £8/ha for parcels of moorland over 15 ha.
Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (UELS)
The UELS was designed to reward farmers and land managers in Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDA land), including dairy farmers, for providing environmental and landscape benefits through a series of specially designed upland options.
The scheme was a points based system combined with the ELS scheme requiring 62 points/ha for in-bye land or 23 points/ha for moorland over 15 ha, with corresponding payments of £62/ha and £23/ha.
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) aimed to deliver significant environmental benefits in high priority situations and areas. The scheme was competitive and involved more complex environmental management. A strong application was essential to secure funding.
HLS was usually combined with ELS options, but entry into the scheme was discretionary.
HLS agreements usually run for ten years, with payments twice yearly which relate to the options chosen. HLS included payments for capital items such as hedgerow and wall restoration.