Countryside Stewardship Schemes
Countryside Stewardship provides a range of incentives to managers of land to look after their land in an environmentally friendly way. Countryside Stewardship is available to all land managers including farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers.The main priority for the scheme is to protect and enhance the natural environment with a particular emphasis on the diversity of wildlife and water quality.
Unlike previous schemes, applications for most of the elements contained within Countryside Stewardship are competitive. This means that applications will be scored against a pre-determined set of eligibility criteria, therefore not everyone who applies will be successful. The rationale behind scoring applications is that landowners applying for the scheme are encouraged to choose options that will help achieve the environmental priorities within their local area.
Countryside Stewardship is divided into three main elements:
Mid Tier – These are multi-year agreements focused on broad environmental improvement within the context of the wider countryside. These agreements include multi-year options and can contain capital items;
Higher Tier – These are multi-year agreements for sites with high environmental significance, common land, woodlands where more complex management requires support from agencies such as Natural England and/or the Forestry Commission. These agreements include multi-year options and can also contain capital items;
Capital items – These are a range of grants targeted for improvements to but not limited to hedgerows and boundaries, woodland management plans, developing implementation plans and feasibility studies.