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Stewardship, Conservation & Game Cover Mixtures

Stewardship, Conservation & Game Cover Mixtures

Three new government schemes will replace the Basic Payment and Countryside Stewardship schemes:

  • The Sustainable Farming Incentive
  • Local Nature Recovery
  • Landscape Recovery

These Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes are designed so that farmers and other land managers are paid for delivering ‘public goods’. These include; clean water and air, biodiversity, protection from environmental hazards, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and beauty and heritage.

This page is in develompent and will be updated in 2024

Countryside Stewardship

The UK Government will continue to offer Countryside Stewardship agreements in 2023.

Countryside Stewardship will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme.

This will follow trialling and testing and a national pilot involving farmers and land managers during the next few years. The full ELM scheme should be in place from 2024.

Signing up to a Countryside Stewardship agreement will put you in a great position to join ELM.

Joining an environmental scheme will give you a viable, long-term source of income for providing environmental benefits just as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments start to reduce.

  • Higher Tier is for land that requires more complex management tailored to the individual sites
  • Mid Tier provides a range of options and capital items that together help to deliver a broad range of environmental benefits. Within the Mid Tier you can choose from:

Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package (WPFWP)
This package groups management options together. This will help you to provide farmland wildlife with the essential resources they need to thrive and breed successfully. WPFWP includes packages for arable, pastoral, and mixed farms.

The Wildlife Offers provide a simpler set of options to help improve the wildlife on your farm by improving habitats for pollinators, farmland birds and other wildlife.

The wildlife offers

Four Countryside Stewardship Scheme offers have been introduced for farmers and land managers. Significant improvements have been made to the scheme to make it simpler and easier for farmers and land managers to apply.

The four new offers are;

  • Arable
  • Lowland Grazing
  • Mixed Farming
  • Upland

The Mixed Farming option will provide tailored options covering the full range of different farm types, so farmers and land managers can deliver environmental benefits no matter where they are or what they farm.

The paperwork for the new offers is quicker and easier to get through. This is down to more streamlined evidence checks and shorter application forms, designed to help save farmers valuable time.

The scheme is also non-competitive, meaning that all farmers who meet the eligibility requirements can get an agreement to deliver a minimum of 3 options, depending on the offer you have selected.

Further details are available, visit www.gov.uk/countrysidestewardship


The Agri-Environment Climate Scheme promotes land management
practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage, improve water quality and manage flood risk.

The Agri-Environment Climate Scheme has been extended and will have an annual application round until 2024.

The scheme includes a wide range of options for arable farmers:

  • Unharvested conservation headlands
  • Wild bird seed for farmland birds
  • Forage brassica crops for farmland birds
  • Stubbles followed by green manure
  • Retention of winter stubbles
  • Beetlebanks
  • Grass strips in arable fields

Further details can be found on the Scottish rural payment’s website www.ruralpayments.org


Glastir is a 5-year whole farm sustainable land management scheme
available to farmers and land managers across Wales.

The scheme is split into 3 sections, Entry, Advanced and Commons and its aims are:

  • Reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Adapting to climate change and building greater resilience into farm businesses
  • Managing our water resources to improve water quality and reduce flood risks
  • Contributing to economic sustainability of farms, and the wider rural community
  • Protecting the landscape and the historic environment while improving access
  • Contributing towards a reversal in the decline of Wales’ native biodiversity

The scheme includes a wide range of options including:

  • Retaining winter stubbles
  • Establishing an unsprayed root crop
  • Establish a wildlife cover crop
  • Unharvested cereal headland


Countryside Stewardship Options

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