Recent changes to Environmental Stewardship (ES)

Natural England has published a ‘package’ of information on its website outlining how the Environmental Stewardship (ES) programme will operate for the remaining two years of its current programme. The idea is to give farmers and advisors an overview of what is coming up and the chance to plan accordingly.

An Information Note containing a summary of the information, including budgets for the next two years, has been produced. Various other supporting documents are also available:

o Calendars for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 HLS years outlining what landowners need to do when if intending to apply to the HLS. This will be particularly relevant for the many agreement holders who have ESA and CSS agreements expiring in the next two years.

o Further information on how Natural England will judge expiring ESA agreements for transition to
the ES

o Details on the ‘Making Environmental Stewardship More Effective’ (MESME) programme.

o This includes the proposed changes being made ES schemes from 1st January 2013. These are fairly minor (and still require EU approval) but will require a new ‘4th Edition’ handbook to be produced for each scheme.

o An updated Q & A covering the transition to next RDPE programme from 2014 to 2020. This includes as much as is currently understood about how ES schemes will interact with Greening

Full details of the package can be accessed at: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/developments.aspx)