Environment stewardship is an agri-environment scheme that provides money for farmers and land-owners, who improve their land for the environment and biodiversity. I recently visited a farm near Wakefield, to see one of these schemes in action. Environmental stewardships divide into four sub-categories.
· Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), open to all farmers, it is the most basic scheme providing one-off payments for basic land management for wildlife.
· Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS), similar to ELS, but specifically geared towards organic farmers.
· Uplands Entry Level Stewardship, for upland farmers in severely disadvantaged areas.
· Higher level Stewardship (HLS), locally specific and more complex, these are only offered to viable farms.
There are many different elements to the schemes, and what farmers can do to improve biodiversity on their farms. At Wakefield, I specifically observed hedgerow regeneration, bird seeding fields and wildlife buffer zones, all geared towards increasing biodiversity on the farm.
If you want to know more visit the natural England website at: