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Countryside Stewardship

Countryside Stewardship is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The main priority for Countryside Stewardship is to protect and enhance the natural environment, in particular:

  • increased biodiversity, improved habitat and expanded woodland areas
  • improved air quality
  • improved water quality.

Countryside Stewardship gives incentives for land managers to look after their environment and is made up of the following elements:

  • Higher Tier agreements for land that requires more complex management tailored to the individual site, and now includes woodland maintenance
  • Mid Tier agreements that provide a range of options and capital items that together help to deliver a broad range of environmental benefits
  • the 4 Wildlife Offers provide a simpler set of options to help improve the wildlife on farms
  • the Capital Grant offer provides grants for boundaries, trees and orchards, water quality and air quality
  • the Countryside Stewardship Protection and Infrastructure offer provides grants for woodland infrastructure
  • the Woodland Management Plan grant to help create a UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant 10 year woodland management plan
  • the Woodland Tree Health grant to help restore and improve tree health
  • the Facilitation Fund supports individuals who bring together groups of farmers, foresters, and land managers in collaboration, to improve the environmental outcomes in their area

All the land parcels you want to include in your application should be registered on the Rural Payments service and linked to a Single Business Identifier (SBI).

It should be noted that some of the above elements are now closed for 2022 however some remain open for applications. 

For more information please see the government webpage:

Please contact the Rural Payments Agency if you have any queries:

Rural Payments Agency (Countryside Stewardship)

Tel: 03000 200 301