Countryside Stewardship, run by Natural England, has replaced all old environmental schemes and provides land owners and land managers with financial incentives for incorporating environmental measures into the management of their land, examples of such measures are:
- Conserving and restoring wildlife habitats
- Flood risk management
- Woodland creation and management
- Reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture
- Keeping the character of the countryside
- Preserving features important to the history of the rural landscape
- Encouraging educational access
All schemes under the Countryside Stewardship ‘umbrella’ are competitive meaning that you are not guaranteed to be offered an agreement if you submit an application, therefore ensuring that the application you submit is as strong as possible is essential.
Countryside Stewardship has three categories, Mid-Tier, Higher Tier and Capital Grants. The capital grants aspect can allow for hedgerow and boundary works, water improvement works and forestry works.
These schemes are funded by money from the CAP and therefore the future of the funding is uncertain in the light of Brexit. However, Natural England are welcoming applications in 2017 and also 2018. Applications which are successful in these years will be honoured by the UK treasury for their duration.