ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2008 (NE106)

ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook
Second Edition – October 2008



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Notes: This is the 2008 version of the handbook
Click here for the 2013 version of the handbook
Click here for the 2010 version of the handbook
This version incorporates changes introduced in the 2009 Addendum.



Section 1
Introduction and general information
1.1 Background
  1.1.1 What is Environmental Stewardship?
  1.1.2 ES in the wider context
  1.1.3 What are the key features of ELS?
1.2 How the ELS scheme works
  1.2.1 Who is eligible to apply?
  1.2.2 What will I be required to do if I apply?
  1.2.3 Should I apply for ELS, OELS or both?
  1.2.4 What land can I enter into the scheme?
  1.2.5 What land must be excluded from my application?
  1.2.6 What payments will I receive?
  1.2.7 How and when will I be paid?
  1.2.8 How is the scheme inspected and monitored?
  1.2.9 Will my details be made public?
1.3 What if I do not have full control over the land?
  1.3.1 What if I do not own some or all of the land?
  1.3.2 What if I own land which is let to a tenant or licensee?
  1.3.3 Partnerships and trusts
  1.3.4 Is common land eligible?
  1.3.5 What if others hold rights over my land?
1.4 What should I do if I have another scheme or obligation on my land?
  1.4.1 Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
  1.4.2 Habitat Scheme
  1.4.3 Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS)
  1.4.4 Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) Scheme
  1.4.5 Energy Crops Scheme (ECS)
  1.4.6 Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS), Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS), Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) and the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS)
  1.4.7 Hill Farm Allowance (HFA)
  1.4.8 Scheduled Monuments
  1.4.9 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
  1.4.10 Protected species
  1.4.11 Inheritance Tax/Capital Gains Tax exemption
  1.4.12 Farm assurance schemes and the Pesticide Industry Voluntary Initiative
  1.4.13 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)
  1.4.14 The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2006
  1.4.15 Other obligations
1.5 Additional requirements to which you must agree
  1.5.1 Cross compliance
  1.5.2 Avoidance of undergrazing
  1.5.3 Public rights of way
  1.5.4 Protection of historic features
  1.5.5 Archaeological fieldwork and metal detecting on your land
  1.5.6 Other activities on your land
  1.5.7 Allow inspection
  1.5.8 Agricultural Waste Regulations
  1.5.9 Plaques
  1.5.10 Keep necessary records

Section 2
How to apply
2.1 What do I need to consider before I submit my application?
  2.1.1 Registering land on the Rural Land Register (RLR)
  2.1.2 Ensure you have a Rural Payments Agency (RPA) vendor number and a County Parish Holding (CPH) number
  2.1.3 How do I request my application form and maps?
  2.1.4 Applying for ELS on holdings with Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) or Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) Scheme agreements
  2.1.5 Can I get help to understand the scheme and complete my application?
  2.1.6 Can an agent act on my behalf?
2.2 What do I need to consider when completing my application?
  2.2.1 How should I choose which options to put in my application?
  2.2.2 Can I have more than one option on the same area of land?
  2.2.3 Should I exceed my points targets?
  2.2.4 What should I do if I have already sown my crops?
  2.2.5 What happens once I have submitted my application?
  2.2.6 What will I receive if my application has been successful?
  2.2.7 What if my application is unsuccessful?
2.3 How to complete your application
  2.3.1 How do I submit my application?
  2.3.2 Submitting ELS applications via the Internet
  2.3.3 Applying by post
  2.3.4 Step-by-step summary of how to apply by post
  2.3.5 How to fill in your application form and mark your maps

Section 3
List of options, management requirements and points allocations
3.1 Summary table of ELS options and points available
3.2 Detailed management requirements for ELS options
  B Options for boundary features
  C Options for trees and woodland
  D Options for historic and landscape features
  E Options for buffer strips and field margins
  F Options for arable land
  G Options to encourage a range of crop types
  J Options to protect soils
  K Options for grassland outside the Severely Disadvantaged Areas and the Moorland Line
  K5 Option for mixed stocking on grassland
  L Options for SDAs, including Moorland Line land
3.3 Combinations of ELS options that can occupy the same land

Section 4
Changes to your agreement
4.1 Can I make changes to my agreement?
4.2 What if I let, sell or transfer my land to another party?
  4.2.1 What if I let, sell or transfer all my agreement land?
  4.2.2 What if I let, sell or transfer part of my agreement land?
4.3 What if I acquire land?
4.4 What if I want to upgrade my agreement?
4.5 When will agreement transfers take effect?
4.6 Derogations
  4.6.1 Countersigning derogation notice forms
4.7 Variation of your agreement by Natural England

Section 5
Breaches and appeals
5.1 Breaches of agreement
5.2 Penalties that can apply to breaches of your agreement
  5.2.1 Points claimed cannot be found or management requirements are not being followed
  5.2.2 Damage or removal of FER features
  5.2.3 Breaches of cross compliance
5.3 Overpayment
5.4 Force majeure (exceptional circumstances)
5.5 What if I disagree with any Natural England decision or proposed action regarding my application or agreement?
5.6 Complaints

Appendix 1
Useful addresses

Appendix 2
Guidance for calculating nitrogen content of fertilisers and manures

Appendix 3
Glossary and list of acronyms

Natural England, NE106, 2008, NE177, 2009
© Crown Copyright. Reproduced for ADLib under Licence.

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