Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)

The ELS Handbook - a Quick Guide

This quick guide will help you find the answers to questions you may have about the scheme, the application process and the rules.

1 Section 1 - Introduction to Entry Level Stewardship
Covers the basics: what you can achieve with ELS; how long agreements last; how the application process works; what and when you will be paid; and an overview of the rules.
2 Section 2 - Environmental objectives
Information to help you select the best options for your farm and provide the most benefits for the environment, including for uplands farms.
3 Section 3 - Option directory for ELS and Uplands ELS
Contains the detailed management requirements for each ELS option, including options specifically for farms in the uplands, and new options for 2013. You should make sure you have read and understood all the management requirements that apply to the ELS options you select – when you sign your application form, you are confirming that you will comply fully with the management requirements for the duration of your agreement.
4 Section 4 - How to apply for ELS and Uplands ELS
Explains what you need to do before you apply, and provides a step-by-step guide to completing your application form, including for farmers applying for Uplands ELS.
5 Section 5 - Terms and conditions
The rules that you will need to comply with when you enter into an ELS agreement. You should read them before you apply.
6 Section 6 - Appendicies
Includes a glossary of some of the main terms used in the handbook, our contact details, and a list of other useful sources of information.


Information and advice to help you with your ELS application
Before you apply:
You can receive a free advice visit from a Natural England representative to help you make the most of your ELS agreement. This help is available to all farmers and land managers. Call 0300 060 1695 or visit the Farm Events and Visits page on the Natural England website at www.naturalengland.org.uk/

ELS Online: The simplest and quickest way to complete an ELS application is to do it online by visiting www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/es/els/online/default.aspx.

Completing your application form: Call 0300 060 0011 if you need help completing your form.

How long will it take? It will take up to three months to process your application from receipt of a valid application. Call 0300 060 0011 if you wish to check the progress of your application.

Scheme aftercare once your agreement is in place: you can receive a free advice visit or join a ‘best practice’ event to help you manage your ELS options as well as possible. If you need to amend your agreement, or have any other concerns, call 0300 060 0011.

Which edition of the ELS Handbook should you use?
This handbook will apply to all ELS agreements starting on or after 1 January 2013. If this applies to you, this handbook – including all the rules and requirements that it contains – will form a part of your legal agreement with Natural England and it must be retained for reference.ELS agreements starting before 1 January 2013 will continue to be governed by previous handbook editions, until they are either replaced by a new agreement or reach the end of their term, as follows:

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