Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)

5.2 About your agreement


5.2.1 What are you agreeing to do?

In signing your application form, you are agreeing to:

  • map and retain the environmental features on your Farm Environment Record (FER) for the duration of the agreement;
  • choose sufficient options so that together with your compulsory requirements (ie the FER and Upland ELS options UX1UX3) you meet your points target for your agreement land;
  • manage the land parcels shown on your ELS Options Map(s), in accordance with your choice of management options, as set out in the ELS/Uplands ELS option descriptions, for the duration of the agreement;
  • (Uplands ELS only) carry out the Uplands ELS compulsory requirements on your SDA land as set out in the Uplands ELS compulsory requirements descriptions; and
  • follow the scheme terms and conditions contained in this handbook, including meeting cross compliance rules across all of your land, and complying with the other additional requirements listed (see Section 5.5).

 

5.2.2 What documentation is included in your agreement?

The agreement includes the following documents:

  • an introductory letter;
  • Part 1 of the agreement: outlining the payment schedule for the agreement;
  • Part 2 of the agreement: setting out the options you have chosen;
  • your Options Map(s), which shows the location of your options;
  • Farm Environmental Record (FER) map(s), which shows the environmental features present on your farm and any fields at risk from soil erosion or run-off;
  • this handbook, including the option descriptions (for the options that you have chosen for your land) and the terms and conditions are part of the agreement documentation. Each option description sets out the land management that you are agreeing to deliver under that option.

You must keep copies of all of these documents for future reference. If any are missing, please contact us and we will send another copy.

 

5.2.3 Duration of your agreement

Agreements last five years and you must fulfil your obligations for the full five-year term. You will incur a penalty if you withdraw from the scheme early or breach the terms of your agreement (see Section 5.7). There is no penalty if you transfer, with our approval, into Uplands ELS, OELS or HLS.

 

5.2.4 What payments will you receive?

For all the land you enter into ELS, you will receive the following rates of payment (£/ha/annum):

Table 8 Rates of payment for ELS and Uplands ELS

Land Parcel ELS
ELS Uplands ELS (SDA Only)
Parcels below the Moorland Line 30 62
Parcels above the Moorland Line less than 15ha 30 62
Parcels above the Moorland Line 15ha or more 8 23

 

(Uplands ELS only) In addition, the UX1 (Moorland commons and shared grazing) requirements must be located on all common land and shared grazing above the Moorland Line where there are two or more active graziers. This attracts an additional payment of £5/ha.

Subject to changes in EU rules (see Section 5.6.7), these payment rates will remain the same for the five years of your agreement, even if the rates are reviewed during that time. New rates will apply only to new agreements.

Details of the timing of payments are set out in the Introduction section of this handbook and on the Natural England website at www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/developments.aspx.

 

5.2.5 How will you be paid?

Your Environmental Stewardship payments are managed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The RPA will make payments directly into your bank account. If the RPA does not have your bank details, please contact them on 0845 603 7777 and request a Customer Registration form or visit the RPA website (see Appendix 2). Without your bank details, the RPA will not be able to pay you.

 

5.2.6 Will your details be made public?

The data controller is Natural England, Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Riverside Exchange, Sheffield, S3 8NH.

Your information will be stored and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. This Act gives you, as an individual, the right to know what data we hold on you, how we use it, with whom we share it and to ensure that it is accurate.

We will use the data for administering and analysing applications, agreements and claims under Environmental Stewardship. We will circulate and discuss it, in confidence, with those persons or organisations helping us to assess and monitor applications, agreements and claims. Some information will be shared with other grant distribution bodies and government departments, to enable them to detect fraudulent applications, agreements and claims and to co-ordinate the processing of complementary applications, agreements and claims. To do this, we may have to discuss applications, agreements and claims with third parties or disclose information about funding decisions.

Participation in Environmental Stewardship involves expenditure of public money and is therefore a matter of public interest. We make information about Environmental Stewardship applications, agreements and claims publicly available, in line with European Regulations, for example on a website such as www.natureonthemap.org.uk. Details disclosed may include, but are not limited to, your name, the name and address of your farm or business, postal town/parish, first part of your postcode, grid references, the total area under agreement, the payments you receive, the location of parcels, details of the environmental features and management options they contain and details of inspections by Defra or its agents (see Section 5.5.7). On request, copies of individual applications and agreements will be made available.

We, or our appointed agents, may use the name, address and other details on your application form to contact you in connection with customer research aimed at improving the services that we provide to you.

We will respect personal privacy while complying with access to information requests to the extent necessary to enable Natural England to comply with its statutory obligations under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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