Dont miss out on payments after classic schemes expire
Uplands Entry Level Stewardship
What is it?
Uplands Entry Level Stewardship was launched in February 2010 and replaces the Hill Farm Allowance (HFA) and the Uplands Transitional Payment (UTP). The objective of this change is to move away from the compensatory nature of the HFA and towards a more targeted scheme which rewards farmers for maintaining and improving their land. Unlike the HFA, Uplands ELS has a standard payment rate of £62 per ha, (£23 per ha on Moorland parcels greater than 15 ha), whereby payments will be received every six months.
Uplands ELS is a five year agreement and applicants will be required to have an Entry Level Stewardship agreement underpinning the Uplands ELS both of which will run concurrently.
Who/what is eligible?
Uplands ELS is a non-competitive scheme that does not require an invitation unlike the Higher Level Stewardship, so providing you are eligible, can meet your agreed points target and agree to carry out the required environmental work you will be accepted into the scheme.
It is open to all farmers who have land within England’s Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDA). The new scheme will also be open to dairy farmers, not just beef & sheep producers like the HFA. There will be a minimum stocking density on moorland, but the new scheme will not require the same complex stocking calculations used under the HFA.
Tenant farmers who have tenancies fewer than 5 years will require the countersignature of their landlord on their application.
Those farmers currently in ‘classic’ agri-environment agreements (Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmentally Sensitive Area scheme) are not eligible to enter their land into Uplands ELS scheme until it has expired. However, as these schemes are coming to an end between now and 2014 it is crucial time for you to think about the future funding for your land.
What do you need to do?
Similar to Entry Level Stewardship farmers will receive a points target based on the size of their farm and type of land to qualify for funding and points = pounds!
In order that you don’t lose out on significant funding it is strongly advised that an Uplands ELS application is submitted four months before your current classic scheme expires. Now is the time to complete your application if your ESA or CSS expires in 2012, so to avoid putting your farm under unnecessary financial stress – don’t delay!