Burnet Moths on Scabious

Expiring ELS or HLS Agreement?

If you have an ELS or HLS agreement which is due to expire in the next year or so, do not fret – we can help!

Natural England’s new Countryside Stewardship will be open for applications between 1st July and 30th September 2015, for agreements starting on 1st January 2016. If you have an expiring ELS agreement in either 2015 or early 2016 then now is the time to look at your options for entering a new five-year scheme.

Similarly, if your ELS/HLS agreement expires in 2016, a little forward-planning now will go a long way to ensuring a smooth transition through to the new scheme next year.

Now that greening requirements are on the ground and BPS forms are off our desks, this may well serve as a good opportunity to get to grips with the new Stewardship schemes before the demands of harvest are upon us.

Stewardship schemes remain the best mechanism for delivering real environmental benefits onto our farmland, and at FWAG East we are passionate about helping farmers to achieve sustainable and profitable farming businesses. We are available to give expert advice on the following topics that are of particular relevance to the farming industry now:

  • Applying for the new Countryside Stewardship – Mid-Tier, Higher Tier and Capital Grant
  • Higher-Tier ‘Expressions of Interest’ forms (this year’s deadline for submission is fast-approaching at 30th June 2015)
  • EFA’s and Greening for 2016 – plan after harvest and be prepared

FWAG East membership offers a basic level of membership but this might be the ideal time to consider our ‘Farmer Member Plus’ level. As well as the usual benefits you would also receive a three-hour farm visit from one of our advisers, during which we would be happy to deliver guidance on any of these pertinent topics.

For farmers who do have expiring ELS or HLS agreements, and particularly those wishing to be considered for Higher Tier in 2016, our advice is to take action now! Feel free to give us a call on 01223 841507 or email

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FWAG East is part of the FWAG Association: FWAG East CIC is a limited company registered in England. Registered No: 08776388. Thanks to Chris Loades for images: