Environmental Stewardship

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s main land use type is farm land. Due to the nature and variety of farming techniques Natural England have developed a series of Environmental Stewardship schemes to assist farmers and land managers. These schemes provide financial support for the delivery of effective and sustainable environmental land management. More information can be found on Natural England’s website: www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding

Agri-environment Schemes

The current agri-environment scheme is a tiered approach consisting of four schemes:

  1. Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) – This scheme is open to all farmers and consists of simple yet effective land management techniques that aid the environment beyond that of the Single Payment Scheme.

  2. Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) – This scheme is similar to ELS but is focused on organic or organic and conventionally mixed farming practices.

  3. Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (UELS) – This scheme is solely for supporting hill farmers

  4. Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) – This scheme is the most complex and requires tailored management approaches to farming practices. Only schemes that can meet or exceed specific targets will be considered, one example of this in the AONB is the focus on improving farmland bird numbers.

Help Available

  • Assistance with writing, recording and submitting agri-environment scheme applications – including the completion of Farm Environmental Plans and Farm Environmental Records.
  • Advice on suitable land management options and achieving specific project targets


Stephen Westmore
Tel: 01451 862038
Email: stephen.westmore@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk