Natural England
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New Environmental Stewardship guidance for common land

Natural England has published new guidance for prospective Environmental Stewardship (ES) applicants.

Common Land and Shared Grazing’ is produced as a supplement to Environmental Stewardship handbooks and gives detailed advice on how to apply for Entry Level Stewardship (including Uplands ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship, where common land or shared grazing are a consideration.

It provides straightforward step-by-step guidance on the arrangements that need to be made before submitting an application, including details of how to set up commoners’ or graziers’ associations; how to record the association as a customer with the Rural Payments Agency and how to register the common or shared grazing land onto the Rural Land Register. As a large proportion of common land is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the supplement also gives useful information on how to apply for Environmental Stewardship within a SSSI.

The Common Land and Shared Grazing supplement should be read with the appropriate ES handbook and is available to download from the Natural England website www.naturalengland.etraderstores.com/NaturalEnglandShop/NE316external link.

Notes to Editors:

For further information (media enquiries only), please contact: Christine White, Natural England press office on 0300 0601302 or 07900 608017.

For out of hours queries please call the Duty Press Officer 07970 098005

Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship is administered by Natural England on behalf of Defra and funds farmers and land managers throughout England to deliver effective environmental management on their land. Environmental Stewardship builds on the earlier initiatives such as the Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Areas schemes.

The objectives of Environmental Stewardship are to:

  • Conserve biodiversity

  • Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character

  • Protect the historic environment and natural resources

  • Promote public access and understanding of the countryside

Environmental Stewardship has four elements; Entry Level Stewardship, Organic Entry Level Stewardship, Uplands Entry Level Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship

About Natural England

Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

  • We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.

  • We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Marine Conservation Zones, and advising widely on their conservation.

  • We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland. 

  • We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats. 

  • We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them. 

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