HCR Law Events

2 February 2023

Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) – DEFRA announces how they will pay for Environmental & Climate Goods & Services

On 26 January 2023 DEFRA gave further detail on how ELMS will work.

  • There will be increased funding for ELMS as part of the transition from direct payments.
  • The three schemes are confirmed as:
    • Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI):
      • This will be more targeted with nine standards and six new ones available from this summer;
      • For livestock there is an annual health and welfare review;
      • Introduction of SFI management payment of £20 per hectare (ha) for the first 50ha to recognise the costs of participation;
      • Further developments expected in 2024.
    • Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS):
      • Introduction of CS Plus in place of Local Nature Recovery – to allow landowners/managers to collaborate;
      • Encompassing the England Woodland Creation Offer from 2025 when that closes;
      • Development over 2023 and 2024 so this can sit alongside SFI and ultimately, they can be administered together;
      • Existing Higher Level Stewardship holders to be able to take up CSS alongside HLS;
      • Bringing some Higher Tier options into Mid Tier to support uptake and DEFRA’s biodiversity targets;
      • 2023 applications will be for new Mid Tier and Higher Tier agreements commencing 1 January 2024 and capital grant applications and a new Higher Tier capital grant.
    • Landscape Recovery:
      • Designed for bespoke, longer term and larger scale projects;
      • Further applications to open in Spring 2023 for up to 25 projects;
      • 2023 focus to be net zero, protected sites and habitat creation;
      • Further round in Spring 2024.
    • The DEFRA policy paper also sets out in the payment rates for the SFI and CSS options (see below).

Farmers and landowners will want to review the DEFRA paper to see what options may suit them and their land holdings. It is called ‘Environmental Land Management (ELM) update: how government will pay for land-based environment and climate goods and services’ and can be found here.

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James Frankland, Partner

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