PLAN ADMISSION into both Entry Level and Higher Level environmental schemes at the same time, or risk finding you have inadvertently reduced achievable HLS options.

That is the warning from the Farmed Environment Company’s Marek Nowakoswki. “HLS offers growers extra income on the back of ELS, so it makes sense to link the two schemes through planning.”

Not doing so could jeopardise growers’ choices for the higher level scheme, where they will have to meet agreed environmental targets to qualify for payment.

That is because some habitat options, such as having areas of winter bird food or winter pollen, which are available to growers on both schemes may carry maximum area restrictions, he says. “So, if growers have used up all their area in ELS they may not be able to use those options in HLS, which could provide an easy achievable entry.”

“HLS won’t be for everyone, but with there possibly being 20% modulation as early as 2007, growers should be looking to get as much of that money back as possible.”