10 May 2002

COUNTRYSIDE

STEWARDSHIP

SCHEME

England only

THE main incentive scheme for countryside management in England. It aims to:

&#8226 Sustain the beauty and

diversity of the landscape.

&#8226 Improve and extend wildlife habitats.

&#8226 Conserve archaeological sites and historic features.

&#8226 Improve opportunities for countryside enjoyment.

&#8226 Restore neglected land or

features.

&#8226 Create new habitats and

landscapes.

The CSS is available throughout England outside ESAs, but

specific landscape types are

targeted:

&#8226 Lowland heath.

&#8226 Chalk and limestone

grassland.

&#8226 Waterside land.

&#8226 Coastal areas.

&#8226 Field margins and field boundaries.

&#8226 Uplands.

&#8226 Old meadows and pastures.

&#8226 Old orchards.

The scheme is competitive, and funds are limited (although the funding is set to rise under the ERDP). So not all applications are accepted.

Eligibility

Anyone who owns or manages land can apply. They must enter into a 10-year agreement, which outlines the work that will be done under the scheme. Annual payments are made for changes to farming and land management practices, with additional grants being available for capital works and one-off costs.

Applications should be made by May 31 each year, with agreements commencing on the Oct 1. Land entered in the CSS is not eligible for arable area aid.

Payment rates

The greater the change from existing practices, the higher the rate of grant paid.

Examples of rates:

&#8226 Managing lowland meadows and pastures – £85-£115/ha.

&#8226 Managing upland meadows and pastures – £20-£150/ha.

&#8226 Managing chalk and

limestone grassland – £60/ha.

&#8226 Recreating grassland on

cultivated land – £280/ha.

&#8226 Restoring old orchards

– £250/ha.

&#8226 6m arable field margins

– £32/100m/year.

&#8226 2m arable field margins

– £8/100m/year.

&#8226 Managing field margins in intensive grassland –

£6-£16/100m/year.

Access

Providing access is not compulsory but does attract the following supplements:

&#8226 Open access (picnic sites, viewpoints etc) – base payment of £150/year plus £35/ha.

&#8226 Linear access – base

payment of £150/year, plus 15p/m for footpaths, or 30p/m for horse riding, cycling, or for people with disabilities.

Capital works

There are also one-off

payments for capital works. For example:

&#8226 Tree planting and

management – from 20p for spiral rabbit guards to £50 for major tree surgery.

&#8226 Access – from £5/sq m for hard standing car park to £200 for a kissing gate suitable for disabled people.

&#8226 Advice – payments of

£120-£300 for professional help in preparing an application or management plan.

Field boundary restoration

Capital payments are available to improve stone walls, hedges, banks and ditches.

&#8226 Hedgerows – £3/m for

laying, coppicing and planting plus supplement for preparatory work and staking and binding. £1/m for hedgerow

management.

&#8226 Stone walls – £12/m for restoration plus various supplements rising to £25/m for stone-faced hedgebank restoration.

&#8226 Fencing – post and wire

fencing at 80p/m or sheep

fencing at £1.20/m.

Arable stewardship

New options available from the start of 2002 on land that is eligible under the Arable Area Payments Scheme. Records of cultivation or set-aside for the previous five years must be made available.

&#8226 Over-wintered stubbles

– £40-£525/ha, depending on whether cropped or left fallow the following spring.

&#8226 Conservation headlands

– £90-£270/ha depending on whether fertiliser/sprays are restricted or eliminated.

Wildlife Mixtures – £510/ha

in blocks or along margins

Applications

DEFRA Rural Development Service (see last page).