Farmers urged to apply for ELS, even if some land is not yet on the RLR

THE RURAL Development Service has told farmers they can make an Entry Level Stewardship scheme application even if they have parcels of land with outstanding Rural Land Register issues.

The RDS is encouraging farmers to submit applications now for the land that appears on their maps within the ELS application pack. 

It says any additional land parcels subject to RLR resolution can be added at a later date. 

There are two options for doing that:

*A separate application can be lodged just for the additional area of land.  However, that would need to meet the 30 points/ha threshold in its own right so is unlikely to be appropriate for small areas of land. If the application were successful there would be two separate agreements on the same holding. That option is available now.

* It will be possible after the first payment round (1st February 2006 for agreements that started on 1st August) for agreement holders to apply to restart their ELS agreement. By restarting their ELS agreement, applicants will need to complete new application forms and maps. The new ELS agreement will contain both the original and newly registered land.

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