Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Scheme
What is HLS?
The Higher Level Stewardship scheme (HLS) is a Defra initiative managed by Natural England targeting 110 areas across England aiming to deliver significant environmental benefits in priority areas. With advice and support from local advisors, the scheme develops individual comprehensive 10 year agreements with those managing complex environmental areas aiming to achieve significant benefits over the 10 year period.
To qualify for HLS you must also apply for, or already be in Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), Organic ELS or Uplands ELS. Entry Level Stewardship is a 5 year scheme open to all farmers and land managers in England providing a straightforward and simple approach to land management.
Funding is released by a simple points per hectare calculation providing targets and scheme conditions are met. Points are earned through a variety of environmental management options for example ditch management, enhanced hedgerow management and Skylark plots.