Following Brexit, the UK Government created Environmental Land Management Schemes to reform agricultural policy and complement other environmental policy such as the Agriculture Bill and the 25-Year Environment Plan.
ELMS act as a financial incentive to farmers and landowners to carry out nature-friendly, regenerative farming practices, and environmental land management. They provide greater flexibility and a wider range of options for farmers to diversify income streams.
The schemes replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies that were previously provided to farmers and landowners based on the amount of land they owned. A crucial difference is that Environmental Land Management Schemes payments are for actions producing “public goods and services” and for the provision of ecosystems services, rather than area of land owned. These actions include ecosystem management and restoration, improved air and water quality, carbon sequestration, and landscape preservation and value natural resources for the services they provide to people.