Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS)

What are ELMS?

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.

Real Wild Estates

Environmental Land Management Schemes have three tiers

Sustainable Farming Incentive (Tier 1)

This tier offers straightforward, entry-level options for farmers carrying out sustainable farming and land management practices.


Local Nature Recovery (Tier 2)

Involves more local actions to enhance biodiversity and ecosystems services in line with local environmental strategies and targets.

Landscape Recovery (Tier 3)

Operating at a landscape-level, this tier looks at landowner collaboration and encourages neighbouring landowners and farm clusters to form large-scale nature restoration projects.

Real Wild Estates have experience in submitting applications for these three tiers of Environmental Land Management Scheme payments, and can provide guidance to support you.

An advantage of these new schemes is their greater flexibility in comparison to the CAP. Land management plans and agreements can be tailored to the needs of the business or landowner and to the unique characteristics of their land, thereby supporting more targeted efforts for nature restoration.

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