Higher Level Stewardship

Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) will be combined with ELS or OELS options and aims to deliver significant environmental benefits in high priority situations and areas. HLS is discretionary and concentrates on the more complex types of management, where land managers need advice and support and where agreements need to be tailored to local circumstances. The five primary aims of Higher Level Stewardship are:

  • Wild life conservation
  • Maintenance and enhancement of landscape quality and character
  • Natural resource protection
  • Protection of the historic environment
  • Promotion of public access and understanding of the countryside

There are two secondary objectives where spin off benefits are sought from management designed to achieve the five primary aims, these are:

  • Flood management
  • Conservation of genetic resources

HC14 Creation of wood pasture

This option creates wood pasture on sites that are known to have been wood pasture. There could be a need to sow a specific grass seed mixture.

HC5 Ancient trees in arable fields

There may be a need to establish a grass buffer around the base of the tree. These options protect ancient trees within an arable situation.

HF12 Enhanced wild bird seed mix lots

This option provides a valuable Winter food source for declining farmland birds.It will be tailored to the specific target birds and will be specified by yourregional advisor.

HE10 Floristically enhanced grass margins

This option provides feeding areas for insects and birds by maintaining field margins that contain a mixture of grass and wild flowers. As this option allows for the grazing or cutting on a cyclical basis care must be taken over which wild flowers are introduced so that there will be no problems stock at a later date.

HG6 Fodder crop management to retain or re-create an arable mosaic (rotational)

This option returns fields to arable cultivation in order to provide valuable foraging sites for seed eating birds.

HJ5 In-field grass areas to prevent erosion or run-off

This option reduces the movement of sediment, nutrients and pesticides by wind and water.

HK8 Creation of species-rich, semi natural grassland

This option creates species-rich grassland on former arable land.

HK17 Creation of semi improved or rough grassland for target species

This option creates semi improved or rough grassland on former arable, Set-Aside, or temporary grassland.

HE11 Enhanced buffer strips on intensive grassland

This option provides additional habitat for invertebrates, birds and small mammals by managing buffer strips in intensive grass leys.


Please see the links below for different UK regional guidelines:

Scottish Government:


English Government:


Welsh Government:


Northern Irish Government:


Please contact us to discuss your needs - 01259 760400.