Countryside Stewardship (CS)

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on May 17, 2024.


Countryside Stewardship (CS) is a government-funded scheme designed to encourage and support land managers in implementing environmentally friendly practices and conserving the countryside. 

What is Countryside Stewardship?

CS encourages land managers to adopt practices that boost biodiversity, protect natural resources, and improve rural environmental health. It supports actions benefiting wildlife, habitats, and landscapes, while delivering public goods and ecosystem services.

CS provides diverse options and agreements for various land uses like agriculture, forestry, and upland management. These agreements usually span five years, offering sustained backing for environmental projects. Participants receive financial support through annual payments, capital grants, and management support to implement conservation measures and maintain eco-friendly practices.

Furthermore, CS offers flexibility for land managers to tailor conservation measures to suit their specific circumstances and goals. Participants can choose from a menu of options and design their agreements based on the characteristics of their land, local conservation priorities, and long-term management goals. This flexibility encourages innovation and adaptive management approaches that maximise environmental outcomes.

Lastly, CS includes monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of conservation measures and measure progress towards environmental targets. Participants are required to submit annual reports on their activities and outcomes, and site inspections may be conducted to verify compliance with scheme requirements. 

Example of Countryside Stewardship

John, a farmer, decides to enrol in CS to increase biodiversity on his land. He chooses to plant native wildflower strips along the edges of his fields and create new habitats for nesting birds. In return, John receives annual payments from the government to help cover the costs of implementing these conservation practices. Over time, John notices an increase in wildlife diversity on his farm, with more birds nesting in the newly created habitats. By participating in CS, John not only improves the ecological health of his land but also contributes to the wider conservation efforts in the countryside.

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