WITH the Government due to announce more detail on ELMS next month, David Morley, Head of Conservation & Environment at H&H Land & Estates looks at what is known so far and what he anticipates for the future.

Scheduled for launch in late 2024/early 2025, ELMS is being developed under the principle of paying farmers and land managers “public money for public goods.” This is to deliver things such as clean water and air, biodiversity and habitat management, beautiful landscapes, adaptation to climate change and flood mitigation, conservation of historic environmental, public engagement and access.

Mr Morley said although firm detail is sketchy, Defra has indicated the structure of this three-tier scheme.”Tier 1 will involve basic environmental measures in support of sustainable farming, such as nutrient management, good soil husbandry, reducing ammonia emissions and efficient use of water.

"It may also include basic land management, such as management of field margins and cover crops. Tier 2 will involve land management options and capital funding designed to deliver a wide range of environmental benefits. These might include various habitat management options, tree and hedge planting, options to mitigate flooding, restoring dry stone walls, permissive access and educational visits. Agreements are likely to be offered over 3, 5 or 10 years, depending on the management options involved. Tier 3 is reserved for projects that deliver landscape-scale environmental change, such as planting new woodlands, restoring areas of peatland and creating new areas of wetland. Defra is proposing to support this financially through the scheme.”