As part of the “Making Environmental Stewardship More Effective” (MESME) project, three areas were identified as needing some practical testing/trialling to supplement the available evidence. The results will feed into the evidence base and consultation with stakeholders which are vital elements of the current work on agri-environment scheme design for the new Rural Development Programme.
The areas identified for testing/trialling were:
1. The potential to introduce an element of directed option choice to the options to be included in ELS applications and the likely impact on uptake/delivery of environmental benefits.
2. Agreement holder participation in self assessment of HLS agreements.
3. Reducing the level of detailed prescriptions for HLS options to increase focus on outcomes.
This is the first report in the series. The project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.