Impact of the Hot Weather on Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreements

The hot weather conditions are leading to hay crops being ready earlier than normal, or farmers wanting to alter grazing, cropping and supplementary feeding requirements due to the heatwave.

If you cannot meet agreement requirements due to adverse weather conditions, you can ask Natural England for either

  • a Derogation under Environmental Stewardship (ES) 
    Click here for ELS  Derogation form
    Click here for HLS  Derogation form

  • a Minor and Temporary Adjustment (MTA) under Countryside Stewardship (CS) – Mid/Higher Tier.
    Click  here for MTA form

Alternatively you can call Natural England CS Delivery Services 0300 060 3900

More information on MTAs is in the CS Mid Tier manual (section 6.20 on pages 64-65), and in the Higher Tier manual (section 6.21 on pages 70-71).

Agreement holders should get in contact with Natural England as soon as possible, explaining the issue and the actions they would like to take, as they need to obtain their derogation or MTA before they need to make changes to agreement management.

Where a derogation is given, such as for early cutting of hay, the agreement holder should ensure they avoid areas with ground nesting birds.