The application window for EFS Higher has opened

Date published: 29 April 2022

The sixth tranche of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) Higher Level opened for applications on 27 April until 13 May.

EFS Higher Level provides participants with annual payments to help with bringing our most important environmental sites under favourable management and is for land with environmental designations, such as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), and other areas of priority habitat.

To check if land is eligible, applicants should log on to DAERA Online Services, under EFS, where the fields for each farm business will be marked as either Higher or Wider Level.  Only those businesses with eligible ‘Higher’ fields will be able to submit an EFS Higher application.

DAERA would encourage anyone who meets the eligibility criteria to apply. It also provides the opportunity for those farmers whose agreements will come to an end in December to re-apply to the scheme and again we would encourage them to do so.

Applications for Tranche 6 EFS Higher must be submitted online before the end of Friday 13 May 2022.  For those who may experience issues with access, assistance is available via the EFS Helpline at 0300 200 7848.

If the number of applications exceeds the available resource, applications will be ranked and those providing the highest environmental benefit will be selected to proceed. 

How to apply

EFS is an online application so you must have access to your DAERA Online Services account or use an agent who can represent your business online.

Comprehensive information on all the EFS options and the application process is available online through the EFS section of the DAERA website.

For further information or advice please telephone 0300 200 7848 or email

Notes to editors: 

  1. EFS supports farmers to implement environmentally beneficial actions and works on their land. It aims to protect and enhance biodiversity and water quality, and mitigate against climate change by sequestering carbon.
  2. It is anticipated the EFS Tranche 6 agreements will start on 1 January 2023 and run for five years to 31 December 2027.  EFS Higher Level aims to deliver site-specific management of environmentally designated sites and other priority habitats.  Agreements usually involve payment for implementing a particular grazing regime, and can include other measures such as scrub, bracken or rush control.
  3. Over 1,280 EFS Higher agreements and 4,250 EFS Wider Agreements are in place after five tranches with an overall commitment of over £70 million.
  4. It is planned that EFS Wider will open for application in the late summer.
  5. The Environmental Farming Scheme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
  6. Follow DAERA on Twitter at and Facebook.
  7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office:
  8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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