Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) closes on 31 March 2017

Date published: 14 March 2017

With just over two weeks remaining to submit Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) applications before the 31 March deadline, DAERA is urging more farmers to join the 1,100 who have already submitted their EFS application or have an application in progress.

Hedge planting is a popular option under the EFS.

The EFS scheme offers participants a 5-year agreement to deliver a range of environmental measures and DAERA has developed a user friendly online application system that makes the application process easy. The Department has a range of help available. Call the EFS Advisory Service 0300 200 7848 and an advisor will discuss the options available to you and the help that you can get, including a ‘one-to-one’ appointment in your local DAERA Direct Office.  

Boundary options

Planting new hedgerows and rebuilding dry stone walls were very popular options in previous agri-environment schemes. These options, together with hedge laying and tree-enhanced boundaries, are again available in the new Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) which is only open for applications.

Both hedge planting and hedge laying options require the hedge to be protected with two fences, one on either side of the hedge. The ‘Tree-enhanced boundaries’ option involves planting eight native trees (protected with guards and stakes) well spaced out every 100 metres in an established hedge. Additional grant is available to fence off the existing hedge where the new trees have been planted. 

The Dry stone wall rebuilding option is for the repair of single skin or double skin walls that are in a very poor state of repair. The full length of the wall claimed under this option must be re-built from the ground up. DAERA may carry out pre-approval checks on the dry stone wall options to check their state of repair. All the work for these options must be completed by 1 June in the first year of your agreement. All options must be managed and retained for the duration of the agreement.   

Payment rates for EFS boundary options are shown below.

Planting new hedgerows including two protective fences £15.83/metre
Hedge laying including two protective fences £16.04/metre
Traditional dry stone wall rebuilding – single skin £13.02/metre
Traditional dry stone wall rebuilding – double skin £22.95/metre

Creation of tree-enhanced boundaries

(Payment rate does not include protective fencing  but this may be selected as an additional optional capital Item if required)


Establishing new boundaries and repairing existing ones will make a real difference to your farm, making the boundaries stock-proof, providing shelter for stock, improving biosecurity by limiting nose-to-nose contact with neighbouring herds and supporting biodiversity 

Application for the EFS is online only and you need a Government gateway account to apply. You can obtain a Gateway ID via the DAERA website. More information about all the options available under the EFS is available on the DAERA website.

If you have any other queries, you can email the EFS Advisory Team or telephone 0300 200 7848. 

Notes to editors: 

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