Help manage valuable sites through the Environmental Farming Scheme

Date published: 04 April 2018

The second tranche of the Environmental Farming Scheme Higher Level EFS(H) opened for applications on 26 March 2018, providing farmers with an opportunity to bring environmentally designated sites into favourable management.


Although Northern Ireland has extremely valuable sites for wildlife and habitats, overall, the condition of these sites are in decline. Some are entirely dependent on farming to deliver the management they need. There is a real risk that without creating this favourable management through farming, our best sites could be lost. 

EFS(H) is specifically designed to put in place the farming management that is required to improve or safeguard these sites via a site specific  management plan.

By providing financial support to deliver site specific grazing regimes together with other management requirements to benefit habitats and wildlife, the Scheme aims to enhance the environmental element within farming. 

For example, farmland which is not intensively managed tends to be of greater conservation value than highly productive land. But this extensively managed land tends to be vulnerable to problems such as the growth of scrub, bracken, or non-native species, such as laurel or rhododendron, as well as rush infestation. 

Where these problems occur, the Scheme can pay to address them in the first year, and to carry out follow-up control in the remaining four years of the Scheme. 

In addition, the Scheme can also pay for fencing if it is required to manage grazing as part of the ‘site specific management plan’ for EFS Higher land.

Download detailed information on the EFS management options and supporting items (Non-productive Investments) that make up the Scheme

We already have farm businesses managing over 13,500ha in EFS(H). If you have management control of EFS(H) land for the next five years, consider applying to the  EFS(H). To find out if any of your land is EFS(H) land, log on to application portal and view your map. 

The closing date for applications to EFS H is midnight on 20 April 2018.

Applications must be made online through the DAERA website

Download details of DAERA Direct offices or via telephone to 028 94 42 6699.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.

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