Rural Stewardship Scheme

  • West Highland List
  • East Highland List
  • Cairngorms List

The Rural Stewardship Scheme is an agri-environment scheme designed to encourage farmers, crofters and common grazings committees to adopt environmentally friendly practices and to maintain and enhance particular habitats and landscape features.

Participation is entirely voluntary, and successful applicants must agree to:

  • Manage specified areas of land and undertake capital works in accordance with the requirements of the options chosen.
  • and Follow certain general environmental conditions and the standard of good farming practice which apply over the whole of their land.

There are one-off payments towards the cost of preparation of an Environmental Audit and a Moorland Management Plan. Annual payments are available for managing agreed habitats and features to enhance the conservation interest as detailed in the Environmental Audit and for a range of capital items. Annual payments are also available for stock disposal under a Moorland Management Plan.

The Rural Stewardship Scheme incorporates a list of 30 locally important habitats and species, which have been drawn up jointly by agricultural and conservation interests. There are different lists for different areas throughout Scotland, and the Highland Council area has been divided into three areas: East Highland, West Highland and the Cairngorms. These lists are used to assess RSS applications, and are updated by the Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department on an annual basis.

Highland Environment Forum

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