North York Moors

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Farmland at SkiplamFarmland at Skiplam

The National Park Authority aims to encourage good environmental management of all farmland.

Defra’s Countryside Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme providing funding to land managers delivering environmental management. Countryside Stewardship encourages activities such as:

  • conserving and restoring wildlife habitats;
  • flood risk management;
  • woodland creation and management;
  • reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture;
  • keeping the character of the countryside;
  • preserving features important to the historic environment;
  • providing educational access.

Countryside Stewardship replaces Environmental Stewardship. Current Environmental Stewardship agreement holders, whose agreements are due to expire shortly, are advised to speak to their Natural England Conservation Advisor in the first instance.

Connectivity/Wildlife Connections is about building a coherent and resilient ecological network based on more, better, bigger habitat areas with increased connections between them. The National Park Authority aims to make significant improvements to existing habitat connections across the National Park to ensure that biodiversity and character of the North York Moors continues to strengthen and improved. 

A habitat mapping exercise has been undertaken to establish where there are ‘building blocks’ of existing quality habitat networks in the National Park and these strategic ‘corridors’ are where the Authority is focusing efforts during the next few years, working closely with landowners and managers. The majority of these corridors are through farmland and woodland.

The Authority has developed a programme of discretionary grants that are targeted at achieving connectivity measures that cannot be delivered by alternative funding sources.

Useful link

Natural England - Countryside Stewardship Scheme


Conservation Department
T: 01439 772700