farmer and children in wheat field farmer and children in wheat field

Payments and Grants

Support available to help you run farm visits

Educational access payments (ED1) are available via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to farmers and landowners who offer educational farm visits as part of Mid-Tier and Higher-Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) and eligible extended Environmental Stewardship (ES) Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements.


Page last updated: 26/2/24

Applications for Mid Tier and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship are currently closed (other aspects of CS are open). However, if you already have an agreement but do not have ED1, please contact the RPA directly to ask to have it added to your agreement if you intend to start hosting visits. 

Farmers and landowners claiming Countryside Stewardship could be entitled to £9,075 each year for hosting educational visits.  

Since 2015 the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme has provided financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment. One objective of the scheme is encouraging educational access for school children through a system of payment for each school visit held. Funding for these visits is available via the Rural Payments Agency to those on Mid-Tier and Higher-Tier Countryside Stewardship.  

  • From January 2024, applicants can claim £363 per visit for up to 25 visits per year.  
  • ED1 is not available as a standalone item – it can only be applied for with other Mid Tier and Higher Tier options - an agreement cannot be for ED1 only 


The Country Trust is pushing for ED1 payments to be available for all farmers and growers

The Country Trust believes educational access payments should be available to all farmers wishing to host high-quality educational visits and that it should be included as an action in the Sustainable Farming Initiative (SFI).  

Educational access payments (ED1) are not currently included in SFI but we are led to believe by Defra that will change from later 2024. However, we await further information from Defra on what this will be and timescales for application and implementation. The earliest we anticipate hearing any update is April 2024. In January 2024 50 new actions were added to ELMs and more are to be announced, including improved public and educational access options.  


Watch this short film to hear why these farmers host for The Country Trust.


I'm interested in becoming a Farmer Host, what's the next step? 

Get in touch with the Country Trust: One of our team will advise you on:   

  • How we support you and what other support is available.
  • The learning opportunities on your farm, including the crops that you grow and the livestock you raise, wildlife, history, geography, environmental features, and other enterprises that might be included in the visit. Children love to see animals, even ponies and chickens! They also love meeting farmers and people who work on the farm. 
  • Shaping a programme for the day, including activities that will showcase your farm and the way you make your living. 


Educational Access Payments (ED1) FAQs

  • Am I eligible for ED1 payments?

    ED1 payments are available to Higher Tier and Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship claimants BUT not as a standalone item. It can only be applied for with other Mid Tier (including Wildlife Offers) and Higher Tier options, an agreement cannot be for ED1 only. 

    ED1 is NOT available as part of a Mid-Tier Wildlife Offer.    

    The Wildlife Offers are:  

    • Arable Offer 
    • Lowland Grazing Offer 
    • Mixed Farming Offer 
    • Upland Offer 
  • Funding requirements
    • Tour of farm / activities must last at least 2 hours  
    • Tour of farm / activities must involve farm staff  
    • Visit should help make links between farming, conservation and food production using the land as a classroom 
    • Hosts must complete a Farm visit evaluation form for each visit claimed. 
  • Prohibited activities

    To achieve the aims and deliver the environmental benefits, do not carry out any of the following activities: 

    • the children cannot be older than 18. There is no age limit on care farming 
    • charge for visits 
    • receive any other direct income relating to the educational visit 
    • youth clubs, toddler groups and extra-curricular events are not eligible visitors 
    • respite care and those set to work on tasks are not eligible visitors 
    • as there is no maximum party size, only one group on the holding at a time is eligible to be claimed 
    • You cannot claim for more than 25 visiting groups in any agreement year. 
    • On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you have not carried out any prohibited activities. 
  • How much could I claim?
    • £318 per visit – up to 25 visits per year 
    • It is possible to deliver more visits or to deliver visits to parties that would otherwise not be eligible and to charge these visitors if you wish. You cannot claim these visits through Countryside Stewardship. 
    • Farmers do not have to deliver the number of visits they apply for, we suggest they apply for the maximum amount. 

Additional funding available

  • CEVAS Training

    Money for CEVAS or similar training is currently available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier, for holdings whose agreements contain ED1 AC2: Countryside educational access visits accreditation - GOV.UK (   

  • Capital Funding

    Grants for capital items associated with educational access have also been available for past schemes and continue to be available in CS (Countryside Stewardship) for example, hand washing facilities, toilets, and classrooms as well as educational materials and other projects.  Defra is looking into the possibility of bringing these payments into Mid-Tier.   

    Guidance for the CS options is available from  


    ED1: Educational access - GOV.UK (  

    AC2: Countryside educational access visits accreditation - GOV.UK (  

    AC1: Access capital items - GOV.UK ( 


  • Farming in Protected Landscapes

    Funding is also available for educational access as part of the new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is open to all farmers and land managers within an AONB or National Park in England, or the Broads. Other organisations and individuals can apply when collaborating with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers. Country Trust is applying in partnership with several farms in protected landscapes.  


  • Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS)

    ELMs was designed to replace all current payment schemes. It comprises 3 schemes that reward environmental land management: 

    • Sustainable Farming Incentive 
    • Local Nature Recovery 
    • Landscape Recovery 

    These schemes are intended to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. 

    Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following: 

    • clean and plentiful water 
    • clean air 
    • thriving plants and wildlife 
    • protection from environmental hazards 
    • reduction of and adaptation to climate change 
    • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment