From 1 January 2023, all ES agreements will run under domestic terms and conditions. This means that the rules on extending your HLS agreement are changing and you may be eligible to extend your HLS agreement for 5 years.
Natural England will assess if you meet the criteria and, where appropriate, recommend that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) offer you an extension to your agreement for 5 years.
The extension will run from the original end date of your agreement and will be based on the criteria that was used in previous years. You must continue to meet these criteria.
Within the 5-year extension, you can leave your agreement at an agreed point if you are accepted onto another environmental scheme.
If you have an ES HLS agreement due to expire in 2023, RPA will send you an expression of interest (EOI) request.
You’ll be able to decide if you:
- would like to extend your agreement
- do not want to continue your agreement beyond its end date
If you do not want to extend, let RPA know by replying to the EOI request.
If you’re interested in extending your agreement, you do not need to reply to the EOI request. RPA will send you an extension offer before your agreement ends if you meet the criteria.
When you receive the extension offer, RPA will ask you to accept or decline the offer. You may need to send supporting documents if you want to extend your agreement. Take this opportunity to read this guidance to see if you meet the extension rules and arrange for any supporting documents that may be needed.
You should contact RPA by email email@example.com before the end of your current agreement if:
- your agreement meets the eligibility criteria and you did not receive an offer to extend it
- you’ve not opted out of extending it
- you’ve opted out of extending it, but you’ve changed your mind