ELMS Trial

Farmland vista by Tamara Weeks

The Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS)


The Government asked ERCCIS to research how best to increase public understanding of natural capital asset protection that might be delivered by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) subsidies. These are payments directed at land managers to help them best look after their land with a range of public interests in mind and for a range of services that benefit people, not just food or timber production.


The ELMS trial includes a series of site visits, events, public engagement and promotion. The site visits have now been completed (a little later than hoped) and the public events will now be virtual focus groups. 

The main part of the project is the creation of a mobile application to introduce the theme of ‘Natural Capital’ to the public and to highlight natural capital resources in their area. We will be looking at the natural capital of several reserves and farms and figuring out the best way to explain this to the public. We hope this will help highlight the benefits of added-value land management payments from DEFRA, which aim to assist farmers and land managers look after and improve the quality or extent of features on their land that supply us with things we need to survive, other than just food.

The app may be a way to learn more about habitat types in your area and what they can do to benefit people. The app will be based on a scoring system looking at 9 different services the land provides. You can read more about these services and scores on the pages below as well as  context and background of the ELMS trial and its potential for replacing the old Agricultural Rural Payment Scheme.