Environment Land Management System

Defra is currently developing its vision for agricultural policy post Brexit that will help to deliver the Government’s ambition to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

Cows on Halvergate

Basic Payment Scheme and Countryside Stewardship will be replaced with a system of public money for public goods - the ‘Environmental Land Management scheme’ (ELMs).

To encourage co-design and appropriateness of the new scheme, Tests and Trials are being run for collaboration between farmers and land-managers. Tests will help design some of the fundamental building blocks of the post-Brexit agricultural policy including how scheme participants plan and record which public goods they will deliver. Public goods include clean and plentiful water, clean air, thriving plants and wildlife, reduction in and protection from environmental hazards, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, beauty, heritage, and engagement with the environment.

Trials will make sure any interventions and innovations work before they are applied across the country. Tests and trials will not analyse methods of delivery of environmental outcomes, including payments, but will run alongside the national pilots.

The Broads is one of the nine of England’s National Park Authorities that are currently involved in running Tests and Trials as part of this process. This page includes a summary of Broads program.

Please contact Andrea Kelly on Andrea.Kelly@broads-authority.gov.uk should you wish to learn more.

What’s new:

Take part in our first online survey that is open until 30 June and second online survey that is open until 6 July.

Listen to presentation one which asks about the latest thinking from farmers and land managers about ideas on how collaboration and a Local Delivery Board might work, and listen to presentation two for information on the draft tier structure, payments and monitoring verification work. These presentations will help inform you before taking the survey.

Help shape the future scheme - take a look at the draft tier structure, it’s vital for the second online survey.


The Broads Test and Trial is:

  • Investigating the payments and management interventions that deliver public goods as well as monitoring and verification of these interventions.
  • Assessing how further farmer collaboration might work in the Broads and structures to support local working together to benefit our area, businesses and the environment.

Key Partners are:

  • Natural England
  • National Farmers Union
  • Norfolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
  • A wider steering group of farmers, reed cutters and nine land management organisations
  • Defra


A series of workshops, online survey and one to one discussions will take place from November 2019 expecting to report to Defra in October 2020.

Anticipated Outcomes:

Farmers and land managers have:

  1. Improved understanding of relevant public goods for the Broads.
  2. Identified the appropriate management interventions that deliver priority public goods, helped create a tier structure for the Broads wetland habitats and explored the basis of payments that would be most effective.
  3. Discussed how the interventions will be monitored, recorded, and verified and tested an early self-assessment process for fens.
  4. Identified the expert support structures needed locally for ELMs, testing the concept of a local management board to provide advice and oversight.
  5. Identified the interventions that could be made across multiple holdings and discussed how a bonus system could encourage and support the delivery of public goods at a landscape scale.

Progress so far

Oct 2019: Defra awarded the Broads Authority a Test and Trial contract. Sub-contracts awarded to Natural England, Norfolk Farming Wildlife Advisory Group and facilitator.

13 Nov 2019: First partnership workshop with 63 farmers and land managers explored what worked well and could be improved with previous agri-environment schemes and what a future scheme for the Broads might look like.

Read the Workshop report.

Dec 2019 - Mar 2020: Met with five farmer groups, one land manager group and two reed cutter and grower groups to help develop management interventions and costs, monitoring and verification, farmer collaboration and structures to support local working together in the Broads. 

2020 workshops cancelled due to Covid-19 so we have changed the project to be online.

The Broads surveys (survey one and survey two) are designed to ‘test’ the various ideas which have been refined through discussions with farmers and land managers.

Defra ELMS consultation

If you wish to give feedback to Defra on the design of the wider ELMS scheme, please see the policy consultation.This is currently closed for new responses due to Covid 19, but will be reopened for responses once it is feasible to do so.