Countryside Stewardship

Countryside Stewardship provides funding for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to make environmental improvements.

At Cope Seeds & Grain, we have a variety of mixtures which are eligible for Countryside Stewardship, and we have an expert team to help make any recommendations on the right seed mixture for your farm.

To find out more about how to apply, please visit the government website.

View our full range of countryside stewardship varieties and mixtures below

Field of EFA compliant Mix

AB1 Nectar Flower Mix

  • To be used rotationally on either arable land, grassland and bush orchard
  • Cannot be used on land that is organic or in conversion to organic 
  • You are required to establish a mix of at least 4 nectar-rich plants and at least 2 perennials from the following list: ( a sowing rate of 12kg per hectare will provided for a sufficient amount of plants) 
    • Early and late flowering red clovers 
    • Alsike clover 
    • Sainfoin 
    • Birdsfoot trefoil 
    • Black knapweed 
    • Musk mallow 
  • Blocks/strips must be established between the 15th of March and the 30th of April then again between the 15th July and 30th of August
  • 50% of the plot area must be rotationally cut each year between the 15th if April and the 31st of May, the same area must not be cut in successive years
  • The whole area must be cut between the 15th of September and the 30th of March. Cuttings should be removed or shredded in order to avoid patches of dead material developing
  • The plot must not be grazed between 15th of March and 31st of August
Field of EFA compliant Mix

AB8 Flower-rich Margins & Plots

  • This option can be used only on arable land, temporary grassland and bush orchards 
  • This option cannot be applied to plots that are adjacent to sites of special scientific interest
  • To be eligible you must establish a flower-rich margin or plot between 15th of March and the 31st May or alternatively from the 15th of July until the 15th of October
  • The mixture will need to contain the following grasses and perennial flowering plants: (a sowing rate of 20kg per hectare will ensure there are a sufficient number of established plants) 
    • Slender red fescue 
    • Sorrel 
    • Sheep’s fescue 
    • Bird’s-foot trefoil 
    • Smooth-stalked meadow grass
    • Ribwort plantain 
    • Smaller cat’s-tail 
    • Yellow rattle 
    • Crested dog’s-tail 
    • Self heal 
    • Common bent 
    • Yarrow 
    • Sweet vernal grass 
    • Wild carrot 
    • Black knapweed 
    • Lady’s bedstraw 
    • Meadow buttercup 
    • Ox-eye daisy
  • If the plant grows to more than 15cm before 31st of March you are allowed to cut it in order to achieve a plant height of between 5cm and 10cm from the 1st of April. You should also look to cut or graze 90% of the area between 15th of august and the 31st of October to leave a plant height of between 10cm and 20cm and leaving 10% of the area uncut or ungrazed
  • This option can be located on the same area as the following options:
    • OR3
    • OT3
Field of EFA compliant Mix

AB9 Winter Bird Food

  • This option is suitable to be used on arable land, temporary grassland and bush orchards
  • This option cannot be used on organic or in conversion land
  • To be eligible a mixture of cereals, brassicas and other plants which produce small edible seeds must be established this is so that the autumn, winter and spring food needs of the following birds are met
    • Grey partridge 
    • Tree sparrow 
    • Corn bunting 
    • Turtle dove 
    • Cirl bunting 
  • The blocks/strips must be at least 6m wide and a minimum of 0.4ha 
  • Seed production must be maintained by re-establishing every year for annual mixtures and every 2 years where mixtures have plants that deliver feed over 2 winters
  • Annual mixtures should include species like barley, triticale, quinoa, linseed, millet, mustard fodder radish and sunflower Kale should also be included but plants that are not permitted are the following:
    • Maize 
    • Tick beans 
    • Giant sorghum 
    • Canary grass 
    • Sweet clover 
    • Artichokes 
Field of EFA compliant Mix

GS4 Legume and Herb-rich Swards

    • This option is rotational but can only be used on arable land, temporary grassland and permanent grassland that has been cultivated and re-sown within the last 5 years
    • One of the following must be met:
      • A recommend fertiliser management system must be followed to plan nutrient inputs across the farm
      • A recommended fertiliser management system must be adopted within 18 months of the start of the agreement
      • The applicant must qualify as a low intensity farmer 
    • This option is prohibited from being used on parcels of land that are either at risk of soil erosion or runoff, organic land or land in conversion and on land with known historic or archaeological features
    • To be eligible a mixed sward of grasses, legumes and herbs and wildflowers must be established in the first 12 months of the agreement. You are required to maintain the sward for the duration of the agreement
    • A minimum of 10% red clover cover must be maintained while an additional 10% of cover must be made up of legumes, herbs and wildflowers (white clover is not included)
    • The sward must contain at least 5 species of grass, 3 species of legume and 5 species of herb/wildflower
    • The sward if necessary must be re-established and managed by way of cutting or grazing
    • The sward must be left untouched between 1st May and the 31st of July. So that the red cover flowers are available to pollinators
    • You must not use pesticides or inorganic fertiliser containing nitrogen, herbicides can be used to spot treat or weed wipe injurious weed or invasive non-native species
Field of EFA compliant Mix

OP2 Wild Bird Seed Mixture

  • This option is Rotational and can only be used on land that is considered to be organic or in conversion with DEFRA licenced organic control body OR if the land has been sown to grass it must have been for fewer than 7 years
  • This option cannot be used on land that is already receiving funding under Ecological focus areas (EFA’s) declared for the basic payment scheme
  • To be eligible a mixture of 3 small seed plants must be established from the following list:
    • Barley 
    • Triticale 
    • Kale 
    • Quinoa
    • Linseed 
    • Millet 
    • Mustard 
    • Fodder radish 
    • Sunflower
  • Seed must be organic And re-established every 2 years to maintain seed production 
  • Blocks must be at least 6m wide and covering 0.4 hectares and at most 5 hectares
Field of EFA compliant Mix

OP4 Multi Species Ley

20% Organic (Late Dip)
23% Organic (Int Tet)
12% Organic Red Clover
7% Organic Meadow Fescue
8% Organic Timothy
4% Tall Fescue
3% Birdsfoot Trefoil
3% Alsike Clover
4% Sainfoin
3% Chicory
3% Cocksfoot
1% Yarrow
1% Ribwort Plantain
7% Burnet
1% Sheeps Parsley

Seed rate: 14kg/acre or 35kgs/ha. Pack size: 14kg acre packs

This mixture option is based on the results of considerable research and is designed to encourage pollinators and other insects through the inclusion of multiple species and a long flowering period from April until August.

The advantage of legumes as a food source for pollinators is also now recognised and this mix means more of we can do our bit to encourage pollinators and sustain food production.

The inclusion of multiple legumes is advantageous as it has been proven to also significantly improve forage yields. This complex mixture builds soil fertility and reduces fertiliser reliance.

Field of EFA compliant Mix

OP1 Overwintered Stubble Mix

70% Forage Rape

30% Stubble Turnip Seed

This mix will create a winter food source for seed-eating birds and an excellent foraging habitat for small mammals.

Greatly enhances the number of farmland birds using overwintered stubbles. This mixture provides good overwinter stubble management following the harvest of combinable crops.

Sowing Rate: 4kg/acre or 10kgs/ha | Pack size: 4kg acre packs

We also offer advice on the following options: 

  • AB12 Supplementary winter feeding for farmland birds – 632/tonne *2 
  • AB14 Harvested low input cereal – 266/ha 
  • GS1 take field corners out of management – 365/ha 
  • OP3 Supplementary feeding for farmland birds * 4 for every 2 ha of wild bird seed mixture – £494/tonne *4 
  • OP5 Undersown cereal – 86/ha