Press Release from RPA

Countryside and Environmental Stewardship: Transfer of Delivery to RPA from 1st October 2018


27 September 2018


On 1st October 2018, responsibility for operational delivery of Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship will pass from Natural England to the RPA. We have been provided with the update below from the RPA’s Operations Delivery Director.


We announced earlier this year that the delivery of Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) would move across to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) from Natural England (NE) in autumn of 2018.

I am writing to confirm that the transfer will happen on 1 October. From a farmer’s and land owner’s perspective the transfer should be reasonably seamless. They will continue to use the routes they do now to raise queries.

Delivering CAP schemes under one organisation will provide the opportunity for a more joined up service for our customers and staff.

Following the transfer, a programme of measures is being delivered jointly to maximise payment performance while continuing to protect the taxpayer from disallowance and preserving the desired environmental outcomes.

These measures include:


  • Bringing in more staff to get 2018 payments out more quickly and significantly earlier than they have been. This will allow existing staff to concentrate on getting remaining payments out from the current round and on processing next year’s agreements.
  • Making resources available for necessary IT and business process changes to improve processing times. This includes the introduction of a simpler method for making amendments to claims which will help improve processing of claims.
  • Reducing the number of mapping changes in 2018/19. This will speed up the resolution of mapping changes and queries.

DEFRA, NE and RPA continue to work closely together to deliver on improvements on ES and CS.