We are told that Poul Christensen, President of Natural England, was invited to the NRL in April 2010, shortly after the start of the HLS agreement, and brought in the Regional Director and other members of Natural England`s local team who were involved in the development of the HLS agreement (27). While this could have been a comfortable deal, cooked by Rebecca Clarkson, the local representative of Natural England, this exceptional HLS was sanctioned at the highest level in Natural England. So here we have an agro-environmental grant that essentially funds the infrastructure, interpretation and equipment for a visiting educational experience, albeit in a strictly managed nature reserve. The HLS program is a voluntary and subsidized program that, in agreement with farmers, land managers and tenants in 110 high-priority areas in England, must bring significant environmental benefits. These areas have been targeted by Natural England in terms of wildlife, landscape, historic environment and resource protection. As the name suggests, it is more targeted than (O) ELS and not all lands are eligible. It aims to further support more active and environmentally friendly management practices. Unlike ELS, it also offers grants for investment projects such as the restoration of traditional agricultural buildings. All higher-level Stewardship (HLS) agreements must be supported by basic management of an ELS or OELS agreement, but unlike these systems, the agreement lasts 10 years. All agreements start at one of four launch dates at the rate of three months of the year. The first HLS agreements began on February 1, 2006.
Due to problems with the Computer System of the Genesis Division built by Atos Origin, the introduction of HLS was delayed. Fortunately, I was able to find out what`s going on with this hlS agreement by reading the NRL news bulletins and not what I usually have to do – I asked another question about freedom of information in order to get essentially public information. Thus, shortly before the start of the HLS agreement, Tony Crease, Treasurer of the NRL Management Group, wrote that he would provide serious funds for concrete and urgent capital projects, and he will ensure that our educational aspirations are developed in line with current technological advances. It is interesting to note that an opponent of the fencing application for Blackdown Common had concluded that the pastures in the proposals would effectively become an extension of the National Trusts farm in Valewood, west of the common. It is not surprising that the National Trust received an HLS agreement of 89,798 for Valewood Farm on the same day as the Blackdown Common Agreement (AG00268599 (20)). And to complete the picture, the Trust secured an HLS agreement of 53,438 for Marley Common, also on the same day (AG00272072 (20)). The HLS agreement shows that it will finance the felling of trees, the insulation of the lawn and the heidesaat of the construction plan, which essentially consists of tearing a large whole into the forest on the common (80).