Subsidies for the maintenance of semi-natural habitats

Subsidy rates for the maintenance of semi-natural habitats depend on the type of habitat and the way it is managed


The subsidy for the management of semi-natural communities aims to increase the surface area of managed areas, improve the status of semi-natural communities and associated species, and preserve and increase biodiversity and landscape diversity [1].


Subsidy can be applied for with the aim of maintaining semi-natural communities located on a protected natural object and entered in the Estonian nature information system. Supported activities are mowing and removing the mowed material, and grazing. Subsidies for maintenance are paid on the basis of the Estonian Rural Development Plan (ERDP) and provided that the community is properly maintained. However, maintenance subsidies cannot be applied for in case of a habitat that needs to be restored first. The subsidy measure is administered by the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB), but the caregivers are advised and the conditions of care are determined and controlled by the Environmental Board [2].


Subsidy rates for the management of semi-natural habitats depend on the type of habitat and its management and are as follows per hectare per year [3]:

  • for mowing a wooded meadow – 450 euros;
  • for grazing a wooded pasture – 250 euros;
  • for grazing a meadow with junipers – 250 euros;
  • for mowing a meadow with junipers – 185 euros;
  • for grazing another kind of grassland – 150 euros;
  • for mowing another kind of grassland – 85 euros;
  • for grazing a wooded meadow – 250 euros.

In 2016, a one-year supplementary activity support of 232 euros was also implemented for coastal areas important for species protection [2].


Subsidies for the maintenance of semi-natural habitats have been paid from the ERDP since 2007, when slightly more than 15,000 ha were maintained for almost 2.8 million euros. In 2021, the total cost of the subsidies was almost 6 million euros and 35,517 ha were maintained. For the period 2014–2020, the subsidy budget was 37.5 million euros [2].


No other area-based subsidies of the ERDP can be applied for in areas where the maintenance subsidy for semi-natural communities has been applied for. However, for another kind of grassland or wooded meadow, a single area payment can be applied for together with the support for a semi-natural community, if the area meets the conditions for support. In 2021, at the same time, support for the maintenance of semi-natural communities and single area payments were applied for a total of more than 23,000 hectares. Areas subject to maintenance support cannot be entered to apply for further nature conservation support or other restoration support at the same time. In addition, semi-natural communities are maintained through agricultural support via the organic agriculture support and the Natura field support [2].



Last modified: 26.08.2022





[2] Pärandniitude tegevuskava 2021-2027.