Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2010 (NE226)
EE4    2 m buffer strips on intensive grassland
EE5    4 m buffer strips on intensive grassland
EE6    6 m buffer strips on intensive grassland
300 points per ha
400 points per ha
400 points per ha
NEW OPTION in 2010  
EE10    6 m buffer strips on intensive grassland next to a watercourse
400 points per ha

Only the new option EE10 should be used on grassland next to watercourses.

These options are only available on improved grassland receiving more than 100 kg/ha of nitrogen per year in fertilisers or manures.

For these options, you must comply with the following:

  • On fields that will be mown, leave an uncut 2m/4m/6m buffer strip around the edge. Graze this buffer strip along with the aftermath, following the final cut.
  • Do not allow livestock to poach or overgraze the buffer strip.
  • Do not apply any fertilisers or manures.
  • Only apply herbicides to spot-treat or weed-wipe for the control of injurious weeds (ie creeping and spear thistles, curled and broad-leaved docks or common ragwort) or invasive non-native species (eg Himalayan balsam, rhododendron or Japanese knotweed).
  • It is not a requirement to fence these buffer strips.
  • After the first 12 months of your agreement, cut buffer strips only to control woody growth, and no more than once every 2 years.
  • Do not use buffer strips for regular vehicular access, turning or storage. There should be no tracks, compacted areas or poaching.

6 m grass margin on intensive grassland provides valuable small mammal habitat.
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