Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2010 (NE226)
L    Options for grassland and moorland inside the Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs)

These options are designed to manage grassland and moorland in a way that benefits wildlife and landscape, protects archaeological features and reduces impacts on natural resources. Other options for the uplands are available through Uplands ELS (see Section U).

Grassland should be managed in a way that promotes good soil structure and infiltration of rainwater to reduce run-off. Good general management includes managing livestock densities to avoid soil compaction, or reducing or avoiding grazing when the soil is wet. You may also consider reducing existing compaction, for example, by sub-soiling or spiking, except on archaeological features.

Patches of scrub can add to the structure and wildlife value of grasslands but they should not be allowed to extend across more than 10 per cent of the field or beyond its existing cover where this is greater than 10 per cent. Scrub should not be allowed to develop on archaeological features.

For the purposes of these options, grassland is defined as land that is used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage naturally or through cultivation and which has not been subject to cultivation for at least 5 years. Inter-tidal habitats are not eligible for these options.

All other options may also be used in an SDA (where the option eligibility and management rules can be met) except those for lowland grassland (EK1 to EK4).

The availability of the grassland options within each area is summarised in the table below:


Table 6 Availability of Upland and Lowland grassland options

Options Land outside SDAs Land in an SDA
Below the
Moorland line

Above the Moorland line

Parcels of less
than 15 ha
Parcels of 15 ha
or more
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