Cross Compliance: Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2015 (GCCE 2015 v1)

What’s new in 2015?

Under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), some of the cross compliance rules are the same as in previous years, but some have changed.

The most obvious change is that all of the GAECs and most of the SMRs have been renumbered. Some GAECs have also been split or merged into other rules.

The main changes to GAECs and SMRs since 2014

These are just the main changes – claimants should read all of the guidance to make sure they understand all the rules and how they apply to their holding.

  • What was SMR 3 (sewage sludge) and SMRs 13, 14 and 15 (control of foot and mouth disease, certain animal diseases and bluetongue) have been removed.
  • What was GAEC 11 (control of weeds) and 12 (agricultural land which is not in agricultural production) have been removed. Instead, as part of the BPS eligibility rules, this agricultural land will need to be maintained so that it is kept clear of dense scrub.
  • Some rules have been removed from the SMR for Wild Birds (SMR 2).
  • Claimants no longer need to keep a Soil Protection Review (SPR). Instead, there are new rules for soils (GAEC 4, 5 and 6).
  • The rule on sustainable use has been removed from SMR 10 (plant protection products).
  • Under a new GAEC 7, rules for landscape features have changed. Changes to rules include:
    • boundary features such as hedgerows and stone walls will be covered under GAEC 7a. There will also be new rules for the protection of stone banks and earth banks.
    • a longer no trimming season will apply for hedges and trees, and will run from 1 March until 31 August inclusive. A derogation may be available to those wishing to sow oilseed rape or temporary grassland during August.
    • the exemption which allowed stone to be removed from stone walls to repair footpaths has been deleted.
    • tree protection rules which include felling licences and tree preservation orders will be included in a new GAEC 7. The no cutting period of 1 March to 31 August inclusive will also apply to trees. Orchards are not included in this ban.
    • the ‘Scheduled Monuments’ GAEC has been renamed ‘Ancient Monuments’.

Read all of this guide to make sure you know which GAECs and SMRs apply to you.

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