Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
EK1 Take field corners out of management 400 points per ha

Area constraints apply to this option.

This option is only available outside SDAs and below the Moorland Line.

The provision of unmanaged areas will increase the biodiversity of the farm. This option must not be located on archaeological features. Although this option is designed for field corners, if you have small areas within the field, which it would be beneficial to take out of production, you may do so. Field corners do not need to be fenced off, provided the prescriptions are met.

This option is only available on improved grassland that is receiving over 50 kg/ha nitrogen per year as organic or inorganic fertilisers.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Patch size must be no more than 0.5 ha. You may have no more than one patch for every 10 ha of land eligible for this option and, as far as possible, patches must be distributed evenly across your farm.
  • Do not apply any fertilisers, manures or lime.
  • 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).
  • After establishment, cut no more than once every 5 years to allow the development of tussocky grass and low scrub. Do not cut during the bird breeding season (1 March to 31 August).
  • Do not graze.

Please note that any areas containing scrub may become ineligible for SPS payments and would have to be removed from your SPS claim form. Please refer to the SPS Handbook and any supplements for more information, details in Appendix 2. Scrub areas are still eligible for ELS points. Please see Appendix 6 for a definition of scrub for SPS purposes.

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