Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
K Option for mixed stocking on grassland
EK5 Mixed stocking 9 points per ha

This option is available on eligible parcels both outside and inside SDAs.

Mixed stocking encourages a diversity of sward structure and plant and invertebrate species, which in turn can be beneficial to a variety of ecological and historic features. It also contributes to the distinctive colour and patterning of local landscapes through mixed grazing systems. This option is only available on land that is grazed by both cattle and sheep, either in the same year or in alternate years, as part of a clean grazing system. This option may be co-located with up to two other options from the list of permitted combinations at Table 6.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Maintain as grass. Do not plough, cultivate or re-seed.
  • A minimum of 30 per cent of the Livestock Units (LUs) must be grazing cattle.
  • A minimum of 15 per cent of the LUs must be grazing sheep.
  • Supplementary feeding is allowed, but move feeders as often as required to avoid poaching. Do not feed on or next to archaeological features, steep slopes, footpaths or watercourses.
  • Keep a record of all livestock grazing the land covered by this option.

You may not wish to graze both types of livestock in the same year. For this reason, the percentage of cattle and sheep LUs grazing the land is calculated over a two-year period. This allows you either to graze both types of livestock on the land parcel in the same year or to graze each type in alternate years.

If you choose to graze them on the land in alternate years, at least 60 per cent of the LUs on the land parcel must be cattle in one year and at least 30 per cent must be sheep in the other. The remaining 40/70 per cent of the LUs can be made up of the same, or other types of livestock, such as horses or domesticated deer. For details of LU conversion factors, please refer to Appendix 4.

Mixed stocking encourages a diversity of sward structure and species

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