ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)

Section 4 - What should I do if I have another scheme or obligation on my land?


4.1    Single Payment Scheme (SPS)

Land receiving payments from the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) may be entered into ELS. Your ELS payment will be in addition to any payment you receive for SPS.

4.1.1.    Cross compliance management and ELS options

ELS options have been designed to go beyond the SPS cross compliance requirements. However, you should follow the procedure below when you are measuring your ELS hedge, ditch and buffer strip options to make sure you comply with both ELS and cross compliance requirements.

SPS cross compliance conditions include a requirement to maintain ‘protection zones’ by not cultivating or applying fertilisers, manures or pesticides to land within 2 m of the centre of a hedgerow or watercourse. This requirement also applies to all land within 1 m of the top of the bank of a watercourse.

Hedge and ditch options (EB1 to EB3 and EB6 to EB10) have been designed to be compatible with this cross compliance requirement. If you choose to do these options you must follow the option rules laid out in this handbook. The SPS ‘protection zone’ requirement for cross compliance is incorporated within the option rules.

Buffer strip options (EE1 to EE6) must not overlap with the cross compliance ‘protection zones’ (i.e. the ELS buffer strip must start 2 m from the centre of the hedge or at least 2 m from the centre of the ditch).


© Defra (Catherine Grundy)

If you are locating your ELS buffer strip next to a hedge which extends further than 2 m from the centre, it is acceptable for part of your ELS buffer strip to be covered by the hedge, provided the land would otherwise be eligible as a buffer strip.

For full details of management requirements for SPS cross compliance please refer to your ‘Single Payment Scheme Cross Compliance Handbook for England’.

4.1.2.    ELS options and set-aside land

ELS options may not be located on set-aside land apart from the following exceptions:

Option EF3: Wild bird seed mixture on set-aside land.
Option EF5: Pollen and nectar flower mixture on set-aside land.
Options EM1, EM2, EM3 and EM4: All management plan options.
Options EB1, EB2, EB3, EB6, EB7, EB8, EB9 and EB10: All options that incorporate uncultivated land as part of hedge and/or ditch management requirements.

4.1.3    Providing information on your SPS annual return

You will be required to provide information about the location and amount of your ELS options on your annual SPS return.

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