ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)
EK3 Permanent grassland with very low inputs

Grassland managed with no fertiliser has a higher value for wildlife. Over 90% of traditionally managed grassland has been lost to agricultural intensification so it is important to maintain, and where possible, increase this resource. This option can be used on a whole or part-field basis. If your field has more than a third of its area covered by rushes, it must go into option EK4, Management of rush pastures (outside the LFA), rather than this option.

For this option you must:

  • Maintain as grass, do not plough or re-seed.
  • You may apply up to 12.5 tonnes/ha (5 t/acre) of FYM a year in a single application, but only where the grassland is regularly cut. FYM must not be applied between 1 April and 30 June to avoid damage to ground nesting bird sites. No other type of fertiliser or manure may be applied. You may find it useful to refer to the table in appendix 2 showing average total N supplied by various manures.
  • Do not cultivate.
  • Do not supplementary feed.
  • Manage by grazing and/or cutting, to remove the year’s grass growth, but do not cut or top between 1 April and 30 June.
  • Do not harrow or roll between 1 April and 30 June.
  • Apply herbicides only to spot treat or weed wipe for the control of injurious weeds (i.e. creeping or spear thistle, curled or broadleaved dock, or common ragwort), or invasive alien species (e.g. Himalayan balsam, rhododendron or Japanese knotweed).

EK3, 150 points per ha


Permanent pastures - very low inputs of fertiliser and herbicide make better wildlife habitats
© Defra (Mandy Heathcote)

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