ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)

6.4    Derogations

A derogation is required where a minor and temporary change from the agreed management requirements is needed on a single occasion. These may involve permission to control serious weed infestations using herbicides, relaxation from time-based requirements, or requests to change cutting or cultivating requirements due to practical problems.

If such a derogation is required, you should contact RDS to request a derogation notice form (ERDP/ELS/OELS/2). You must complete this form providing the following information, and return it to RDS:

  • Why the derogation is needed.
  • What exactly the proposed course of action is (including precise location details, choice of pesticide and pesticide application rate where relevant).
  • Confirmation that the situation was unforeseen and that other solutions which are within the allowed management requirements have been considered.
  • Countersignature by an independent third party to confirm that the request is reasonable, will not compromise the objectives of the agreement and is the most appropriate response in the situation concerned (see section 6.4.1 below).

You must inform RDS about your proposed derogation before you make any changes to your management.

You may go ahead with the proposed changes to management as soon as you have returned the derogation notice form to RDS.

As a guide, we would not expect to see more than three derogations during the course of a five-year agreement.

The derogation notice form will be kept by RDS and all details, including those of the countersigning adviser, will be checked during any compliance inspection.

6.4.1    Countersigning derogation notice forms

When the derogation involves the use of pesticides it must be countersigned by a suitably qualified independent BASIS agronomist who is trained in environmental management. This could be a private agronomist or one employed by a conservation organisation (e.g. FWAG, English Nature, RSPB).

Where the derogation does not involve the use of pesticides, other farm conservation advisers may countersign the notice form.

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