Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
EC25 Hedgerow tree buffer strips on grassland 400 points per ha

This option is only available on permanent grassland.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • On fields that will be mown, leave an uncut 6 m buffer strip around the edge. Graze this buffer strip along with the aftermath, following the final cut.
  • Do not allow livestock to poach or overgraze the buffer strip.
  • Do not use buffer strips for regular vehicular access, turning or storage. There should be no tracks, compacted areas or poaching.
  • Do not apply any fertilisers or manures.
  • 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 the first 12 months of the agreement, cut buffer strips only to control woody growth, and no more than once every 2 years.
  • Do not remove tree limbs, including the lower limbs, other than for health and safety reasons where adjacent to a public highway or right of way.
  • Leave fallen timber beneath the canopy. Stack if necessary to allow management of the buffer strip.
  • Do not allow stock to damage the trunks of any hedgerow trees adjacent to the buffer strip.
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