Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
UX2 Upland grassland and arable requirements 11 points per ha

This requirement must be located on all SDA parcels below the Moorland Line. It can only be used on whole-fields. Please note that ELS buffer strip options EE110 and EJ9 cannot be located next to watercourses on land in UX2.

You must comply with the following:

  • Do not supplementary feed within 6 m of the top of a bank of a watercourse (as defined in the Glossary). This requirement must not overlap with the cross compliance requirement (within 1 m of the top of the bank of a watercourse).
  • Do not apply any fertiliser, or boom spray herbicides, within 6 m of the top of a bank of a watercourse. Selective control of weeds is permitted using weed wipers and/or spot treatment. This requirement must not overlap with the cross compliance requirement (within 1 m of the top of the bank of a watercourse) and, within Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs), any NVZ requirements. The spreading of organic manures within 10 m of surface water is already restricted within the NVZ Action Programme and the Code of Good Agricultural Practice, see Appendix 2 for details.
  • Retain any traditional features such as stiles, sheep creeps and stone gateposts when any maintenance or restoration of dry-stone walls is undertaken, following the style characteristic of the local landscape and using appropriately shaped and sized local natural stone. Stone should not be taken from archaeological/ historical features such as lime kilns, historic industrial sites, walls, hedgebanks, ruins or buildings. Where it is impractical to retain stone gateposts, wooden posts should be installed.
  • Any maintenance, restoration and repair of hedgebanks must be carried out in the traditional materials used in the original construction, including appropriately shaped and sized local natural stone, following the style characteristic to the local landscape.
  • Any management of hedgerows must be carried out in the style traditional to the local landscape.
  • Do not supplementary feed in native woodland except when shelter is required during periods of extreme weather, where access to forage is severely restricted and the welfare of livestock might otherwise be compromised. Extreme weather is defined as more than two consecutive days of snow cover or continuous hard frost, prolonged drought or prolonged heavy rainfall. Native woodland, for the purpose of this requirement, is defined as a group of trees with overlapping canopies covering at least 0.1 ha (1,000 m2), at least half of which are native species.
  • Retain existing areas of native scrub (except on archaeological features) by:
    • no supplementary feeding within or adjoining these areas;
    • no application of fertilisers or manures within these areas; and
    • no application of herbicides and pesticides except for the spot treatment of weeds as indicatedunder cross compliance (GAEC 11).

Scrub is defined, for the purpose of this requirement, as areas greater than 100 m2 dominated by native shrubs and tree saplings, usually less than 5 m tall, occasionally with a few scattered trees. It includes juniper, willow, birch, elder, hazel, spindle, thorn and other native woody shrubs but excludes common gorse, broom and invasive non-native species including rhododendron and snowberry.

The encroachment of scrub can be controlled beyond the existing areas by cutting and/or by spot treatment using approved herbicides in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Where scrub covers archaeological features, ELS option ED4 Management of scrub on archaeological features can be used.

  • Do not remove any boulders and rock outcrops. Boulders are often remnants of historic features and should be left undisturbed. Rock outcrops, including disused quarries, may also be historic features and often support valued plants and wildlife.
  • Prevent the spread of bracken on land that allows the use of a conventional tractor with mower. You should regularly review the extent of bracken. It can be controlled by cutting, rolling and/ or the application of an approved herbicide in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. In some circumstances, bracken areas do provide valuable wildlife habitats. However, the spread of bracken can reduce biodiversity, damage archaeological features and change the character of the landscape.
  • Collect all plastic waste associated with farming activities from the banks of watercourses, including that which has arrived on the farm from elsewhere (eg from another farm in a storm).
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