Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
K Options for grassland outside the Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs)

These options are designed to manage grassland in a way that benefits wildlife and landscape, protects archaeological features and reduces impacts on natural resources.

Grassland should be managed in a way that promotes good soil structure and infiltration of rainwater to reduce run-off. Good general management includes managing livestock densities to avoid soil compaction, or reducing or avoiding grazing when the soil is wet. You may also consider reducing existing compaction, for example by sub-soiling or spiking, provided there are no buried earthworks or archaeological remains.

Unless stated otherwise, for purposes of these options, ‘grassland’ is defined as land that is used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage naturally or through cultivation and which has not been subject to cultivation for at least five years.

Patches of scrub can add to the structure and wildlife value of grasslands, but they should not be allowed to extend across more than 10 per cent of the field or beyond its existing cover where this is greater than 10 per cent. Scrub should not be allowed to develop on archaeological features. Inter-tidal habitats are not eligible for these options.

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