This Option offers support for predator control and has three elements.
What this will achieve
This Option will benefit ground-nesting birds that are vulnerable to predation.
What you can do
This Option will only be available:
- where it is carried out as part of a habitat management programme aimed at achieving or maintaining favourable condition of the natural heritage interests on the site. Effort must be targeted where it will give most benefit to the notified features, e.g. moorland birds, rather than being focused on agricultural benefits
- where it is carried out as part of a Capercaillie or Black Grouse conservation plan that includes a site-specific predator/crow control plan targeted where it will give most benefit to the species.
- where it is carried out to support the Supplementary Food Provision for Hen Harriers Option and only for the same period that the Supplementary Food Provision is undertaken.
Your application will describe the habitat management programme or Capercaillie or Black Grouse conservation plan that your application will contribute to. The focus of conservation management will normally be within 1.5 km of like sites.
Mammal and bird control must be carried out in a legal and humane manner and you must comply with all appropriate legislation and Codes of Practice including the following:
- The Open General Licence as issued each year by the Scottish Ministers,
- British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Codes of Practice on Shooting, Lamping, Trapping of Pest Mammals and Trapping of Pest Birds.
For elements 2 and 3: Crow traps will be operated within the requirements of the BASCs "Trapping Pest Birds - A Code of Practice", in particular:
- traps will be of a legal design and operated legally
- you will provide all decoy birds with shelter, food and water at all times
- you must have enough staff to inspect traps every day
- captured crows must be killed quickly and humanely
- all non-target species must be released immediately and unharmed.
For elements 1 and 3: the management programme will include details of the predator control plan which must set out:
- the areas where control will be undertaken (using Land Parcel Identifiers or FIDs)
- the number and type of species to be controlled (which may include foxes, crows, stoats and weasels)
- the methods that will be used
- the most appropriate period for the activity within the targeted spring/early summer period. (Control may take place outwith this period but will not be funded)
- the number of days or nights that the activity will be undertaken in each month
- for those activities that are planned on a weekly basis, such as lamping or shooting, plans will be kept up to date throughout the control period and available for inspection on request. Dates when other activities will take place, e.g. setting or managing snares, will be included in the management programme
- any predator control effort in the past five years
- a summary of any other predator control effort in the remainder of the year will also be required, if any is carried out.
For element 2: The habitat management programme will detail the proposed trap locations on a map.
For all elements: you must provide an annual report covering:
- details of the methods employed
- time spent on mammal and bird control across the specified period
- number and species controlled and date of control
- where traps are located or where other control Options are applied, using the FID and 6-figure grid reference
- the impact of the mammal and bird control, in terms of numbers taken, counts of fox scats and crows, and numbers of nesting birds
- records of the above must be kept up to date throughout the period that control is undertaken and they must be available for inspection on request.
For elements 1 and 2, you must submit the annual report to your local SGRPID office by 31 December in each year of your contract.
For element 3, you must submit the annual report to your local SGRPID office with your capital claim form in each year of your contract.
Who can apply
This Option will benefit from a collaborative approach and will have restricted availability:
- Predator control will be available on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Natura sites where the qualifying interests include ground-nesting birds that are vulnerable to predation and likely to benefit from predator control (this must be endorsed by SNH). These sites are likely to include upland and moorland habitats.
- Crow control will be available on SSSI and Natura sites where the qualifying interests include birds that are vulnerable to crow predation and likely to benefit from crow control (this must be endorsed by SNH). These sites are likely to include upland and moorland habitats. Crow control is also available within 2km of a Hen Harrier nest site when used to support the Supplementary Food Provision for Hen Harriers Option.
- Predator control for Black Grouse and Capercaillie will be available to benefit Capercaillie and Black Grouse on sites containing active leks or on adjoining sites where control would be complementary.
An applicant can apply to undertake several Elements (1, 2 or 3) under this Option, if they wish. However, only one element can apply to any given parcel of land.
Land receiving payments for similar management under other agri-environment schemes is not eligible under this Option.
Please see the Definitions of Land Types page for more details.
Rate of support
This is a 5 year commitment. We will pay at the end of each year.
Element 1: Predator control: £2 per hectare per year.
Element 2: Crow control: £270 per trap per year with no more than 1 trap per hectare or per hen harrier nest site when used to support the Option Supplementary Food Provision for Raptors - Hen Harriers.
Element 3: Predator control for Black Grouse and Capercaillie: actual costs up to £7.50 per hectare per year. You should enter the actual cost separately for each year claimed. The following capital items are eligible:
Details to be submitted with Proposal
Details to be submitted with Claim
Labour (directly attributable to Option)
Direct Employees - Rates are restricted to "Schedule of Rates" labour rate
Contractors - labour rates as per contract, - if costs exceed the rate on the Schedule of Rates then sufficient justification must be provided.
Vehicle (Running Costs)
Hourly rate restricted to the rate stated on the Schedule of Rates.
Type of vehicle to be stated, i.e. quad, Landrover etc.
Hired vehicles - quotes to be provided.
Where vehicles are hired, invoices must be provided.
Accommodation is only eligible if casual labour is employed. Sufficient justification for using casual labour must be provided.
Protective Clothing is only eligible if casual labour is employed. Sufficient justification for using casual labour must be provided.
Multi-catch ladder traps
Hand held Spotlight
This is not a comprehensive list of eligible items/costs. We may consider any items/costs that are neither on the above list of eligible items nor on the ineligible list below if you provide sufficient justification. Costs must be directly related to the Option and must be additional to normal running costs.
The following items/costs are ineligible:
- Council Tax
- National Insurance
- Life & health Insurance
- Consultancy fees
- New vehicles
- Feral Cat Traps
- Deep Freezer
- Holiday Cover
- Accommodation for direct employees
- Mobile communication
What costs can be supported
Financial support of up to 100% of eligible actual costs is available in respect of the following:
When submitting proposals, applicants only need to enter the main FID against each item on the actual cost capital item table where the area involved spans a number of FIDs.
Please note that these capital items will not appear in a dropdown list of Standard Cost capital items and will need to be entered manually in the table for Actual Cost capital items. Only costs for the types of capital works listed above should be entered in the Actual Cost capital items box for this Option. Any other costs entered cannot be considered for funding.
To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.
Actual costs reimbursed under Rural Priorities for Predator Control for Black Grouse and Capercaillie will be restricted to a maximum of £7.50 per hectare. The Predator Control area must be entered on the first table named "Mammal and Bird Control - for Black Grouse/Capercaillie" on the Option Details screen. Eligible actual costs must be entered separately for each year of the 5-year management period on the second table named "Actual Costs Capital Items for Mammal and Bird Control for Black Grouse/Capercaillie".
The computer system will automatically calculate the value for each contract by multiplying the area entered on the first table by £7.50. It will then add up your actual costs for each year and if they total less than the area x £7.50 for each year then your contract will show a Maximum Value available equal to the total costs that you entered for each year. If the figure is greater than the area x £7.50, for each year the system will automatically restrict the Maximum Value available to the amount calculated using area x £7.50.
For example: area = 10ha, actual costs amount to £100 in year 1 and £60 in Years 2 to 5. Maximum Value available will be restricted to £75.00 in Year 1 and £60 in years 2 to 5.
Please provide labour and vehicle running costs using an hourly rate. For more information on this, please see the timesheet and schedule of labour and machinery rates
The inspector will check the requirements (as detailed above under 'what you can do') of the Option are being met, by a visual assessment on the day of inspection.
Beneficiaries must comply with the requirements of cross compliance and the minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection products. You must also comply with the requirements to avoid damaging any features of historic or archaeological interest, and follow Scottish Ministers' guidance for the protection of such areas or features (detailed in links below).
The following is a brief overview of the inspection procedures, for a full explanation please see links below:
Inspectors will check:
- Habitat management programme or Capercaillie or Black Grouse conservation plan is being carried out.
- Predator control plan and map showing site and trap locations
- Predator control methods comply with all appropriate legislation and Codes of Practice
- The record of method, time spent, number and species and date of control of predators
- Claimed capital items have been completed to approved amounts and scheme standards
When you submit your claim the Area Office will verify:
- The annual report is submitted with the claim
- Actual costs are supported by:
Timesheets for labour
You must also enter your Predator Control Area on the Single Application Form (SAF) for record purposes. No payment will be made through the SAF for element 3.
List of links to relevant technical guidance
Back to contents