The aim of this Option is to maintain a mosaic of habitats on in-bye farmland that contributes to the range of wildlife and landscapes in its area.
What this will achieve
This will provide improved habitats for birds, small mammals and invertebrates, and will also have the benefit of reducing the need for additional fencing and the creation of compartmentalised areas, where the implementation of a grazing regime becomes impractical.
The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species that may benefit include the Pearl-bordered fritillary, Northern Brown Argus, Marsh Fritillary, Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, Pipistrelle Bat, Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Grey Partridge and Brown Hare.
What you can do
- a livestock management and grazing regime must be set out in a plan to be agreed with the Scottish Ministers. The grazing plan must identify and reflect the specific biodiversity requirements of your site and the biodiversity outcomes you will deliver. The application must be accompanied by evidence to support the management proposed in the grazing plan, e.g. a letter of support from, or reference to, advisory material produced by a recognised conservation organisation. The grazing plan may be subject to change as the site develops.
- do not apply fertilisers, slurry, farmyard manure, or lime. Pesticides must not be applied to the managed area except with the prior written agreement of Scottish Ministers for activities such as spot treatment of scheduled weeds (i.e. creeping, spear or field thistle, curled or broadleaved dock and common ragwort) or non-native invasive species (i.e. Giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam, Rhododendron ponticum or Japanese knotweed). However, spot treatment for injurious weeds is permitted.
- do not use the land for supplementary feeding. Where improved grass is present, feeding can take place on these areas provided there is benefit to the rest of the habitats in doing so. You must include and justify the details of any supplementary feeding in your grazing plan.
Who can apply
All land managers are eligible to apply for this management Option.
This Option is available on areas that support a patchwork or mosaic of traditional semi-natural habitats on inbye farmland and that need to be managed as a single unit. Habitat mosaics may include such habitats as: wetland, wet grassland, species-rich grassland, unimproved grassland, semi-improved grassland, tall herb communities, scrub, scattered pockets of woodland and wood pasture. This is not an exhaustive list. Note that only areas of inbye land are eligible for inclusion in the Habitat Mosaic Option. Coastal heath, as it is classified as 'rough grazings', is not an eligible habitat for this Option.
Land receiving payments for similar management under other agri-environment schemes is not eligible under this Option.
Please see Definitions of Land Types page for more details.
What costs could be supported
Support will also be available toward the cost of certain associated Capital Items. For a comprehensive list of Capital Items click here. Any cost claimed must be fully justified. The following are examples of what may be claimed:
When completing your Proposal, you can select the appropriate capital item(s) from the dropdown list of standard cost capital items for this Option.
In addition to the above capital items, financial support of up to 100% of eligible actual costs is available in respect of the following:
Please note that these capital items will not appear in the dropdown list of Standard Cost capital items for this Option and will need to be entered manually in the box 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.
Rate of support
This is a 5-year commitment. We will pay you £104 per year per hectare of land managed under this Option. We will pay at the end of each year.
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, 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:
- Compliance with agreed grazing plan and modifications as required
- Land managed is in-bye
- Mosaics form single unit
- Visual check to ensure no fertiliser/ FYM/Slurry/lime has been applied
- Supplementary feeding has only occurred on site if detailed in grazing plan
- Claimed capital items have been completed to approved amounts and scheme standards
Links of links to relevant technical guidance