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The Rural Development Contracts (Rural Priorities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2011

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Amendment to option 19 (management of mown grassland for corncrakes)

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19.  In option 19 (management of mown grassland for corncrakes)—

(a)in column 1, after “corncrakes” insert “or chough”;

(b)in column 2, for paragraphs (2) and (3) substitute—

(2) For the management of mown grassland for the benefit of corncrakes, a beneficiary is eligible for payment under this option on a grassland field on which an extensive crop of hay or silage will be grown if the beneficiary—

(a)is a land manager in the Argyll Islands, Skye, Small Isles, Western Isles, Orkney or parts of the north coast of the Scottish Mainland which support corncrake populations;

(b)carries out this option in combination with one of the following rural priorities options, which must be undertaken on directly adjacent land—

(i)Management of early and late cover for corncrakes;

(ii)Creation and management of early and late cover for corncrakes;

(iii)Management of grazed grassland for corncrakes; or

(iv)Wild bird seed mix/unharvested crop;

(c)excludes livestock from hay or silage fields from 15th May;

(d)does not roll, harrow or graze the field from 15th May until after it has been mown and marks and avoids ground nests which were present before 15th May;

(e)provides suitable temporary cover for at least two weeks after the field has been mown to enable corncrakes to move into more permanent corncrake cover;

(f)makes the temporary cover—

(i)directly adjacent to permanent corncrake cover; and

(ii)at least 2 metres wide around the field boundary, except where the field is less than 40 metres wide where temporary cover may be provided on one side of the field only; and

(g)does not apply pesticides to the temporary cover.

(3) For the management of mown grassland for the benefit of chough, a beneficiary is eligible for payment under this option for farm land on in-bye rotational grassland, permanent grassland and pastures dominated by a variety of grassland types that are maintained by seasonal or year round grazing if the beneficiary—

(a)is a land manager in the Argyll Islands or in Wigtownshire where chough occur;

(b)provides areas suitable for chough to forage in during chick rearing and fledging periods by grazing pasture until 14th June and then excludes livestock from hay or silage fields from 15th June; and

(c)does not roll, harrow or graze the field from 15th June until after it has been mown, which must not be before 15th August, and marks and avoids ground nests which are present before 15th June.

(4) For the management of mown grassland for the benefit of either corncrakes or chough, a beneficiary must—

(a)cut the grassland fields after—

(i)1st August in the case of corncrakes, in which case the rate of payment for Option 1 in column 3 applies;

(ii)15th August, in which case the rate of payment for Option 2 in column 3 applies; or

(iii)1st September in which case the rate of payment for Option 3 in column 3 applies;

(b)cut the hay and silage in a wildlife friendly manner in accordance with programme guidance;

(c)leave a strip of uncut grass 2 metres wide around the field boundary; and

(d)not apply pesticides to the 2 metre strip except with the prior written agreement of the Scottish Ministers for activities such as spot treatment of injurious weeds or control of invasive non-native species.

(5) The same field need not be managed each year if winter keep production is rotated around grassland area. Details of the fields to be rotated in this way, their location and areas must be given in the application for aid. If, during the relevant period, a different rotation to that originally agreed is approved by the Scottish Ministers, the area upon which the annual management payment is calculated will be restricted to either the area originally approved or the revised area, whichever is smaller.; and

(c)for column 3, substitute—

For corncrakes—

Option 1 - £271 per hectare per year.

Option 2 - £381 per hectare per year.

Option 3 - £691 per hectare per year.

For chough—

Option 2 - £429 per hectare per year.

Option 3 - £691 per hectare per year..

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