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

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Amendment to option 23 (management of open grazed or wet grassland for wildlife)

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22.  In option 23 (management of open grazed or wet grassland for wildlife), in column 2, for paragraph (2) substitute—

(2) A beneficiary is eligible for payment under this option on in-bye grassland if the beneficiary either—

(a)agrees a grazing plan with the Scottish Ministers that describes a livestock management and grazing regime, taking into account the preferences of individual target species, site conditions and farming operations; or

(b)excludes farm livestock for 6 consecutive weeks between 15th March and 15th June inclusive or restricts numbers to a maximum of 1 livestock unit per hectare during the whole period of three months.

(3) The beneficiary must—

(a)ensure the intensity of grazing is sufficiently low during the period of three months so that the nests of ground-nesting birds are not damaged;

(b)not harrow or roll from 1st April until 31st July inclusive;

(c)not apply artificial fertiliser to the site before 15th May and not apply farmyard manure and slurry from 1st March until 15th May inclusive;

(d)not apply pesticides 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 and where land is wetland or bordering water, the beneficiary must also consult SEPA prior to the application of pesticides; and

(e)not top until after 31st July.

(4) Where this option seeks to benefit farmland waders, the area managed must extend to at least 3 hectares and be at least 30 metres from any line or group of trees or hedgerows.

(5) Where open grazed grassland is part of the normal rotation, the same field need not be managed each year if winter keep production is rotated around the 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 lifetime of the undertaking, 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..

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