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

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Amendment to option 30 (creation and management of species rich grassland)

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28.  In option 30 (creation and management of species rich grassland)—

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

(2) There are two elements to this option—

  • A. for the benefit of wildlife;

  • B. for the benefit of bees, moths and butterflies.

(3) A beneficiary is eligible for payment under this option if the beneficiary—

(a)creates a new grassland sward from arable or improved grassland by—

(i)destroying any existing grassland cover and carrying out a programme agreed with the Scottish Ministers to establish a new sward. This may include measures to reduce the fertility of the soil and address weed problems; and

(ii)sowing the site with a low productivity grass and herb mix seed agreed with Scottish Ministers to create a new sward; or

(b)restores an existing semi-improved grassland sward by—

(i)creating a short sward through cutting or grazing;

(ii)creating 50% bare ground on each sward by light mechanical disturbance such as raking, harrowing or scarifying; and

(iii)sowing a low productivity grass and herb mix seed agreed with the Scottish Ministers on the bare patches.

(4) When destroying grassland cover on an archaeological cropmark site, ploughing and cultivation must not exceed 150 mm.

(5) There must be at least three indicator species of potential for restoration on grasslands.

(6) The beneficiary must agree with the Scottish Ministers a grazing plan setting out a livestock management and grazing regime.

(7) For element A, the beneficiary must ensure that the grass is at its longest in the summer and shorter in the spring and autumn.

(8) For element B—

(a)grazing levels between June and August must be light to maintain an uneven patchwork of short and tall vegetation between 5 and 25 cm with flowering heads;

(b)beneficiaries must leave at least 15% of the field uncut and must rotate this area annually; and

(c)the sward must not be cut before 15th August except in areas where Great Yellow Bumblebee is a priority where it must not be cut before 1st September.

(9) The beneficiary must sow a seed mixture of native grasses and wildflowers where at least 15% of the mixture by weight must be seed of herbs and up to 85% non-aggressive fine-leaved grasses.

(10) Seed of local origin must be used wherever possible.

(11) For element B at least half the herb seed by weight must consist of one or more of the following species: Red Clover, Tufted Vetch, Bird’s foot Trefoil, Yellow Rattle, Meadow Vetchling, Selfheal and Common Knapweed; and must contain at least 2% Red Clover seeds.

(12) The beneficiary must not—

(a)apply fertiliser, slurry or farmyard manure to the site;

(b)apply pesticides to the site except with the prior written agreement of the Scottish Ministers for activities such as spot treatment for injurious weeds or control of invasive non-native species;

(c)carry out supplementary feeding on the site.; and

(b)in column 3, for “year” insert “year or £245.56 per hectare per year on archaeological cropmark sites”.

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