Search Legislation

The Tir Cynnal (Wales) Regulations 2006

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made). This item of legislation is currently only available in its original format.

PART 2 —WILDLIFE HABITATS

It is a requirement of the Tir Cynnal Scheme that the existing wildlife habitats on the agreement land are protected from damage. At least 5% of the agreement land must be wildlife habitat.

The main groups of wildlife habitats (which is not exhaustive) are as follows:

  • Broad leaved woodland: woodland, with associated glades and rides, consisting of at least 50% native trees or yew. Wet woodland of alder or willow is included as are orchards containing standard fruit trees. Woodland that incorporate conifers may be included provided the native species content is more than 50% of the area (although those with less than 50% native species can be included if they are on ancient woodland sites)

  • Scrub: areas dominated by native shrubs such as hawthorn, blackthorn, common gorse, elder, willow, birch or bramble

  • Heathland: areas where at least 25% of the vegetation cover consists of dwarf shrubs such as heather, bilberry and western gorse. They occur in a range of locations from coastal and lowland areas to uplands. Upland heaths, usually above the limit of agriculture enclosure, are often associated with moorland habitats such as bogs and acid grassland.

  • High mountain heaths: which are more typically dominated by mosses, lichens, a sparse grass cover and patches of unvegetated stony ground, are also included.

  • Grassland: A range of habitats including unimproved grassland, semi-natural grassland, traditional hay meadows and marshy grasslands, where there has been no cultivation, reseeding, application of herbicides or drainage during the last 10 or more years. At most there will have been only light applications of inorganic fertiliser and the habitat is characterised by the absence or low levels of improved grassland species such as perennial ryegrass and white clover. If these account for more then 25% of the sward the land should be classified as improved grassland and will not be included as habitat under the Tir Cynnal scheme.

  • Wetlands: Land types that include bogs, reedbeds swamps and fens. They occur on deep peat and/or with a water table at or above ground level for most of the year.

  • Coastal areas: Includes saltmarshes and sand dunes, in addition to coastal scrub, heathland, and grasslands that are covered in the previous habitat groups.

The list above defines the main types of habitats, but other semi-natural areas or water bodies like ponds can be included as Tir Cynnal habitat.

  • A generic set of prescriptions has to be adhered to on habitat areas on the agreement land. These are as follows:

Safeguarding Wildlife Habitats — Conditions

  • Do not plough, cultivate or re seed

  • Do not roll or chain harrow between 1 April and 15 July of each year.

  • Do not install new drainage

  • Do not clear out ditches between 1 March and 31 August

  • Do not use herbicides or pesticides (other than for spot treatment of injurious weeds).

  • Consult with Countryside Council Wales and/or Environment Agency Wales on bracken spraying and consider if Environmental Impact Assessment required.

  • Do not apply inorganic fertilisers, purchased bagged organic fertilisers, slurry or other off-farm wastes.

  • Do not apply any lime, basic slag, calcified seaweed, waste paper, sludge or other off-farm wastes

  • Stock the land in line with the Code of Good Farming Practice particularly so that there is no over or under grazing.

  • Avoid undertaking supplementary feeding practices where these cause damage to vegetation and poaching of the soil.

  • Do not undertake supplementary feeding within broad leaved or mixed woodland.

  • Avoid the rutting of vegetation by vehicles.

  • Do not extract peat or remove rock.

  • Retain ant hills.

  • Do not remove any accumulations of seaweed.

If there is not enough land to satisfy the 5% rule existing hedgerows may be included and/or new habitats created in order to meet this requirement to count towards the habitat area.

All hedgerows are protected in the scheme under the conditions of the whole farm section in Part 1. In order to qualify towards the habitat area, such hedgerows have to:

  • Be at least 2 metres wide between the edges of the hedge including associated adjacent rank vegetation — the calculation of the area of hedgerow will use 2 metres as a standard width

  • Consist of native species such as hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and holly

  • Have no gaps (except for gateways and beneath hedgerow trees) between the field corners so as to provide a continuous wildlife corridor along the hedge length

  • Be protected from livestock on both sides. Where livestock are not present (e.g. on arable farms) a width of 2 metres consisting of the hedge itself and associated rank vegetation have to be retained without interference of any kind

  • Be completely under the Tir Cynnal agreement holder’s management control so that the Tir Cynnal agreement holder can fully implement the conditions for hedgerows in the Whole Farm Section. This means that in many cases perimeter hedgerows that you share with another farmer or those along public highways may not be eligible for inclusion as a habitat.

  • If including hedgerows as habitat the 1 metre buffer strip condition has to be added to the 2m width of the hedgerow.

If the areas of habitat (together with eligible hedgerows if these have been included) amount to less than 5% of the land on the farm the farmer will need to identify areas of improved land in which to create new habitats. These additional areas, plus existing habitat will be required to reach or exceed the minimum 5%.

There are seven habitat creation options available to the farmer under the scheme. The farmer can choose one or more to suit the management of the farm. The options are as follows:

1.  Creating streamside corridors alongside watercourses.

2.  Reducing inputs to revert improved land to semi-improved

3.  Leaving uncropped cereal margins on cereal land

4.  Creating grass margins on cereal land

5.  Small scale broad leaved tree planting

6.  Establishing a wild bird cover crop

7.  Establishing a crop of unsprayed roots.

Prescriptions for the creation of a streamside corridor

  • A strip of land with an average width of 10m adjacent to a watercourse should be rendered stockproof. This will normally be achieved by fencing, unless circumstances can ensure that no stock can enter (e.g. agreement land with no livestock, or areas protected by natural features). The strip should not be narrower than 6m at any point.

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal.

  • Do not apply any farm yard manure.

Prescriptions for reducing inputs to revert improved land to semi-improved land

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal (refer to safe guarding wildlife habitat prescriptions in Part 2).

  • Do not apply any farm yard manure.

Prescriptions for leaving uncropped margins on cereal land

  • The margin should be applied to selected headlands which have to be at least 4 metres in width and up to a maximum of 12 metres, beyond the 1 metre field boundary buffer.

  • The margin may be located in the same place or rotated around the agreement land in each year of the agreement. If rotated, the minimum area required to satisfy the “5% rule” should be established each year.

  • The margin should be allowed to regenerate naturally.

  • Exclude all livestock from the margin.

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal (refer to safe guarding wildlife habitat prescriptions in Part 2).

  • Do not apply farm yard manure.

  • Do not apply molluscicides.

  • Cultivate the margin once each year between 1 October and 31 March (if the margin remains in the same location for more than one year, cultivating once every other year is permissible).

  • No part of the margin is to be used for regular machine access or as a trackway. It is acceptable to trim hedges or carry out routine inspections, but where regular access is essential, the margin have to be at least 7 metres wide.

Prescriptions for grass margins on cereal land

  • The margin should be applied to selected headlands which have to be a minimum of 4 metres in width and up to a maximum of 12 metres beyond the 1 metre field boundary buffer zone. The margin can be rotated annually or, provided all the prescriptions can be adhered to, it can remain in the same location.

  • Complete ground cover of the margin have to be established by sowing a mixture made up of at least two of the following grass species:—

  • Crested dogstail (Cynosurus cristatus)

  • Yorkshire fog ( Holcus lanatus)

  • Smooth stalked meadow grass (Poa pratensis)

  • Sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum)

  • Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)

  • Sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovina)

  • Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis)

Plus at least 3 kg/ha of either red clover, alsike clover or bird’s foot trefoil

  • As long as the margin remains in the same location the existing vegetation can be retained in the second and subsequent years.

  • The grass has to be left uncut and ungrazed between sowing and 15 July.

  • The margin has to be cut at least once per year and the cuttings may be removed (they can be destroyed, e.g. by composting, or used, e.g. as hay, silage or green fodder).

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal (refer to safe guarding wildlife habitat prescriptions in Part 2).

  • Do not apply farm yard manure.

  • Do not apply molluscicides.

  • Do not allow vehicles on to the margin between sowing and 15 July in the first year, or subsequently before 15 July if the margin is maintained in the same location for a number of years.

Prescriptions for small scale broad-leaved tree planting

  • The area planted has to be on improved grassland or arable land before planting.

  • The trees have to be broad-leaved native species and should be planted at a density of no less than 3 metres between trees.

  • Protect the trees planted form livestock for the duration of the Tir Cynnal agreement. This will normally be achieved by fencing, unless circumstances ensure no livestock can enter (e.g. agreement land with no livestock, or areas protected by natural features).

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal.

  • An application of farmyard manure at a rate not exceeding 25 tonnes per hectare may be applied before planting. After planting do not apply any farmyard manure.

Prescriptions for the establishment of wild bird cover crop

  • Cultivate a seedbed containing at least two or three different types of crop of at least 4metres width on field margins (but whole fields are also acceptable) and establish the crop annually before 20 April. Typical species include: barley, oats, triticale, linseed, quinoa, millet, mustard, kale, teasel, fodder beet, red clover, and sainfoin.

  • The crop has to not be cut or grazed before 15 March in the year following establishment.

  • Do not apply insecticides, fungicides, molluscicides or herbicides (except for the spot treatment of injurious or invasive alien species).

  • Use of lime or fertiliser (organic or inorganic) is permitted only at the time of crop establishment.

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal.

Prescriptions for establishment of unsprayed root crops

  • Establish a root crop annually before 1 July (e.g. swedes or turnips) in whole fields or on field margins

  • Glyphosate may be applied to destroy existing vegetation prior to establishing the crop, but no other herbicides, (except as a spot treatment for injurious weeds or invasive alien species weeds) should be used.

  • Molluscicides may only be used if drilled at the time of crop establishment. No other pesticides may be used.

  • Use of lime and fertiliser is acceptable.

  • The crop should not be grazed before 15 October and the land should not be ploughed until 1 March in the year following establishment.

  • The option is rotational and can be moved around the farm on an annual basis as long as the total area agreed is maintained.

  • Undertake all relevant prescriptions that apply to wildlife habitats designated under Tir Cynnal.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. The revised version is currently only available in English.

Original (As Enacted or Made) - English: The original English language version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Original (As Enacted or Made) - Welsh:The original Welsh language version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources