SP3: Bracken control supplement

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the bracken control supplement.

How much will be paid

£153 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this supplement

Available for Higher Tier

Whole and part-parcel

Only in combination with a land management option. The most common such options include:

This supplement can also be used to control bracken on other options, such as on dry grassland, woodland or sand dunes.

Where this supplement cannot be used

On the same area in the same year as the bracken control capital items:

This supplement would normally be used in subsequent years, as a follow-up to these items.

How this supplement will benefit the environment

It controls the spread of, or removes, existing dense stands of bracken. This will maintain or restore biodiversity value and protect archaeological sites.

If successful the underlying vegetation will develop and spread, and will develop a diverse mosaic structure and composition, including undisturbed bare ground and varied vegetation types.

Successfully managing the remaining vegetation (usually by grazing or cutting) will reduce the chances of bracken spreading back. Locally characteristic plant communities and the species they support will expand or even colonise the site.


Agreement holders are likely to need to:

  • control bracken so that cover is reduced to a set proportion by a set date
  • only carry out chemical control on specifically identified areas
  • use temporary grazing controls to protect vegetation regeneration
  • graze to break up litter beds and damage young fronds to offer extra bracken control
  • control any re-infestation during the term of the agreement
  • carry out specific follow up cutting or grazing management tailored to their site

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • stock records to show grazing activity on parcels
  • consents or permissions connected with this work
  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices

On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you haven’t carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.

Applicants will need to send the following with their application:

  • a map of the extent of bracken
  • the Environment Agency’s consent if this is within a water catchment area

The detailed requirements for this supplement will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

This supplement can be located on the same area as the following supplements:

Further information

See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.