WT2: Buffering in-field ponds and ditches on arable land

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the buffering in-field ponds and ditches on arable land option.

How much will be paid

£501 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this option

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier

Only on arable land next to ponds, or on arable land adjacent to ditches under option WT3 Management of Ditches of High Environmental Value.

Where this option cannot be used

  • on historic or archaeological features
  • around ponds associated with industrial features such as effluent ponds, balancing ponds or small water supply reservoirs
  • from 1 January 2019, on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

How it benefits the environment

It protects ponds and high environmental value ditches from nutrient leaching and runoff. This will maintain and enhance water quality and wildlife. If successful there will be:

  • a grassy strip with a mix of grasses, flowering plants, scrub and trees
  • a decrease in the amount of sediment and nutrient entering the pond or ditch


  • establish or maintain a 10m to 20m wide buffer strip next to the pond or ditch in the first 12 months of the agreement
  • let tussocky grass and low scrub develop
  • only cut to control the spread of woody growth

Do not:

  • let scrub develop on more than half of the pond or ditch margin - the southern side of the pond or ditch needs to remain open
  • use pesticides, except for herbicides to weed-wipe or spot-treat for the control of injurious weeds, invasive non-native species, nettles or bracken
  • apply any fertilisers or manures
  • cut between 1 March and 31 August

Keeping records

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

  • 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.

You should also be aware that at the start of each claim year, a percentage of agreement holders will be asked to take and submit the following photographic records:

  • photographs of the strips

These options and supplements can be located on the same area as this option:

Further information

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

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 17 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. From 1 January 2019, this option cannot be used on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

  2. Updated for 2017 applications.

  3. Information updated for applications in 2016

  4. First published.