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 decrease in the amount of sediment and nutrient entering the pond or ditch.
If you’re selected for a site visit, we will check that delivery of the aims is being met and the prohibited activities have not been carried out. This will ensure the environmental benefits are being delivered.
Established in the first year, there will be a 10m – 20m wide grass strip surrounding a pond or adjacent to a ditch. This will be allowed to develop a mix of tussocky grasses, flowering plants and low scrub through natural regeneration.
To achieve the aims and deliver the environmental benefits, do not carry out any of the following activities:
cut the strip, except to prevent scrub from developing on more than half of the pond or ditch margin
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
On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you have not carried out any prohibited activities.
To assist you in achieving the aims and deliver the environmental benefits for this option we recommend that you use best practice.
We recommend that you:
only cut to control the spread of woody growth - the southern side of the pond or ditch will remain open and free of scrub.
Where there is uncertainty about whether the aims of the options have been delivered, we will take into account any records or evidence you may have kept demonstrating delivery of the aims of the option. This will include any steps you’ve taken to follow the recommended management set out above. It’s your responsibility to keep such records if you want to rely on these to support your claim.
field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
photographs of the strips
Additional Guidance and Advice
The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.