SP4: Control of invasive plant species supplement
Find out about eligibility and requirements for the control of invasive plant species supplement.
How much will be paid
£324 per hectare (ha).
Where to use this supplement
Available for Higher Tier
Whole and part-parcel
Only in combination with an appropriate annual management option.
Where this supplement cannot be used
For rush control.
How this supplement will benefit the environment
It supports the active management and eradication of particularly severe infestations of invasive non-native species that are damaging a feature of interest, such as:
- Himalayan balsam
- Japanese knotweed
- floating pennywort and other invasive aquatic plants
Active management is needed to maintain or restore wildlife value or protect archaeological features.
If successful there should be a reduction in cover and density of non-native invasive species. Native plants and animals will re-establish the area cleared, returning a more natural balance to the habitat.
Agreement holder are likely to need to:
- control the invasive species 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
- control any re-infestation during the term of the agreement
- carry out specific follow up cutting or grazing management tailored to their site
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:
- field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
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:
- CT6 – Coastal vegetation management supplement
- GS15 – Haymaking supplement
- GS16 – Rush infestation control supplement
- GS17 – Lenient grazing supplement
- SP1 - Difficult sites supplement
- SP2 - Raised water level supplement
- SP5 - Shepherding supplement
- SP6 - Cattle grazing supplement
- SP7 - Introduction of cattle grazing on the Isles of Scilly
- SP8 - Native breeds at risk supplement
- SP9 - Threatened species supplement
- SW14 – Nil fertiliser supplement
- UP4 – Management of moorland vegetation supplement
- UP5 – Moorland re-wetting supplement
- UP6 – Upland livestock exclusion supplement
- WD9 – Livestock exclusion supplement
- WT11 – Wetland cutting supplement
- WT12 – Wetland grazing supplement
Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this supplement
The following section gives advice on carrying out this supplement successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this supplement.
Non-native invasive species
Invasive non-native plants are species that:
- have been introduced to the UK either intentionally or unintentionally
- spread and damage the environment, the economy and health
Where this supplement can be used
Use this supplement when aiming to do more than just control an invasive species’ spread and, if feasible, eradicate it. Exact details will be agreed with Natural England.
This supplement can also be used to control non-native invasive species in marginal areas (such as riverbanks, riparian habitats, ditches, channels, field margins, corners and ponds). This can only be done if there is a Countryside Stewardship land management option on that land parcel.
Where this supplement cannot be used
- to control weeds listed in the Weeds Act 1959
- to control bracken and gorse - use the appropriate supplement
- for complying with cross compliance requirements
- for rush infestations - if this is on land under a Countryside Stewardship option then apply for GS16 - Rush infestation control supplement
Controlling non-native invasive species
Invasive species can be controlled through a range of methods, including:
- containing a species in a limited area
- preventing (or slowing) its spread
- localised population reduction or eradication in particular areas
Alternative methods include cutting by hand or cutting mechanically, applying herbicide or an alternative agreed method, depending on the plant being controlled.
If the applicant has permission to spray herbicide make sure that the person spraying has the relevant qualifications and certifications.
When controlling and disposing of invasive non-native plants on land, specific legal responsibilities must be complied with, including:
- spraying with herbicide
- cutting and burning
- burying invasive plant material
- disposing of invasive plant and contaminated soil off site
Get more information on invasive weeds from:
- the guide to harmful weeds and invasive, non-native plants
- guidance on the Wildlife and Countryside Act and landowners’ responsibilities
See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.
Published: 2 April 2015
Updated: 10 March 2017
- Updated for 2017 applications.
- Information updated for applications in 2016.
- First published.