CT2: Creation of coastal sand dunes and vegetated shingle on arable land and improved grassland

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the creation of coastal sand dunes and vegetated shingle on arable land and improved grassland option.

How much will be paid

£314 per hectare (ha).

How long this option lasts

This option runs for 10 years, not the standard 5 years for the scheme, in recognition of the level of management change involved.

Where to use this option

Available for Higher Tier

Whole or part parcel


Only on land next to existing sand dunes or shingle that is either:

  • arable land
  • improved grassland

Where this option cannot be used

For the creation of sand dunes and coastal vegetated shingle in the following situations:

  • as compensation, planning consent condition or other Habitat Regulations requirement
  • if the work is necessary as part of a planning permission condition
  • on land that has previously received 20 years’ agri-environment funding for coastal habitat creation

Features that can be included in this option

The following features can be included if they are part of the land, even if they are ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS):

  • scrub
  • open water
  • bare ground

How this option will benefit the environment

It creates sand dunes and coastal vegetated shingle on arable land or improved grassland locations that were:

  • once part of sand dune or shingle systems
  • next to active sand dune or shingle systems

If successful, developing features will include:

  • sand dunes and vegetated shingle
  • transition areas (transitions between shingle and dune and nearby habitats)
  • the specialised and local species that sand dunes and vegetated shingle in the area support


Agreement holders are likely to need to:

  • provide or maintain areas of bare ground
  • carry out extensive grazing (or cutting if grazing is not possible) to encourage vegetation mosaics
  • allow natural and dynamic coastal changes, such as changes due to storms or windblow (deposits of windblown sand)
  • control scrub or other invasive plant species

The agreement will set out what must not be done. It is likely that agreement holders will not be allowed to:

  • use fertilisers or manures
  • use supplementary feed
  • apply any lime
  • plough, cultivate or re-seed

Keeping records

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

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

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 management undertaken

Applicants will need to send the following with their application (to ensure no new access or drainage is added during the agreement period):

  • a map of permitted access routes
  • a map of the land drainage system (if any)

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

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

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following section gives advice on carrying out this option successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this option.

Dunes and shingle are important elements of coastal landscapes, with active processes creating variation in their structure. These coastal systems also act as an important form of natural sea defence, and thus play a significant part in adaptation to climate change. Sand and shingle should be allowed to accumulate or migrate inland following storms and other coastal processes.

While dune vegetation is establishing on the rollback areas some light grazing or cutting may be appropriate, but this should be very carefully monitored to avoid damage. Once dune vegetation is established grazing would be encouraged on most sites, but is not mandatory in all cases. Where dune grazing is not possible, a selective cutting regime is an acceptable alternative. On many shingle sites, neither grazing nor cutting is appropriate, but this option may still be used where the shingle forms part of a wider coastal system (see below). Any seaweed or driftwood accumulations should be retained.

Further information

Further information can be found on Buglife habitat management pages for:

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.