It is available for Higher Tier if you send an assessment of the existing biological interest of the site (particularly related to protected species) with your application.
Where this item cannot be used
For routine agricultural maintenance or to drain land prone to waterlogging.
How this item will benefit the environment
It restores the wildlife value of overgrown or neglected ditches and helps to establish raised water levels for restoring or creating habitats.
carry out the restoration work between 1 July and 28 February (the exact timing will be determined by the pre-application assessment)
only re-profile or cut deeper than the original profile by agreement with the adviser
if re-profiling, create a variety of depths in the channel, from 70 centimetres (cm) to 100cm, grading to a shallow, wet, marginal fringe
if re-profiling, make sure the profile varies, with most of the slopes between 30 and 45 degrees
work from one bank in an upstream direction, restoring only half the ditch in any one year
restore one side of the ditch along its full length, or alternate 100m sections along both sides
retain any in-channel features such as gravel beds, riffles and natural meanders
create berms along the sides of the ditch
secure material at the downstream end of the ditch during dredging or re-profiling to capture silt in the water, and remove this when any silt has settled
place the spoil on top of the bank or in the field next to it, making sure that it is not used to fill hollows or low areas within the field
make sure that the spoil is not placed on historic or archaeological features
spread the spoil thinly to prevent a spoil bank from forming
place all fences at least 1m away from the edge of the bank top
The agreement will set out what you cannot do. You probably will not be allowed to:
reprofile or cut deeper than the original profile unless by agreement with the adviser
fill hollows or low areas within the field with spoil
place spoil on historic or archaeological feature
Before applying for this item you should make sure you have any relevant consents, for example from the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board or Historic England. You do not need to provide this with your application, but you must send any consents with your payment claim.
You must keep the following records and supply them with your payment claim:
any Environmental Agency, Internal Drainage Board or Historic England advice or consent if needed
Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item
The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.
Where to use this item
Use this item on ditches that have become silted up through neglect and have channels that need to be cleaned and banks that need to be reprofiled. Using this item will create a more varied habitat for wildlife.
You can also use this item to prevent the degradation of historic environment features and waterlogged archaeological deposits by helping to support high water levels.
Re-profiling ditches, dykes and rhines
The profile of restored ditches, dykes and rhines should reflect the character of existing features in the local area.