WN1: Grip blocking drainage channels

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the grip blocking drainage channels item.

How much will be paid

£14.80 per block.

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier

Only where:

  • grip blocking will contribute to restoration of priority habitats
  • re-wetting can provide habitat for breeding waders
  • the Environment Agency gives written support regarding impact on flood risk
  • blocking of grips or drainage channels is included in an implementation plan or feasibility study agreed with Natural England

This item must be used with 1 of the following options:

How this item will benefit the environment

It will maintain and restore moorland habitats, vegetation mosaics and associated wildlife. If successful there will be restored, re-wetted moorland and peatland habitats supporting target vegetation and species.


Agreement holders are likely to need to block grips or drainage channels as agreed in the implementation plan or feasibility study ensuring:

  • the blocks are wider than the grip and keyed into grip sides to prevent breaching and erosion
  • the grips are blocked from the top downwards
  • dams match the topography with varied positions at around 7m apart (but no more than 10m apart)
  • the grips can fill to a water level above the base of the next dam higher up the slope
  • the top of dams are slightly higher than ground level after installation and natural shrinkage, water then overflows away from the dam and soaks into the ground
  • a very low ground pressure excavator with wide tracks is used when grip blocking

Inspect all grips and blocks ensuring that:

  • there are no breaches in grips and blocks
  • excess water from the grip does not flow into the channel below the block
  • excess water across the moor soaks into the ground, down slope from the grip
  • no water flows between dams except for natural peak surface water

Take photographs and write records of inspections. Send these to Natural England within 1 month of inspection if the work does not meet the requirements.

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

  • damage surface vegetation
  • expose bare soil or peat
  • establish linear routes

Keeping records

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

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • photographs of the completed work

Applicants will need to send the following with their application:

  • a copy of the implementation plan or feasibility study, where applicable
  • photographs of a sample (2%) of the sites that will be blocked
  • Environment Agency advice if required

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

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

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

Employ specialist contractors

Consider employing specialist contractors to do this work.

Pick the right location

Pick areas:

  • where deep peat soils can support peat-forming blanket bog vegetation
  • targeted by Natural England as priority habitat for moorland and blanket bog

Managing historic and archaeological features

Show the location of any features of historic or archaeological importance in the Implementation Plan to avoid damaging them.

Using vehicles and machines on site

Reduce machine damage by adding steps in the implementation plan to factor in:

  • site access tracks
  • the surrounding habitat
  • the use of low pressure and appropriate machines

Further information

Information on the best ways to grip block different sites can be found on the Yorkshire Peat Partnership website.

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.