UP4: Management of moorland vegetation supplement

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the management of moorland vegetation supplement.

How much will be paid

£10 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this supplement

Available for Higher Tier

With the UP3 - Management of moorland option.

Only when land is within the moorland line and Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs) and where one of the following is needed:

  • for the management of vegetation where additional interventions will be required, for example restoration burning or cutting followed by the addition of Sphagnum
  • significant changes to vegetation management, to bring about favourable or recovering condition of designated sites or functionality of priority habitats and to benefit priority species

Where this supplement cannot be used

To support existing burning or cutting regimes, or minor modifications to them.

How this supplement will benefit the environment

It is for carrying out an appropriate programme of vegetation management to contribute to restoration and improvement in functionality of priority habitats such as dry heath, wet heath and blanket bog where significant changes to current management are required.

If successful there will be a significant change to burning and/or cutting management so that it is carried out to promote restoration of habitats. These changes will have created more diverse vegetation or opportunities for colonisation by key species such as Sphagnum. There will also be positive impacts on water quality, reduced erosion and enhanced carbon storage.


Agreement holders are likely to need to follow a programme of management as agreed in UP3 - Management of moorland.

Keeping records

A valid Wildfire Risk Assessment and a Wildfire Response Plan (agreed with fire service) will be needed. For guidance and example plans see the Forestry Commission’s guide. Copies of the Wildfire Risk Assessment and, where required, the Wildfire Response Plan and Wildfire Management Plan will need to be submitted with the first claim.

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:

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

Pick the right site

On deep peat (blanket bog, other mires) and wet heath, this supplement should only be used when there is a clear need identified in a restoration plan. Do not burn these habitats unless specified as part of a restoration plan or as part of an agreed wildfire management plan.

Other examples of where the UP4 supplement could be considered may include:

  • re introduction of burning to dry heath habitats as part of a Site Restoration Plan (for example to control woody re-growth or manage fire risk)
  • to create habitat conditions suitable for specific priority species
  • to facilitate a switch from burning to cutting management as part of a Site Restoration Plan
  • to improve management of western gorse heath by cutting as part of a Site Restoration Plan
  • to implement fire risk mitigation planning as part of a Site Restoration Plan
  • to encourage tailored management of vegetation on historic features

This supplement should not be used:

  • on dry heath where burning or cutting are required to achieve economic outcomes. To introduce burning to wet heath or blanket bog habitat for any reasons other than as part of a Site Restoration or Wildfire Management Plan
  • where burning or cutting would damage historic environment features
  • on montane habitats or where damage to woodland or environmentally valuable scrub may occur
  • to support the rotational burning of purple moor-grass on wet heath, but cutting may be appropriate

Taking care of historic or archaeological features

Sometimes these features may benefit from management that controls vegetation cover and in some cases burning is preferred to cutting. Avoid burning where heat may damage features such as boundary stones, or cutting where damage may be caused by machinery. Refer to the Management of Moorland option prescriptions and seek advice from the Natural England advisor. Do not cross historic or archaeological features with access routes for heavy machinery and vehicles.

Further information

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. Updated information for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.