BE4: Management of traditional orchards
Find out about eligibility and requirements for the management of traditional orchards option.
How much will be paid
£212 per hectare (ha).
Where to use this option
Available for Higher Tier
Whole or part-parcel
Only on traditional orchards (apple, pear, cherry, plum, damson or cobnut plats) where at least one-third of the original stations are occupied by trees over 25 years old.
Features that can be included in this option
The following features can be included if they are part of the parcel, even if they are ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
- rivers and streams (boundary or internal)
The features must be less than 4m wide for the majority of their length in the parcel.
How this option will benefit the environment
If successful there will be a well-managed traditional orchard with a range of healthy young and old trees. This includes established grass, tall bushy hedges, scrub and tall herb vegetation abundant with invertebrates, birds and wildflowers.
Agreement holders are likely to need to:
- manage grassland by grazing or hay cutting
- maintain the characteristic tree form by pruning
- restore tree numbers
- protect trees from damage by livestock
- keep and protect all mature and over-mature standing trees
- keep some standing deadwood and some deadwood on living trees
- use no manures, fertilisers, pesticides or supplementary feed
- control scrub and invasive species
- plough, cultivate or re-seed
- roll or harrow
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:
- receipted invoices, consents or permissions connected with any work
- records of all management activity on the option area for each parcel
- dates and locations of formative or maintenance pruning carried out for each parcel
- a base map or table showing the location, species, rootstock, variety and age class of trees present in each parcel
- a monthly record of stock numbers grazing each parcel
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:
- if managing by hay cutting, photographs of the areas cut and uncut in each parcel
- photographs of cut areas of scrub
Applicants will have to send the following with their application:
- a map of existing land drainage in each parcel
- a photograph of each tree entered into the option
The detailed requirements for this option will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.
These options and supplements can be located on the same area as this option:
- BE6 - Veteran tree surgery
- BE7 - Supplement for restorative pruning of fruit trees
- ED1 - Educational access
- GS15 - Haymaking supplement
- OR2 - Organic conversion - unimproved permanent grassland
- OR5 - Organic conversion - top fruit
- OT2 - Organic land management - unimproved permanent grassland
- OT5 - Organic land management - top fruit
- SP1 - Difficult sites supplement
- SP3 - Bracken control supplement
- SP4 - Control of invasive plant species supplement
- SP8 - Native breeds at risk supplement
- SP9 - Threatened species supplement
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.
Traditional orchards are defined as groups of fruit and nut trees planted on vigorous rootstocks at low densities in permanent grassland, and managed in a low intensity way. Cobnut plats are included.
Prevent weeds from competing with newly planted trees for water and nutrients. Keep a 1m diameter circle clear of all vegetation for at least the first 3 years after planting.
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.
- Update to 'keeping records' section.
- First published.