How much will be paid
£511 per hectare (ha).
Where to use this option
It is available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier on whole or part parcels in rotation on:
- arable land
- temporary grass
- bush orchards
Where this option cannot be used
- On organic land or on land in conversion to organic status
- On land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
How this option will benefit the environment
It provides areas of flowering plants to boost essential food sources for beneficial pollinators.
If successful there will be:
- an abundant supply of pollen and nectar-rich flowers between early and late summer
- pollinating insects such as bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies and hoverflies using the flowers
You must establish in blocks or strips between 1 March and 15 September by sowing a grass-free seed mix which contains a minimum of 6 flower species. At least 2 of these must be from the following list. But no single species should exceed 50% of the total seed mix by weight:
- common knapweed
- musk mallow
- oxeye daisy
- wild carrot
In the first 12 months after sowing you are allowed to regularly cut to help the sown species to establish.
You must then manage established nectar flower mix plots as follows:
- rotationally cut half (50%) of the plot area each year between 15 May and 15 June – do not cut the same area in successive years
- cut the whole plot (100%) each year between 15 September and 30 March
Always remove or shred cuttings to prevent weed ingress and patches of dead material developing.
- graze between 15 March and 31 August
You must keep the following records and supply them on request:
- seed invoices
- field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
- stock records to show grazing activity on parcels
- photographs of the established mixture
We may ask to see these at any point during your agreement, this could be as part of an administrative check or during an inspection.
On your annual claim you must declare that you have not carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.
Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option
The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.
Pick the right location
Use lower-yielding areas with a sunny aspect, facing south or south-southwest.
Avoid planting under overhanging trees, next to tall hedges or on land facing north or east. Leave access to surrounding crops to allow for management.
Block and plot sizes
Use wide margins and big blocks between 0.25ha and 0.5ha. This lets insects move to safety when you are spraying fields.
Spacing five 0.5ha patches evenly within 100ha meets the food needs of many pollinators.
What to sow
A seed mix which contains both shorter-lived legumes and longer-lived wild flower species delivers an extended supply of pollen and nectar from late spring through to the autumn for beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths.
You can sow the following example mix on a range of soil types:
||% inclusion rate
|Early flowering red clover
|Late flowering red clover
Sow the seed mix at 15 kg/ha.
On light free draining soils you can replace common vetch with sainfoin.
How to sow
Sow by broadcasting seeds rather than drilling, when the soil is warm and moist. Use a ring roll before and after sowing. Check regularly for slug damage.
Cut emerging flowers and weeds at least twice in year 1, and up to 4 times if necessary where the soil is particularly fertile. Regular cutting prevents weeds smothering the slow-growing flowers so all sown species can establish successfully.
You can graze livestock on plots between 1 September and 14 March, but make sure that they do not cause any poaching or soil compaction. Avoid supplementary feeding as this can result in poaching and soil compaction.
Remember you must keep nectar plots until at least 31 December in year 5 of the agreement.
You can find more information in the Growing farm wildlife video which gives a step-by-step approach to sowing nectar flower mixtures.
Growing farm wildlife
See the Mid Tier or Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.