OR1: Organic conversion – improved permanent grassland

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the organic conversion (improved permanent grassland) option.

How much will be paid

£75 per hectare (ha) per year for up to 2 years.

Where to use this option

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier

Whole parcel

Only on:

  • land registered as ‘in conversion’ with a Defra-licensed organic control body
  • improved and semi-improved permanent grassland
  • arable land, where the land is to be reverted to permanent grassland as part of a Countryside Stewardship agreement

Where this option cannot be used

  • on parcels that have previously been registered with an organic control body by the applicant
  • on parcels for which the applicant has previously received conversion aid

How this option will benefit the environment

It helps to convert permanent grassland from conventional management to organic management.


  • follow the Conversion Plan agreed with an organic control body for the land and associated stock
  • comply with organic standards from the start of organic conversion to the end of the agreement
  • make sure that all land has completed conversion and is registered as ‘fully organic’ before the end of the agreement

Applicants will have to send with their application, either:

  • a copy of the Conversion Plan agreed with the organic control body; or
  • a fully completed viability plan
  • and; evidence land is improved permanent grassland or rough grazing

Keeping records

Agreement holders who submitted a viability assessment with their application must start their organic conversion process and submit a copy of the conversion plan (agreed with the organic control body) with their first payment claim.

All agreement holders will need to supply a valid organic certificate and schedule with their annual payment claims.

Agreement holders will need to keep up to date and supply on request Conversion Plan approved by an organic control body.

The Organic management – improved permanent grassland option (OT1), should follow on from this option, when the organic conversion period is completed.

Other Countryside Stewardship options and supplements relevant to grassland management may be used on the same land area where eligibility rules allow.

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

This section gives advice on carrying out this option successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this option.

Improved and semi-improved grassland

To qualify as improved or semi-improved grassland, at least 2 of these need to apply:

  • cover of both ryegrass and white clover is more than 10%
  • the sward is not species rich (15 or fewer species per square metre, including grasses)
  • there is a low cover (less than 30%) of wildflowers and sedges, excluding white clover, buttercup, injurious weeds

Permanent ineligible features may be eligible as part of the option area if registered with a control body.

Further information

See the Mid Tier manual or 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.