OR2: Organic conversion – unimproved permanent grassland

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

How much will be paid

£50 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
  • unimproved permanent grassland and rough grazing that is below the moorland line

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

This option supports conversion of unimproved grassland to organic management.

If successful there will be an increase in the overall area of land registered and managed as organic.

Requirements

  • 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

Keeping records

Agreement holders who submitted a viability plan 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 a conversion plan that has been approved by an organic control body.

The Organic management – unimproved permanent grassland option (OT2), 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

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

Unimproved grassland

To qualify as unimproved grassland, at least 2 of the following need to apply:

  • cover of both ryegrass and white clover is less than 10%
  • the sward is species rich (more than 15 species per square metre, including grasses)
  • there is a high cover (more than 30%) of wildflowers and sedges, excluding white clover, creeping buttercup or injurious weeds

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

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