land registered as ‘fully organic’ by a Defra-licensed organic control body
parcels that are managed primarily for the production of top fruit (such as apples, pears and plums) and permanent bush crops (such as gooseberries and redcurrants)
orchards that are fully stocked at the appropriate spacing for the species and variety of the fruit tree or bush
Where this option cannot be used
on orchards that are used for the production of alcoholic drinks
on orchards that are not in commercial production
How this option will benefit the environment
Maintains top fruit orchards under organic management, providing a range of environmental and public benefits.
comply with organic standards for the life of the agreement
keep a 1m diameter circle around the base of all newly planted trees clear of vegetation for at least 3 years after planting
protect trees to prevent damage from livestock and wild animals
manage tree guards to prevent any damage to growing trees
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:
a valid organic certificate and schedule for all the parcels entered into this option at application and on your annual claim – RPA will not request this information if you have already supplied it for a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claim
sales receipts for fruit crops - submitted with annual claim
field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
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 evidence:
photographs of the trees entered into this option
Applicants will have to send the following with their application:
conversion plan map showing planting spacing and species - this can be marked on any map including the Farm Environment Record (FER)
Related Mid Tier options
Other Countryside Stewardship options and supplements relevant to orchard 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.
Permanent ineligible features may be eligible as part of the option area if registered with a control body.