GS16: Rush infestation control supplement

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the rush infestation control supplement.

How much is paid

£73 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this supplement

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier

Only on:

  • permanent grassland
  • on a single parcel of land with continuous rush cover of more than 50% of the parcel
  • only on a single parcel for a maximum of 3 years

Options to use with this supplement

This supplement must be used with 1 of the following options:

How this supplement will benefit the environment

This is a short-term incentive to reduce rush cover in parcels with heavy infestations. It will help prevent the loss of botanically rich grasslands or provide nesting areas for breeding wading birds.


  • graze or cut areas of dense rush growth every year so that rushes are less than 20cm high by 30 September
  • keep bare ground cover at less than 10% by year 2
  • reduce cover of dense rush growth to less than 30% of the parcel area by the end of year 3 of the agreement

Do not:

  • cut rushes between 15 March and 15 July

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
  • any sites grazed will require a grazing activity record

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 management undertaken

Applicants need to send a map showing the extent of rush cover with their application.

This supplement can be located on the same area as the following supplement:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this supplement

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

Maintaining rushes

The aim is to reduce heavy infestations of rushes to a cover below 30%. Cover should then be maintained at between 10% and 30%.


  • ensure damage to nests or disturbance of chicks is avoided when cutting
  • avoid controlling rush where there is standing or flowing water on or close to the surface for most of the year
  • avoid cutting areas where rush is growing in association with sphagnum mosses
  • graze with cattle, as sheep normally avoid grazing rush
  • wherever possible, remove cuttings to prevent low growing plants being smothered

Cutting machinery

The following machines are most appropriate for rush cutting:

  • a grass mower trailed by a tractor
  • a pasture topper
  • a forage harvester

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.