SB2: Scrub control - difficult sites

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the scrub control - difficult sites item.

How much will be paid

Up to 80% of actual costs.

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier

Only on sites that either:

  • need specialist operations or machinery, with costs that cannot be covered by the scheme’s fixed-rate scrub control payments - this includes sensitive habitats and areas with difficult or hazardous working conditions, such as steep slopes, bogs and islands
  • or have it as a requirement of an approved Forestry Commission woodland management plan

Where this item cannot be used

  • to control dwarf and western gorse, as these are key parts of heathland
  • to manage scrub by grazing


  • send at least 3 written quotations for completing the work to Natural England or the Forestry Commission - quotes must identify associated costs
  • carry out scrub control during the autumn and winter
  • follow guidance on what to do with any stumps and how to dispose of cut material
  • control re-growth

Keeping records

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

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • records of when the scrub control was carried out
  • a record of any pesticide or herbicide treatments, including dates and locations
  • a Forestry Commission approved Woodland Management Plan or a Natural England approved implementation plan, if relevant
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • receipted invoices or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • photographs of the completed work

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • the 3 quotes for completion of the work
  • photograph before works commence
  • item specification if required

If the work is set out in one of the following, applicants will need to send it with their application:

  • a Forestry Commission Woodland Management Plan approval letter
  • a Natural England approved implementation plan

The detailed requirements for this item will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

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


Cut scrub to ground level. Don’t disturb the roots or leave protruding stems.   

For stump removal use the TE12 - Stump grinding.

Further information

See the 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.