BN1: Stone-faced bank repair

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the stone-faced bank repair item.

How much will be paid

£31 per metre (m). The payment rate is for the total length of boundary under the option (not for each side of the boundary).

Where to use this item

Available for Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier, Higher Tier and Capital Grants.

  • Only on lengths of stone-faced bank where less than 50% of the original height needs to be rebuilt.
  • Can only be used when the applicant has “management control” of both sides of the boundary.

How this item will benefit the environment

If successful there will be a rebuilt length of stone-faced bank.


  • build the bank back to its original height and profile to reflect other banks found locally
  • carefully strip any loose stone back by hand, without disturbing the basal courses, until there are firm stones to build on
  • use the original facing stone if it is available
  • only use imported stone that matches the type, size and style traditional to the area
  • haul the stone only when ground conditions are firm enough to prevent damage to neighbouring fields
  • build the stone up in courses, using progressively smaller stones nearer the top, and making sure that the stones sit firmly on the course below
  • back-fill each course with earth and small stones, or closely packed small stones
  • tamp each course down to form a solid core before continuing with the next course
  • stagger joints and incorporate long stones at intervals so that they run lengthways into the middle of the bank as tie stones
  • build each face of the bank so it has a slight ‘batter’ (slope)
  • finish off the top with a row of large flat stones, vertical stones or a layer of turf, depending on local practice
  • make sure the top line of the bank is level with the ground
  • make sure that no healthy mature trees are disturbed
  • finish the ends of the bank at gateways with turfing or stone-facing, and protect it from being damaged by livestock and machinery
  • retain and restore old features such as creep holes, built granite troughs or stone around gateways
  • restore any stiles or gates to their original construction
  • remove any surplus earth-fill and stones from the site after completion of the work and restore the ground around it

Do not:

  • block or restrict access to open access land
  • carry out work between 1 March and 31 August if the bank is topped by a hedge
  • take stone from other walls, banks or buildings
  • remove soil from other banks, even if they are derelict
  • damage the roots of mature trees growing on the banks with machinery
  • place stone on features of archaeological, historic or wildlife value as identified on your FER, Environmental Information Map or HEFER (where applicable)

Keeping records

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

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • photographs of each length of stone-faced bank entered into the item

Please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the relevant manual Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Capital Grants for more detail.

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

  • photographs during and after work has been completed

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

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

Determine the original height and profile of stone-faced banks by referring to other banks in good condition nearby. These are usually at least 1.3m wide at the base, 1.3m high, and 600mm to 800mm wide at the top.

Further information

Read more information about Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Capital Grants including how to apply

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 9 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated Where to use this item and how much will be paid.

  2. Added in links to Capital Grants manual as this option is now available for Capital Grants

  3. Updated for 2017 applications.

  4. Information updated for applications in 2016.

  5. First published.