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Habitat Grazing Management - Actual Cost Capital Item

Option closed to new applications

This item supports land managers in carrying out additional shepherding work to benefit moorland and upland habitats within an SSSI or Natura site. It will improve the condition of moorland and upland vegetation and associated wildlife on SSSIs and Natura sites by spreading sheep grazing more evenly across the site.

It can help to address localised overgrazing or undergrazing issues where other approaches would be impractical or ineffective. It can help to support the introduction of a big change in management, to provide a short-term input to help with the transition from one form of management to another. For example, to support the introduction of moorland restoration, where heather is particularly vulnerable to over-grazing after burning has been re-introduced to an under-managed hill. Once a burning regime with its patchwork of burnt areas has been re-established, normal shepherding levels will be sufficient to manage flocks and ensure newly burnt areas are not over-grazed. Similarly, it could also be used to move stock off areas where heavy infestations of bracken have been controlled.

Where grazing patterns are disturbed by very significant changes to flock numbers through the introduction of away- or off-wintering, it might be used to establish new hefts or change grazing patterns and the use of the hill.

You can apply for this item if your Moorland Management Plan identifies a need for extra shepherding to address local overgrazing or undergrazing issues, where other approaches would be ineffective or impractical. It is not available to address an overgrazing problem caused by feeding locations or inappropriate stock numbers. It goes beyond the requirements of Cross Compliance.

Your Moorland Management Plan must specify where and when the extra shepherding will be carried out and explain how it will benefit the condition of your moorland. It will include indicators that can be used to check the effects on the vegetation (these might include, for example, sward heights or proportion of shrubby vegetation present).

Your Moorland Management Plan must also specify the number of years and the amount of time required in each year.

If you are also applying for either the Management of Moorland Grazing Option or Moorland grazings on Uplands and Peatlands Option, you must justify why you need to apply for the Habitat Grazing Management item as well.

You must deliver a programme of extra shepherding to achieve specific benefits for the moorland/upland vegetation, as specified in your Moorland Management Plan.

You must submit an annual record of management to record the work undertaken each year. This will include the number of hours and the time of year (for example: "1 extra hour per day, for 6 days a week, from 1 March to 31 October inclusive"). Your record should also note any problems encountered, any visible signs of change in the target habitat, and any changes in sheep grazing behaviour (e.g. whether they have willingly spent more/less time on different parts of the unit).

Under this item the cost of additional labour required to deliver the habitat grazing management is eligible for support. We will pay you at £7.82 per hour.

If you wish to undertake Habitat Grazing Management, please enter it as an Actual Costs Capital Item in your online proposal. Please enter a separate Actual Costs row for every year that the work will take place. In the "Unit Cost" box, please enter £7.82.

Please note that if sheep are the only livestock used to graze the site, Habitat Grazing Management is only available under the following annual recurrent options: Wildlife Management on Upland and Peatland Sites, Away-Wintering of Sheep, Off-Wintering of Sheep, Muirburn and Heather Swiping.

Where the livestock used to graze the site includes both cattle and sheep, Habitat Grazing Management is also available under the: Management of Moorland Grazing or Management of Moorland Grazing on Uplands and Peatlands Options.

Payment Rate/Actual Cost

We will make a payment of up to 100% of eligible costs (at the rate of £7.82 per hour).

Claims must be supported by an invoice or other evidence of the work.