Minimum Stewardship Option Area

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Can anyone comment on what Natural England mean when they talk about the minimum area for an option, do they mean for the agreement or do they mean for a particular field? For example AB9 says a minimum of 0.4ha, I have 2 ha of AB9 but on my offer letter from Natural England some of the plots are only 0.25ha. In the last two years all my AB9 has been in blocks greater than 0.4Ha but going forward it would suit me to create a few smaller plots.
 
Can anyone comment on what Natural England mean when they talk about the minimum area for an option, do they mean for the agreement or do they mean for a particular field? For example AB9 says a minimum of 0.4ha, I have 2 ha of AB9 but on my offer letter from Natural England some of the plots are only 0.25ha. In the last two years all my AB9 has been in blocks greater than 0.4Ha but going forward it would suit me to create a few smaller plots.
I believe the minimum amount of AB9 you can have in an agreement is 0.4ha. So you would have to have that in one block.
If you have 2ha in your agreement then it is rotational and you can have as small block as 0.25 ha. but not less.

Do you still have a local NE case officer who can help. Probably not in our experience as everything now goes to the RPA and sadly the people there have no idea at all. You are also unlikely to get a reply for some weeks/months!
 

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Member
I believe the minimum amount of AB9 you can have in an agreement is 0.4ha. So you would have to have that in one block.
If you have 2ha in your agreement then it is rotational and you can have as small block as 0.25 ha. but not less.

Do you still have a local NE case officer who can help. Probably not in our experience as everything now goes to the RPA and sadly the people there have no idea at all. You are also unlikely to get a reply for some weeks/months!
It is so difficult getting anyone at NE/RPA to commit themselves!
 
In the option guide it says minimum .4 ha for ab 9
But they do give offers of .25 ha
That is fine
But when you get an inspection and the inspector say it says here minimum is .4 ha
And they put it in the report you have to appeal
So get in early with the inspector giving your reasons you should be allowed for the area you put

Being inspected at the moment will update what the result is when it is finalised
Not what is needed in the middle of harvest
 

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Member
I have had an inspection and I had to put the inspector straight on a few things. Also make sure that he is looking at the rules that were current when you signed up as rules do change.
 

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94: Advice around establishing herbal leys

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94: Advice around establishing herbal leys

Written by AHDB

In this episode, Danny Fanning, a Masters student from University College Dublin spent a two month placement at AHDB looking at Herbal Leys. During this time he spoke to Ian Wilkinson of Costwolds seeds about his farming practices and how he manages his herbal lays.

* Please note this episode was filmed outside, so in parts it can be...
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