Ploughing up arable reversion

Morning all,
If a landlord were to put a parcel of ground into a hls scheme for 10 years at the end of that term could it be ploughed up or is it now classed as permanent pasture and cannot be touched?

Thanks

Rob
 
What you can do with regards to ploughing up pp is entwined with Environmental Impact Assessments. Guidance on these are here:

http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4038539?category=49001

This is about ploughing up uncultivated land which has been uncultivated for years, cultivation can include routine operations including fertiliser etc...

So it can be touched, as long as it doesn't fall under EIA regs, if it does you can then apply for an EIA assessment as to whether you can plough or not. If you are unsure about the EIA requirements there is a more simple screening process you can carry out with NE to determine if it falls within the criteria.

Assuming that this doesn't apply given you have detailed 10 years, then you do have the part of greening that will be applicable, which is 'not dropping below a certain amount of pasture' but- it is thought that this will take a very long time and unlikely that this will be breached given the amount of land that can't be ploughed e.g. national parks etc... so- as long as you have a look at the EIAs, feel happy you are acting outside of these then you can continue.
 
This is arable reversion land after stewardship came out 2 years ago applied for EIA screening 21/2 years ago and still no decision! In my experience steer well clear of arable reversion if you ever hope to be a farmer on that land again and not a "park keeper" without the payments. In my case they offered 60% of historic annual payment from 20 years ago. When you say "thanks but no thanks" they don't like it!
DSCF0020.JPG
 

Pedders

Member
Location
West Sussex
I reverted 125 acres of downland first into ESA then into HLS ....the ESA ran for 8 years then the HLS ran until its 5 year break clause .... so we were 13 years into the cycle ...as you say after 15 years it becomes a different game so not wishing to be locked in for ever I wrote and gave notice and left HLS ...we then just started cropping it ...heard nothing more from them
so my take on it is if its in reversion for less than 15 years and its previously been cultivated or improved in some way (any form of spraying or fertilising/liming) then you're ok ....go over that 15 years and you're b*ggered
 
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No "break clauses" in any of the CSS agreements; the EIA 2006 regulations were obviously introduced mid-term of my arable reversion.
Likewise no TFF to warn of the possible pitfalls.
As regards the OP once you sign up to HLS they may well introduce new or tighten existing environmental legislation which you may not be able to avoid because of the constraints of your HLS agreement. I wouldn't have a NE personnel on the farm following my ongoing "bad experiences."
 

Pedders

Member
Location
West Sussex
I wouldn't have a NE personnel on the farm following my ongoing "bad experiences."
nor me ....... a more obstructive and less farmer orientated organisation is hard to imagine
the poilitical change in this organisation that occurred between 1999 when my original ESA agreement started when they could not have been more helpful and accomodating to eight years later when HLS was introduced was truly staggering ...They had obviously been infiltrated by environmental activists and pressurised by the NGOs like RSPB etc tp put the farmer last in everything they did .
in their eyes the farmer is not part of the solution he's part of the problem
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
nor me ....... a more obstructive and less farmer orientated organisation is hard to imagine
the poilitical change in this organisation that occurred between 1999 when my original ESA agreement started when they could not have been more helpful and accomodating to eight years later when HLS was introduced was truly staggering ...They had obviously been infiltrated by environmental activists and pressurised by the NGOs like RSPB etc tp put the farmer last in everything they did .
in their eyes the farmer is not part of the solution he's part of the problem
From @ajcc 's post above, it appears that he has commited the cardinal sin of undertaking a "project to increase the productivity of land for agriculture". Shame on you @ajcc :rolleyes:

The world's gone mad!
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
Is there a change in the rules in respect of permanent pasture as around me it is being ploughed up as though PP was going out of fashion.
No change. It was always allowed to cultivate pp land as long as it had been 'improved' previously (within 15 years?), and it will remain the case after next year's reforms. I suspect a fair number still believe the panic stories that went about of a ban on ploughing pp coming in 2015, in which case this year could be deemed as the last chance to do it?
 

Pedders

Member
Location
West Sussex
No "break clauses" in any of the CSS agreements; the EIA 2006 regulations were obviously introduced mid-term of my arable reversion.
."
I would argue ...my interpretation of the rules is that if land has been REVERTED from agricultural production it is exempt from the 15 year improvement rule .....
land that is in a reversion scheme remains as it was at the beginning of the scheme for the whole term and and therefore it should be still treated as newly reverted land when it goes into HLS ..ie still at year 1 ..
it should only be if you take it out of a scheme and then don't do anything to it for 15 years that the 15 year rule applies .
But then as said above NE make the rules up as they go along to suit themselves and their current favourite fad .
 

renewablejohn

Member
Location
lancs
No change. It was always allowed to cultivate pp land as long as it had been 'improved' previously (within 15 years?), and it will remain the case after next year's reforms. I suspect a fair number still believe the panic stories that went about of a ban on ploughing pp coming in 2015, in which case this year could be deemed as the last chance to do it?
So how do you get away with "improved" if you have done nothing for 15 years apart from taking a hay/silage crop and spreading muck/fertiliser back on the land.
 
On balance better to plough pasture now before 2015 all these new BPS rules will be tweeked and fine tuned; whats the betting in the final UK draft environmental content will be strengthened not weakened. Probably through the back door of amended EIA regulations, while the farmers focus on BPS rules the "green lobby" that is NE will be getting EIA 2006 amended ostensively to keep up with new BPS.
Something along the lines of all pasture exciting enviro. schemes requiring EIA or all designated PP falling under EIA regs.(in an effort to simplify BPS) with the added bonus of keeping an army of green civil servants in gainful employment!
That is why the ploughs are out easy insurance against lack of trust.
 
I don't think that counts as unimproved ..if it was improved when it went in it has to remain improved when it comes out......
Not how DEFRA viewed it at the Screening Appeal but something that will be reiterated at the Remediation Appeal amongst other defences. But these civil servants are all watching each others backs, like the police complaints or army board of enquiry!
But to the OP and anyone else getting involved beware snakes in the grass. Speaking with a farming voice of experience.
 

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