Endorsements

Date published: 22 December, 2016

For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.

Introduction

A new element in the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme is that many management options and some capital items have been spatially targeted.

This means they will only be available in parts of the country where they will deliver the greatest benefit.

You can find out which options are available on the holdings that form part of your farm business using our targeting tool. Please note that updates to spatial targeting may change the options that you're eligible to apply for.

Targeting

In exceptional circumstances, you may apply for a management option or capital item that is not targeted on your holding. However, you must meet the criteria for endorsement outside the target area, as shown in table one (below) and you must obtain an endorsement before submitting your AECS application, as explained below.

Requests for endorsements should be made to Scottish Natural Heritage or Forestry Commission Scotland, depending on the management option or capital item concerned.

Natural heritage designated sites

These include Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.

If you wish to carry out management to benefit an SSSI and / or Natura site, you can apply for any management options (with the exception of the Hen Harrier Grassland Management option which is only available in Orkney) or capital items which will benefit the special features of the site, even if they do not appear on your list of targeted options.

This includes circumstances where the work that will benefit the site's features takes place on your holding but partially or wholly outside the site itself.

You will need to submit an endorsement from Scottish Natural Heritage with your application. This needs to confirm that the option or capital item you have chosen will benefit the features of the designated site.

You can visit the Scottish Natural Heritage website to check the location of the designated site.

Designated site

You are strongly advised to seek advice from Scottish Natural Heritage before drafting an application for a designated site. If you do not, and Scottish Natural Heritage has significant issues with the management you propose for the designated site, this may prejudice the success of your application.

Contact Scottish Natural Heritage

If you include ineligible items in your application it will be rejected and you should first read the scheme guidance on designations before applying.

Agri-Environment Climate Scheme – full scheme guidance

You should also read the terms and conditions laid out in How to Apply guidance.

Agri-Environment Climate Scheme – how to apply

How to request an endorsement

If you wish to seek an endorsement then you must submit a request to Scottish Natural Heritage or Forestry Commission Scotland.

If you are permitted an endorsement, you must submit this with your AECS application.

Please use the form below if you are requesting an endorsement from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Check Table 1 below to see whether the management option or capital item you wish to apply for this year is listed and to check which organisation to contact. Only those management options or capital items listed in Table 1 will be considered for endorsement.

In seeking an endorsement you will need to meet the criteria specified for each management option or capital item listed. Scottish Natural Heritage or Forestry Commission Scotland will clarify whether you need to provide any further evidence.

In most cases the endorsement will confirm that the options you have selected are eligible, will benefit the objectives of management and that the location in which you wish to carry out the management is appropriate.

In the endorsement request form, you will also need to provide a justification that the management option or capital item that you are proposing can deliver the benefits expected under that management option or capital item in the target area.

Table 1
Management option or capital item Criteria for endorsement outside target areas Endorsing organisation
Management or Restoration of HedgerowsThe hedgerow has been created under a legacy agri-environment schemeSNH
Unharvested Conservation Headlands for WildlifePresence of corn buntings according to existing recordsSNH
Wader Grazed Grassland

Wader and Wildlife Mown Grassland
You must meet one of the criteria below:

- you have provided evidence, from records held by an independent national wildlife organisation (e.g. RSPB), that curlew, lapwing or redshank have been recorded breeding on the proposed management areas in at least one breeding season within the last five years

(Where data does not exist for the proposed management area then you may commission independent surveys to establish that curlew, lapwing or redshank were breeding in the proposed management area in at least one breeding season before seeking an endorsement)

or

- alternatively, you have provided evidence you are part of a wader project

For either of the above, you must supply a completed vulnerable priority species recording form setting out:
- which waders you are targeting
- on which LPIDs
- the evidence of the target wader species recorded on each LPID
SNH
Moorland Management

Stock Disposal

Away Wintering Sheep

Summer Hill Grazing of Cattle
Presence of a habitat on your holding that would benefit from management under one or more of these options, including blanket bog and wet heathSNH
Tall-herb Vegetation ManagementPresence of tall herb vegetation which would benefit from management under this optionSNH
Control of Invasive Non-native Plant SpeciesThe land on the holding is part of an area-wide, coordinated strategy for controlling invasive plants, or you are first land manager in your area to have the plant species on your landSNH
Rhododendron ControlThe land on the holding is part of an area-wide, co-ordinated approach for controlling a whole population of rhododendron; and work is essential to control or prevent invasion of a notable site (Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest or ancient semi-natural woodland site); and/or necessary to secure another investment in controlling a population of rhododendronSNH/FCS
Any management option or capital item to benefit a designated siteThe choice and location of option(s) and/or capital item(s) will benefit the feature(s) of the designated siteSNH
Any management option or capital item to benefit pearl musselsThe choice and location of options and/or capital items will benefit freshwater mussels out-with a designated siteSNH

Recent changes

Section Change
IntroductionAddition of requirement to obtain an endorsement before submitting your application to this scheme.
How to request and endorsement (previously Application process)Clarification that endorsements must be submitted with your application.
Table oneChange from 'all of' to 'one of' in the criteria for Wader grazed grassland
Re-formatting of text to clarify criteria for endorsement outside of Wader and wildlife mown grassland

Previous versions

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