Date published: 20 January, 2023
The version of this page applicable to the AECS 2021 restricted round can be found in the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme full guidance archive.
Table of Contents
- Targeted capital items
- Non-targeted capital items which can stand alone
- Non-targeted capital items which can stand alone with prior approval from NatureScot
- Non-targeted capital items which must be linked to a management option
- Capital items for Improving Public Access (IPA)
- Recent changes
- Previous versions
For all applications, only essential capital items will be accepted. For agri-environment type applications this would include:
- Capital items that are directly required to deliver the management option, such as the capital item Creation of Wild Bird Seed for Farmland Birds which is essential for the Wild Bird Seed for Farmland Birds option.
- Essential complimentary capital items, such as Creation of Wader Scrapes or Cutting of Rush Pasture.
- Only capital items that are essential to deliver the outcome of your application.
It is not anticipated that applicants returning to the scheme from expired or expiring AECS contracts would seek funding for the same capital items in the same locations as in the original contract. The exception would be where the same capital item is needed in order to deliver essential ongoing management under the new application.
If you received funding for fencing in a previous AECS round you cannot apply for remedial or replacement fencing in a new AECS application. Similarly, you cannot apply for remedial or replacement fencing under AECS if you have received funding for fencing under another SRDP mechanism such as the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme.
You cannot apply for fencing costs to facilitate rotational grazing.
Stock Fencing costs are not permitted for any wader, corncrake or corn bunting options. However, temporary electric fencing can be applied for under these options where it is justified to deliver management. Temporary electric fencing comes under the Scare and Temporary Electric fencing capital item.
For Wild Bird Seed for Farmland Birds and Forage Brassica Crops for Farmland Bird only Temporary electric fencing can be used to enable management where that management is rotated around the farm over the contract period. The temporary electric fencing can then be re-used to enable management on subsequent plots. Fencing for forage brassica crops is only available where the site will be grazed by livestock
Stock fencing with these options will only be considered where a robust justification can be demonstrated by the applicant business.
For fences funded in the early rounds of the Rural Priorities Scheme or comparable previous schemes up to 2014 that are not expected to last another five years, applications can be considered for fencing costs on stretches of fence needing replaced subject to a site visit by the case officer to confirm the costs are justifiable. We recommend you seek advice before submitting your application.
Organic Conversion: As this option is to help farmers with the cost of converting their land to organic systems, capital items such as stock fences are not normally eligible. An exception may be made where the land was previously under a continually cropped arable system which is being converted to an organic system where grass and grazing are being re-introduced. Consequently you must supply a justification for any capital items applied under Organic Conversion, detailing why these should be considered as exceptional by the case officer.
Organic Maintenance: as this option supports the cost of maintaining an organic management system, capital costs are not eligible.
Targeted capital items
To apply for one of these capital items, it must first appear in your list of targeted management options and capital items, indicating that you are within the target area for the capital item (see Targeting Tool). It can be applied for on a stand-alone basis.
- Coastal Embankment Breaching, Lowering or Removal
- Control of Invasive Non-native Plant Species – Follow-up Monitoring and Treatment
- Control of Invasive Non-native Plant Species – Primary Treatment
- Hard Standings for Troughs and Gateways
- Livestock Crossing
- Livestock Tracks
- Managing Steading Drainage and Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems
- Pesticide Handling Facilities
- Rhododendron Control – Foliar Spray / Treatment for Rhododendron Control
- Rhododendron Control – Follow-up Treatment
- Rhododendron Control – Manual Eradication – Light, Medium or Difficult
- Rhododendron Control – Mechanised Eradication – Light, Medium or Difficult
- Rhododendron Control – Stem Injection Eradication – Medium or Difficult
- River Embankment Breaching, Lowering or Removal
- Restoring (Protecting) River Banks
- Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Pond
- Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Sediment Traps and Bunds
- Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Swales
- Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Wetland
- Slurry Storage (the target map has been revised for 2023)
- Water-use Efficiency – Irrigation Lagoon (the target map has been revised for 2023)
Non-targeted capital items which can stand alone
To apply for one of these capital items, the specific eligibility requirements must be met. Please check the full capital item wording.
- Alternative Watering
- Conversion of Deer Fence to Stock Fence
- Cutting of Rush Pasture - Only stand alone for white fronted geese, otherwise must be linked to a management option
- Deer Census – Helicopter Counts
- Enhancing or Modifying a Deer Fence
- Enhancing or Modifying a Stock Fence
- Heather Restoration (Remains suspended for 2023 round)
- Heather Restoration – Follow-up Molinia Control (Remains suspended for 2023 round)
- Muirburn and Heather Cutting (suspended for 2023 round)
- Planting of Dune Grasses
- Pond Creation and Restoration for Wildlife (suspended for 2023 round)
- Sand-blow Fencing
- Small-scale Tree and Shrub Planting (on a site not exceeding 0.25 hectares)
- Supplementary Feeding for Golden Eagles
- Upland Habitat Impact Assessment for Deer Management
- Wetland Creation – Field Drain Breaking
- Wetland Creation – Pipe Sluices
Non-targeted capital items which can stand alone with prior approval from NatureScot
To apply for one of these capital items on a stand-alone basis you must have prior approval from NatureScot. Otherwise, it must support a relevant management option.
- Control of Scrub – Follow-up treatment
- Control of Scrub or Woody Vegetation – Primary treatment – Intermediate and Heavy Vegetation
- Control of Scrub or Woody Vegetation – Primary treatment – Light Vegetation
- Control of Scrub or Woody Vegetation – Removal from Site of the Cut Vegetation
- Ditch Blocking – Peat Dams
- Ditch Blocking – Plastic Piling Dams
- Matting to Prevent Damage to Bogs
- Moving or Realigning Ditches
- Stock Bridges for Bog, Fen or Wetland Management
Non-targeted capital items which must be linked to a management option
To apply for one of these capital items, it must support a relevant management option.
- Coppicing of Hedges
- Creation of Wild Bird Seed for Farmland Birds
- Creation of Beetlebanks
- Creation of Buffer Areas for Fens and Bogs
- Creation of Chough Nest Shelter
- Creation of Cover for Corncrakes
- Creation of Green Manure
- Creation of Grass Strips and Water Margins in Arable Fields
- Creation of Low-input Grassland to Convert Arable Land at Risk of Erosion or Flooding
- Creation of Species-rich Grassland (Remains suspended for 2023 round)
- Creation of Wader Scrapes
- Cutting Stock Access Tracks for Bog or Wetland Management
- Deer Fence
- Diversionary Feeding for Hen Harriers
- Fence Removal
- Follow-up Treatment of Bracken – Mechanised or Chemical (Suspended for 2023 round)
- Laying of Hedges
- Open-range Deer Management
- Planting or Replanting of Hedges (Hedge planting linked to the Creation of Hedgerows option is limited to 500 metres per application)
- Post and Rail Tree Guards
- Primary Treatment of Bracken – Manual
- Primary Treatment of Bracken – Mechanised or Chemical (Suspended for 2023 round)
- Rabbit-proofing an Existing or New Stock or Deer Fence
- Replacement or Planting of Individual Trees within Ancient Wood Pasture or Hedgerows
- Restoration of Species-rich Grassland
- Restoring Drystone or Flagstone Dykes (Suspended for 2023 round)
- Scare and Temporary Electric Fencing
- Stock Fence
- Use of Seaweed as a Fertiliser on Cropped Machair
- Vole, Rabbit or Hare Guards
Capital items for Improving Public Access (IPA)
IPA is not opening for applications in 2023, therefore there are no IPA capital items available.
The guidance for IPA was updated for the 2022 round and the capital items requirements were further clarified. The IPA capital items below were available for 2022 round applications. Check the hyperlinks below for full details of each item’s individual specifications and requirements:
- Gabion Basket Retaining Wall
- Self-closing, One-way Opening Gate
- Self-closing, Two-way Opening Gate
- New Path - unbound surface
- Upgrade to an existing path
- Picnic Table
- Path Drainage Ditches / Pipe Culverts
- Stock Fence and Stock Gate for Improving Public Access
- Timber board and aggregate steps
|Whole page||Update for 2023.|
|Targeted capital items||Text “(the target map has been revised for 2023)” added at Slurry Storage – 2 February 23|