Habitat Mosaic Management

Date published: 14 September, 2023

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

The aim of this option is to maintain and improve areas of farmland that are made up of a patchwork or mosaic of traditional semi-natural habitats that need to be managed as a single unit.

Habitat mosaics may include wetland, wet grassland, species-rich grassland, tall-herb communities, scrub, heathland and scattered pockets of woodland or wood pasture amongst others. They often support a range of important wildlife.

Land that contains a mosaic of habitat types is eligible.

You should not include areas of land covering rocks, scree, water, dense bracken etc. We will check this using the same approach we use to check land for the Basic Payment Scheme.

Assessing your land eligibility

This option is available throughout Scotland.

You must identify on a map the locations of the habitat mosaic to be managed.

Where the land proposed for management is hill and upland rough grazing you must have an endorsement from NatureScot before you apply. Please complete and send the Endorsement Request Form to NatureScot well in advance of the closing date and using the template provided. Along with the form you must provide evidence that target habitats are present by submitting either:

  • a Phase 1 habitat survey that demonstrates the presence of the target habitats, or
  • an existing National Vegetation Classification survey demonstrating the site contains the target species

You must manage the same location and extent each year for the duration of your contract.

  • you must adhere to an approved grazing regime, defining the livestock units and dates

We strongly advise that you use the template below. If you choose to create your own plan, then you MUST provide all information requested in the template.

Failure to do so may result in your plan being deemed not fit for purpose and the option or item removed from your application.

  • do not apply fertiliser, slurry or farmyard manure
  • do not apply lime, unless you have prior approval
  • do not allow the land to become poached or vehicle tracked
  • do not carry out supplementary livestock feeding unless with prior written approval
  • do not spray, except for the spot-treatment of injurious weeds (requires prior written notification) or treatment of invasive species (requires prior written approval)
  • you must maintain a diary

You can claim £93.20 per hectare per year.

The inspectors will check:

  • you have adhered to your approved grazing regime which defines the livestock units and dates of grazing
  • you have not applied fertiliser, slurry or farmyard manure
  • you have not applied lime, unless you have prior approval
  • you have not allowed the land to become poached or vehicle tracked
  • you have not carried out supplementary livestock feeding unless with prior written approval
  • you have not sprayed, unless with prior written notification or approval as appropriate
  • you have maintained a diary

Section Change
Application requirements Added text re. Endorsement Request Form and change from Scottish Natural Heritage to NatureScot.

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