This is an old version of the page

Date published: 27 May, 2015

Date superseded: 30 December, 2015

Updates to last version

  • Wild Bird Seed for Farmland Birds option added to Table 1
  • clarification of the availability of options on an SSSI and / or Natura site

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 your holding using our targeting tool.


The decision-making process for the spatial targeting will be published on the Rural Payments and Services website later in 2015. The approach to spatial targeting will be reviewed at the end of 2015 and revisions to targeting maps will be considered for the 2016 application period.

In exceptional circumstances, you may apply for a management option or capital item that is not targeted on your holding. However, your application must meet the criteria for endorsement outside the target area.

For the 2015 application period, endorsements for options outside target areas are restricted to well-justified applications for those management options and capital items specified in Table 1 (below).

Requests for endorsements should be made to Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland or SEPA, 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

We would advise you to seek advice from Scottish Natural Heritage before drafting an application for a designated site, especially if you are uncertain how your proposal may affect the site.

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

If you wish to apply for an endorsement then you must submit a request to Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland or SEPA and ensure that the endorsement is submitted together with your application.

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

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, Forestry Commission Scotland or SEPA will clarify whether you need to provide any further evidence.

However, 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 your application, 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, restoration or creation of hedgerowsThe hedgerow has been created under a legacy agri-environment scheme (this applies only to the management and restoration of existing hedges and not hedgerow creation)SNH
Unharvested conservation headlands for wildlifePresence of corn buntings according to existing recordsSNH
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
Wild Bird Seed for Farmland BirdsThis management option is undertaken in OrkneySNH
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
Retention of winter stubbles for wildlife and water quality


Grass strips in arable fields

Water margins in grassland fields

Converting arable at risk of erosion or flooding to low-input grassland

Managing steading drainage and Rural

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Pesticide handling facilities

Hard standings for troughs and gateways

Livestock tracks

Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Sediment Traps and Bunds

Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Swales

Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Retention Pond
The holding is located within a Diffuse Pollution Priority Catchment or Focus Area (for example, as a result of new Priority Catchments and Focus Areas introduced after the target maps for these options were defined). If you are unsure whether your holding lies within a Priority Catchment or Focus Area please contact SEPA
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

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