Checklist of requirements for applications

Date published: 23 January, 2021

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

This page provides a summary of the information that should be submitted as part of an Agri-Environment Climate Scheme application.

It should be read in conjunction with:

This list is not exhaustive and you will need to check the requirements of your specific application to determine which supporting documentation should be submitted.

Missing documents may make your application ineligible.

Once you commence the online application process you should regularly review the ‘supporting documents’ section of your AECS application to check which documents have been uploaded or submitted through the post or directly to the relevant area office.

This will help you ensure that all the relevant information in support of your application is provided before the application window closes and avoid its rejection due to missing documentation.

If you are unable to provide any of the documents below for reasons beyond your control please contact RPID before the submission deadline to make them aware of the difficulty (taking a note of the method of contact, officer alerted to issue, date and time).

All applications require*:

Online data entry (LPIDs, lengths, areas, etc)

Farm Environment Assessment (FEA)_-.

Please note that the FEA requirements have changed for the 2021 round and you should read the FEA webpage carefully.

Applications to benefit designated sites (SSSIs and Natura sites) and applications to benefit waders, corn bunting or corncrakes require the following:

- A Contextual Map and a Farm Environment Management Map (for smaller holdings these could be put on the same map).

Applications for Organic options, Slurry Stores or Improving Public Access (IPA) do not require an FEA - see the individual option guidance for requirements for these options.

Diffuse pollution risk assessments: For the restricted AECS 2021 application round there is no requirement for a diffuse pollution field-based or steading risk assessment or maps.

All moorland applications require the following:

  • Moorland Management and Grazing Plan
  • Map of moorland habitats
  • Map of access routes and supplementary feed sites
  • Map of proposed management

Other moorland plans maps and records may be required:

  • Muirburn Plan and Map
  • Peatland Restoration Plan and Map
  • Bracken Management Plan and Map
  • Deer Management Plan
  • Predator Control Plan and Map
  • If you apply for Stock Disposal or Away wintering you must submit copies of your flock records with your application

  • Specific plans / maps as required (check the requirements for the individual options and capital items that you are applying for):
    • Wader Management Plan (this is new for 2021)
    • Grazing Management Plan
    • Hedgerow Management Plan
    • Lowland Raised Bog Management Plan
    • Peatland Restoration Plan
    • Scrub Control Plan
    • Chough Management Plan
    • Cropped Machair Management Plan
    • Bracken Management Plan and Map
    • Grass Strips in Arable Fields – summary template
    • Water Margins – summary table
    • Predator Control Plan and Map
    • Rotation map of arable / grassland options (if too complex to show on management map)

Other information, as required:

  • Landlord Declaration Form – see Occupancy of land
  • Copy of lease – see Occupancy of land
  • Any relevant forms. For example, Contractual Licence, Shared Boundary Agreement for march fence or restoring drystone or flagstone dykes
  • Endorsement Form containing an endorsement from NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) if proposing to carry out options or capital items outwith their target areas – see targeting tool
  • If applying for the Species-rich Grassland Management or Habitat mosaic management option on hill and upland rough grazing land, you must request an endorsement from NatureScot. If this is awarded, you must submit it with your application. Allow enough time to complete this prior to the application deadline.
  • If your application is about management for waders, the relevant wader project manager must complete sections of the wader management plan.
  • Any consents and licences received from regulatory authorities, where applicable
  • Ecological survey report for protected species
  • Letter of approval from NatureScot or Scottish Environment Protection Agency if required as part of the eligibility requirements of a capital item
  • Quotations table and quotes as required for any actual cost capital item e.g. Ditch blocking. (see Further requirements for applicants)

Crofting applicants may also need to provide some of the following:

If you are a grazing clerk, applying on behalf of a grazing committee, your application must include the following supporting information:

  • the written consent of a majority of the crofters with shares in the common grazing
  • evidence that notice of the intention to submit an application and the proposed division of the grant amongst the eligible crofters has been issued by the grazings committee or constable to all shareholders sharing in the common grazings

If you are an official sub-tenant of a croft which falls within the jurisdiction of the Crofting Commission:

  • a copy of the letter issued by the Crofting Commission confirming the approval of the sub-let and its duration – this is an acceptable alternative to the landlord declaration or copy of the lease - see Occupancy of land guidance

Organic conversion and maintenance applicants need to consider additional requirements and provide the following at the time of application or as specified:

All Organic Conversion applications

  • Farm Map illustrating the LPIDs to be converted
  • Organic Viability Proposal endorsed by an organic certification body
  • for organic conversion applications that also include agri-environment options or the organic maintenance option, you will have to submit the required supporting documents for those management options.
  • for organic conversion application that also include agri-environment options, you should ensure the options are compatible – see Double funding option incompatibility page
  • to be allocated extra points against the ‘National Priority’ scoring criteria at least 25 per cent of your permanently held land will have to be managed under the ‘organic conversion’ option

Organic conversion applicants also need to note the following:

You must liaise with your organic certification body to ensure you are compliant with the organic requirements before you apply to AECS, before you commence organic conversion and for the duration of your AECS contract. If your AECS application is successful:

1. Your organic certification body will require you to submit to them a full conversion plan for approval, prior to your organic start date

2. Your organic start date must be approved by your organic certification body before you commence conversion, but also refer to the AECS Organic Farming conversion requirements

3. Once you have received your official letter confirming your organic start date from your organic certification body, you should forward this to your local Area Office.

All Organic Maintenance applications

  • Farm Map illustrating the LPIDs to be maintained under organic status
  • valid Organic certificate
  • Current Organic Schedule of LPIDs from your organic certification body
  • if your organic maintenance application also includes agri-environment options or organic conversion of additional land, you will have to submit the required supporting documents for those management options.
  • if your organic maintenance application also includes agri-environment options, you should ensure the options are compatible
  • to be allocated extra points against the ‘National Priority’ scoring criteria at least 75 per cent of your permanently held land will have to be managed under the 'organic maintenance' option