Management options and capital items

Date published: 13 January, 2022

The version of this page applicable to the AECS 2021 restricted round can be found in the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme full guidance archive

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

Important updates
Please use the Targeting tool to check which options are available on your holding. You must enter all location codes separately for all holdings that form part of your farm business and which you wish to include in your AECS application. Some options may only be available on some holdings. If you find your location code is not appearing on the targeting tool please contact your local RPID or NatureScot (formerly SNH) office to discuss this matter further.

Updated spatial target maps have been added for the following options for the 2022 application round.

Corn Buntings Mown Grassland
Corncrake Mown Grassland
Corncrake Grazing Management
Management of Cover for Corncrake
Converting arable at risk of erosion or flooding to low-input grassland
Management of floodplains
Water use efficiency – Irrigation Lagoon
Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Sediment Traps and Bunds
Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Swales
Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Pond
Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems – Wetland
River embankment breaching, lowering or removal
Restore (protect) river banks

For some options, there is the ability to undertake activities, which are generally not permitted, as long as you have prior approval before you carry out your activity, e.g. do not apply lime, unless you have prior approval.

In general, prior approval is only granted in exceptional circumstances, for example, when the case is made that an activity is required to maintain or enhance biodiversity value. It is up to the Case officer to assess if the activity proposed is acceptable. Justification will need to be provided as part of your application. You may wish to discuss the activity proposed before submission, to ensure that it is appropriate. Otherwise, there is a risk that the case officer will not approve it. If the activity is approved, the AECS contract itself acts as the “prior approval”.

A wide range of management options and capital items are available under the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme.

There are rules and management requirements for each and they must be followed over the course of your contract. Also, each option and capital item webpage has a link to Supporting Information with recommendations and best practice in relation to the why, where, how and what for each option and capital item. It is important to read this before you prepare your application.

For all arable options, the spatial targeting maps include the entire upland area. This is to allow for arable activity on the in-bye in these areas, it does not mean all the upland area is eligible for these options.

Only land which meets the individual option eligibility requirements can be entered for the option. For example, you cannot apply for Wild bird seed for Farmland Birds on rough grazing. If you have any queries, please contact your local RPID or NatureScot office.

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All capital items

Recent Changes

Version in place for 2021 round can be found in the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme full guidance archive – see ‘previous versions’ below.

Section Change
Whole page Updates for 2022