We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

The Rural Stewardship Scheme 2005

DescriptionThe Rural Stewardship Scheme Explanatory Booklet 2005
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateApril 01, 2004


The Rural Stewardship Scheme

This document is also available in pdf format (1.7Mb)



PART 1 General Information

Section 1 About the Rural Stewardship Scheme
1.1 What is the Rural Stewardship Scheme?
1.2 What is the role of the RSS?
1.3 How does the Scheme work?
1.4 Do I have to join?

Section 2 Eligibility
2.1 Is my business eligible to make an application?
2.2 What about Crofters' Common Grazings?
2.3 What if I have already joined another Agri-environment Scheme?

Section 3 Making an application
3.1 How do I apply?
3.2 Can the application cover more than one unit within the IACS business?
3.3 Do I need to inform anyone else if I apply?
3.4 Are there any additional requirements for applications on behalf of Common Grazing Committees?
3.5 When should I apply?

Section 4 Assessment of applications
4.1 How will applications be assessed?
4.2 Will my application be automatically accepted?
4.3 What other issues will be addressed at the initial appraisal?
4.4 If my application is turned down because the Scheme is over-subscribed, can it be reconsidered next year?
4.5 What happens if my application is accepted?
4.6 What happens if my application is not accepted?
4.7 Can I increase the amount of land managed when I transfer from an ESA scheme to the RSS?
4.8 Must I continue to manage the same areas under RSS as I did under my ESA Scheme agreement?

Section 5 Advice?
5.1 Advice on nature conservation and habitat management
5.2 Information and advice on woodland management
5.3 Information and advice on archaeological and historic features and designed landscapes
5.3.1 What do I do if I have an archaeological or historic feature
5.3.2 What do I do if I have a scheduled ancient monument?
5.3.3 What do I do if my farm includes an important Garden or Designed Landscape?
5.4 What will this advice cost?

Section 6 Payment arrangements
6.1 What payments are available?
6.2 If my application is not approved because of lack of funds, will I be entitled to receive payments towards the cost of preparation of the Environmental Audit and Moorland Management Plan?
6.3 When will the payments be made?
6.4 How do I claim for payments?
6.5 How are the payments calculated?
6.6 Are there limits on the capital or management payments?

Section 7 Scheme rules not dealt with elsewhere in the booklet
7.1 How long will I be expected to sign up for?
7.2 Once I have joined the Scheme, can I change my undertakings?
7.3 Can I still claim other Grants and Subsidies?
7.4 Will participation in the Scheme affect my IACS forage area?
7.5 Can I continue to claim AAPS?
7.6 Will participation in the Scheme affect my Sheep quota?
7.7 Does participation in the RSS affect any other requirements to consult or obtain permission?
7.8 What happens if I can no longer meet the conditions of the Scheme?
7.9 What if failure to meet the Scheme conditions was not my fault?
7.10 Selling or leasing all or part of your unit.
7.11 Can I sell or lease all or part of the land entered into the Scheme?
7.12 What happens if I acquire additional land?
7.13 Can I appeal if the Department decides to recover payments from me or impose a penalty?
7.14 What if I have a complaint?

Section 8 Consequences of Non-Compliance with Scheme Rules and Conditions
8.1 Sanctions
8.2 Exceptional circumstances
8.3 Notifying SEERAD
8.4 Withdrawal from Scheme

PART 2 General Environmental Requirements

Section 1The Standard of Good Farming Practice

Section 2General Environmental Conditions

PART 3 Eligibility Criteria and Management Requirements for Individual Scheme Options

1. Extensive Management of Mown Grassland for Birds
2. Management of Open Grazed Grassland for Birds
3. Extensive Management of Mown Grassland for Corncrakes
4. Management of Early and Late Cover for Corncrakes
5. Management of Wet Grassland for Waders

6. Management of Species-Rich Grassland
7. Bracken Eradication Programme for Species-Rich Grassland, Coastal or Lowland Heath
8. Creation and Management of Species-Rich Grassland
9. Management of Coastal Heath
10. Management of Lowland Heath

11. Moorland Management
12. Stock Disposal
13. Muirburn and Heather Swiping
14. Bracken Eradication Programme for Moorland

15. Management of Wetland
16. Management of Lowland Raised Bogs
17. Creation and Management of Wetland
18. Management of Water Margin
19. Management of Flood Plain
20. Management of Basin and Valley Mire Buffer Areas

21. The Management of Grass Margin or Beetlebank in Arable Fields
22. Management of Conservation Headlands
23. Management of Extended Hedges
24. Management of Hedgerows

25. Introduction or Retention of Extensive Cropping
26. Spring Cropping
27. Management of Cropped Machair
28. Unharvested Crops

29. Management of Scrub (including Tall Herb Communities)
30. Management of Native or Semi Natural Woodland
31. Management of Ancient Wood Pasture

32. Management of a Site of Archaeological or Historic Interest

33. Conservation Management Plan with Special Measures for Small Units
34. Retention or Introduction of Cattle of Native or Traditional Breed(s)

PART 4 Capital Works to benefit other Habitats and Features

Section 1. Designed Landscapes
1.1 What are Designed Landscapes?
1.2 Why are Designed Landscapes important?
1.3 How do I find out if I have a Designed Landscape?
1.4 How do I manage a Designed Landscape?

Section 2. Field Boundaries
2.1 What type of field boundary is eligible for enhancement or management under RSS?
2.2 What works can I carry out under the RSS that will benefit field boundaries and what minimum specifications must be met in order to qualify for the Scheme capital payment?
2.3 Why are such field boundaries important?

Section 3. Black grouse breeding areas
3.1 Which parts of my farm are important for Black grouse?
3.2 What measures can I carry out under the RSS that will benefit Black grouse?

Section 4. Farm Ponds
4.1 Why are farm ponds important?
4.2 Are there any special considerations?
4.3 Where can I find guidance on pond creation and management?
4.4 What works can I carry out under the RSS that will benefit this habitat?

PART 5 Capital Works associated with Management Options

PART 6 Supplementary information

Section 1 The Environmental Audit
1.1 What will the environmental audit involve?
1.2 Who can undertake the Audit?
1.3 Can I recover the cost?
1.4 Why is the Audit an essential requirement of the Scheme?

Section 2 The Moorland Management Plan
2.1 Is a Moorland Management Plan required in all cases?
2.2 What does the Moorland Management Plan involve?
2.3 Who can prepare the Moorland Management Plan?
2.4 Is there any restriction on the amount of moorland the plan must cover?
2.5 Can I get help with the cost?

Section 3 Prescriptions for Small Units
3.1 Conservation Management Plan with Special Measures for Small Units
3.1.1 When is a Conservation Plan with Special Measures required?
3.1.2 What does the Conservation Management Plan with Special Measures involve?
3.2 Retention or Introduction of Cattle of Native or Traditional Breed(s)
3.2.1 How do I apply for this measure?
3.2.2 What undertakings are involved when I adopt this measure?

APPENDIX 1 Contact Details
1. SEERAD Area Offices
2. SNH Area Offices
3. National Monuments Record of Scotland
4. Historic Scotland
5. Scottish Environment Protection Agency
6. Forestry Commission

APPENDIX 2 Conditions relating to the aerial application of Asulam for bracken treatment under the Rural Stewardship Scheme

APPENDIX 3 Glossary of Terms