Agricultural tenancies, small landholdings and land use tenancy proposals: strategic environmental assessment - consultation

This consultation provides you with the opportunity to examine the environmental impact of our proposed changes to agricultural tenancies, small landholdings, and the new land use tenancy.

Annex A

We are proposing to reshuffle Schedule 5 to better enable tenants to undertake activities which are sustainable and regenerative. We are proposing to add a fourth part, which focuses on improvements which further the “sustainable and regenerative productive agricultural capacity of the whole holding” including climate change mitigation and biodiversity enhancement items (such as tree planting, habitat creation and renewable energy) that are ancillary to agriculture, support food production, and also add value to the land.

Parts 1, 2, and 4 would be principle based and supplemented by an open-ended list (including but not limited to those activities). Part 3 is to remain a complete list of specific improvement. eligible for compensation, so it is certain what activities the tenant may carry out without serving notice or receiving the consent of the landlord. Broadly speaking, these activities are categorised by Lord Gill as ‘incidental to the tillage’[2] and, as a result, do not require that notice or consent.

This table is purely illustrative to give an indication of the policy intention so as to inform the SEA.

Part 1 - Principle 1

Long term or major impact on the holding such that the land affected is unlikely to return to former agricultural activity.

  • Making or planting of osier beds.
  • Haulage or other work done by the tenant in aid of the carrying out of any improvement made by the landlord for which the tenant is liable to pay increased rent.
  • Making or planting of short rotation coppicing. [Additional improvement]

Part 2 - Principle 2:

improvements that relate to capital infrastructure or land management changes and which do not have a long term or major impact on the management of the holding

  • Land drainage.
  • Construction of silos.
  • Making or improvement of farm access or service roads, bridges and fords.
  • Making or improvement of watercourses, ponds or wells, or of works for the application of water power for agricultural or domestic purposes or for the supply of water for such purposes.
  • Making or removal of permanent fences, including stone dykes and gates.
  • Reclaiming of waste land.
  • Renewal of embankments and sluices against floods. Making of embankments, sluices, and other floods prevention measures. [Additional improvement]
  • Provision of stells, fanks, folds, dippers, pens and bughts necessary for the proper conduct of the holding.
  • Installation, provision, distribution or storage of electricity, gas, power, heat orlight.
  • Erection, alteration. or enlargement of buildings, making or improvement of permanent yards, loading banks and stocks.
  • Erection of hay or sheaf sheds, sheaf or grain drying racks, and implement sheds.
  • Provision of fixed threshing mills, barn machinery and fixed dairying plant.
  • Provision of means of sewage, waste or pollutant disposal, or provision of means of managing water on land.
  • Repairs to fixed equipment, being equipment reasonably required for the efficient farming of the holding, other than repairs which the tenant is under an obligation to carry out.
  • Erection of structures for the management or storage of slurries or manures.
  • Provision of means of storing silage.
  • Works to dwellings.
  • Making of gardens. [Additional improvement]
  • Planting of orchards or fruit bushes vineyards or other specialist commercial crops. [Additional improvement]
  • Planting of shelterbelts. [Additional improvement]
  • Land irrigation. [Additional improvement]
  • Erection, alteration. or enlargement of buildings for closed loop production in a controlled environment including. hydroponics, glass houses, and vertical farming. [Additional improvement]
  • Erection, alteration or enlargement of buildings, facilities for processing agricultural products from the holding or the business of which the holding forms a part. [Additional improvement]
  • Making or improvement of interventions for the purposes of natural flood risk management. [Additional improvement]

Part 3

Complete list of specific improvements

  • Protecting fruit trees against animals.
  • Clay burning.
  • Claying of land.
  • Liming (including chalking) of land.
  • Marling of land.
  • Eradication of bracken, whins or broom growing on the holding at the commencement of the tenancy.
  • Removal of tree roots, boulders, stones or other similar obstacles to cultivation from arable land or from permanent grass land.
  • Application to land of soil improvers, conditioners, digestates, manure or fertiliser, whether organic or inorganic.
  • Consumption on the holding of corn (whether produced on the holding or not) or of cake or other feeding stuff not produced on the holding by horses, cattle, sheep, pigs. or poultry.
  • Laying down temporary pasture with clover, grass, lucerne, sainfoin, or other seeds, sown more than 2 years prior to the termination of the tenancy, in so far as the value of the temporary pasture on the holding at the time of quitting exceeds the value of the temporary pasture on the holding at the commencement of the tenancy for which the tenant did not pay compensation.
  • Making hedges. [Additional improvement]
  • Improvement of permanent pasture by cultivation and re-seeding. [Additional improvement]
  • Improvement of soil health (soil carbon included). [Additional improvement]
  • Creating and managing uncropped field margins to provide habitat breeding, feeding and cover for farmland birds, insects, pollinators. [Additional improvement]
  • Creating and managing field margins to provide or improve wild habitats. [Additional improvement]

New Part 4

Improvements which benefit the sustainable and regenerative agriculture capacity of the whole holding

  • Laying down of permanent pasture. [previously Part 1]
  • Making of water-meadows. [previously Part 1]
  • Warping or weiring of land or rewetting and creation of wetlands. [Additional improvement]
  • Creation of species rich pasture. [Additional improvement]
  • Creation of silvo-pasture and silvo-arable systems. [Additional improvement]
  • Habitat creation. [Additional improvement]
  • Peatland restoration. [Additional improvement]
  • Erection, alteration or enlargement of buildings or structures that create or store renewable energy for consumption on the holding. [Additional improvement]
  • Provision of Pollinator or Bird friendly crops with beetle banks and conservation headlands. [Additional improvement]
  • Conversion to organic farming (where done in accordance with the lease) up to the point at which the holding or part thereof has been accredited for organic farming. [Additional improvement]



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