Positive steps for the future – mapping your meadows

Planning a mid-tier application with grassland management options? Thinking ahead for future schemes?  Action now could help you quality for the higher mid-tier payment rate, GS6 Management of Species Rich Grassland, one of the options available to support priority habitats and species and which requires endorsement and written approval from Natural England.  It might also ensure eligibility in future schemes such as the evolving Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs).

To be eligible for GS6 land must be mapped on the MAGIC website (www.magic.gov.uk) Priority Habitat Inventory (PHI) as one of the 5 priority grassland habitats:

Lowland Calcareous Grassland

Lowland Dry Acid Grassland

Lowland Meadows  = the most common grassland habitat type in Herefordshire,  even in the SDA uplands

Upland Hay Meadows

Purple Moor-grass and Rush Pasture

Herefordshire’s grassland dataset is incomplete so if your fields are missing from the PHI  it would be a good idea to take steps to get them added – not only for the next round of stewardship applications but also for any future schemes.

If you believe that the PHI data is not correct i.e. your fields are missing or wrong category, you can request a change to the dataset.  Evidence must be provided to support the proposed change.  For the request to be looked at send details of the relevant data layer eg Lowland Meadow, Lowland Calcareous Grassland etc., grid reference, parcel information – RPA field nos., a species list which includes frequency of occurrence of species and any other supporting information to habitatinventories@naturalengland.org.uk

You can use our species record sheet to provide information adding other rarer plants to the list.

Any queries please speak to Sue Holland or Caroline Hanks