Your latest chance to quiz the experts and other FWi users on your environmental scheme queries.
In this month’s Q & A from ADAS’s David Middleditch, you can find out the dos and don’ts with environmental buffers strips.
By participating in the dedicated forum on stewardship you can post your queries for the experts and other FWi users to answer.
Q. How often can I travel over buffer strips?
A. You are not allowed to use buffer strips for regular access or turning. So, they can’t be used as a means of travelling around the farm, or for accessing fields for field work, or for operations such as grain carting. Nor can they be used as a ‘fallow headland’ for turning when doing fieldwork.
So, you may not wish to site this option immediately adjacent to a hedge or wood edge containing a lot of vigorously suckering blackthorn, for example. This rule applies to EE1, EE2, and EE3, but not EE4, 5 & 6 (buffer strips on intensive grassland), which may be grazed at certain times of year).
Buffer strip options need careful planning at the outset to ensure that they dovetail with any other grassy strips you already have on the farm. Most notably, you should be aware that ELS is ADDITIONAL to cross-compliance requirements and public rights of way.
Also, they should not be sited next to 6–10m set-aside strips that have been established under your Single Farm Payment entitlement, but they may be sited adjacent to set-aside areas wider than 10m.
They can run alongside existing 2m or 4m width Countryside Stewardship margins, but not 6m margins.
Have your say: Why not visit the dedicated forum on stewardship