A letter sent out to 8000 farmers asking for Ordnance Survey maps of specified land parcels to be returned within seven days, has been criticised by consultants.

The Rural Payments Agency has written to farmers claiming that it has identified land parcels on their single farm payment claim forms which do not appear on the Rural Land Register and do not appear to be subject to a separate registration request (IACS 22).

“To complete the validation of your claim we have to first digitise this land and to do this we need you to provide a map indicating the location of the fields detailed,” it says.

But consultants claim the RPA has already got a record of some of the land parcels involved.

Guy Banham, farm business consultant with Samuel Rose, said his clients had been asked for details of land which was already on an IACS 22.

“This request means that farmers using a consultant have to pay for the same work to be done twice. This is crazy.”

Mark Juniper, consultant at Strutt & Parker’s Newbury office, said problems were arising because IACS 22s were being processed on one site and SF5 forms at another.

“We have had to duplicate information on IACS 22s several times. It is a real mess,” he said.

An RPA spokesman said the agency had tried to take out all parcels for which an IACS 22 was pending.

“There may have been the odd duplication, but we’ve tried to take out all the ones we can.”