Key dates for cross compliance

WFWSHIRES_Page_14_Image_0003If you claim the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Welsh Government Rural Communities ‐ Rural Development area based schemes, you need to adhere to Cross Compliance rules and regulations. Here are some key dates for the month ahead you want to be aware of to avoid penalties on your BPS.

March 1
GAEC 7: You must not cut hedgerows or trees from this date, but you can carry out hedge laying and
coppicing during March providing nesting birds are not disturbed.
SMR 1: End of the five month storage period for all the slurry of livestock other than pigs and poultry.
GAEC 4: Maintain minimum soil cover following harvest until this date.
March 15
GAEC 6: You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land other than upland areas after this date.
March 31
GAEC 6: You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land anywhere, including upland areas, after this date.
GAEC 7: You must not carry out hedge‐laying or coppicing from this date unless you have permission from Welsh Government for training or educational purposes.

A note on tree & hedgerow trimming
Under the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) Cross Compliance regulation 7 you are
not allowed to cut trees or hedgerows during bird rearing and nesting season which starts on March 1 and
ends August 31. However, there are exceptions such as:
* If your hedgerow or tree is overhanging a highway, road, track or footpath to which the public have access
* the work is necessary because the overhanging vegetation obstructs the passage of vehicles or pedestrians
* obstructs the view of drivers
* or the light from a public lamp
* or is a danger to horse‐riders
* the hedgerow or tree needs to be cut or trimmed because it is dead, diseased or damaged or insecurely rooted, and is therefore likely to cause danger by falling onto a highway, road or footpath. The cutting or trimming is carried out in order to maintain a ditch
* the tree is in an orchard.
Please be aware that you must not disturb any birds nesting in the hedgerow or tree.
NB. The company responsible for the maintenance of any overhanging electricity or telephone lines may cut back trees and/or hedges for safety reasons.
* On arable land, where the normal agricultural practice requires that a winter arable crop is planted before August 31, you will be able to cut back the relevant hedges or trees from August 1 as long as nesting birds are not disturbed. Before cutting the hedge you must check the hedge thoroughly to ensure that you will not disturb any breeding or rearing bird.
* There is an enforcement notice issued by the Local Authority under the Highways Act 1980 Section 154 in order that the passage of vehicles or pedestrians is not obstructed or endangered, it is considered that the hedge and/or branches of trees at the locations described require trimming/lopping or pleaching
* Hedge restoration e.g. laying or coppicing may be carried out during March as long as nesting birds are not disturbed.

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