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Greening: Permanent grassland

6 February 2020

Permanent grassland is land used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage, either naturally (self-seeded including ‘rough grazing’) or through cultivation (sown), and which is more than five years old.

What are the requirements?

  • The ratio of permanent grassland compared to the total agricultural area declared must not decrease by more than 5%. The maintenance of this ratio will be monitored at a national level not individual farm level.
  • Prepare an annual nitrogen fertiliser and lime plan for fields that contain permanent grassland or open grazed woodland.  An example template of a permanent grassland nutrient plan can be found on the Rural Payments and Services website.
  • Permanent grassland that is designated as Environmentally Sensitive Grassland (ESG) must not be converter or ploughed.

Further information of the requirements for Permanent Grassland can be found here.

Check that you know the rules and have adhered to them by working through the Permanent Grassland checklist.

Tips for Permanent Grassland

  • If you cultivate permanent grassland to establish any other crop apart from grass, the land will convert to arable and future grass will be temporary (for at least five years).  Temporary grassland is land that has been in grass or other herbaceous forage for five years or less.
  • If you cultivate permanent grass and immediately sow a new grass ley, the land will retain its status as permanent grass.
  • If you use some of your permanent grassland area as Ecological Focus Area (EFA), i.e. a buffer strip or field margin, this area of EFA is classed as arable land and must be included in the greening arable area calculation.
  • Permanent grassland areas that are used as EFAs should be claimed as Permanent Cover (PC) on your Single Application Form (SAF).

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