The Scottish Government has refined previously published minimum activity requirements that will apply under the new CAP regime. While the Government had released rules in November that suggested that farmers would have to meet a minimum stocking requirement or undertake at least two activities from a list, now the Government have back-tracked and provided new minimum activity rules as follows:
The Scottish clause/minimum activity rules are:
- Farmers with agricultural land that has to be ‘maintained’ in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation will need to take steps to control injurious weeds and maintain features normally associated with active grazing on this kind of land.
- Farmers with agricultural land that is ‘naturally’ in a state that is suitable for grazing or cultivation will need to be sure that for 183 days in a year they either meet a minimum stocking density of 0.05LU/ha or where justified, a minimum stocking density that is in line with the carrying capacity of the land, or they will need to cut their vegetation on an annual basis.
In Scotland, land that is naturally in a state suitable for grazing will be land that is in Basic Payment regions 2 and 3.
This means that the Scottish Government is taking the view that all the Rough Grazing i.e. regions 2 and 3, is land that is naturally kept in a state that is suitable for grazing or cultivation.