1998 No. 1307
The Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Avon Valley) Designation (Amendment) Order 1998
19th May 1998
Laid before Parliament
27th May 1998
Coming into force
22nd June 1998
Whereas, pursuant to section 18(1) of the Agriculture Act 1986(1), the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (“the Minister”) has by order designated an area in the Avon Valley as an environmentally sensitive area (“the designated area”);
And whereas it appears to the Minister that it is particularly desirable—
(1) to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated area;
(2) to conserve the flora and fauna and geological and physiographical features of that area; and
(3) to protect buildings and other objects of historic interest in that area;
And whereas it appears to the Minister that the maintenance or adoption of particular agricultural methods in respect of the matters specified in the Schedules to the following Order is likely to facilitate such conservation, enhancement or protection;
Now therefore, the said Minister, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 18(1) and (4)(2) of the said Act, and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, with the consent of the Treasury and after consultation with the Secretary of State, the Countryside Commission and the Nature Conservancy Council for England(3) in accordance with section 18(1) of the said Act, and with the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England in accordance with section 99 of the Environment Act(4), makes the following Order:
Title and commencement
1. This Order may be cited as the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Avon Valley) Designation (Amendment) Order 1998 and shall come into force on 22nd June 1998.
2. In this Order “the principal Order” means the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Avon Valley) Designation (Amendment) Order 1993(5), as amended at the date this Order comes into force.
Amendment of the principal Order
3. The principal Order shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this Order.
4. In article 2(1) of the principal Order, the provisions immediately following the words “In this Order—” to the end of article 2(1), insofar as they were made under section 18 of the Agriculture Act 1986, shall be deleted and the following definitions shall be inserted at their appropriate alphabetical place:
““agreement” means an agreement under section 18(3) of the Agriculture Act 1986 as respects agricultural land in the area designated by article 3;
“buffer strip” means a strip of land which is subject to a prohibition on the use of fertilisers and pesticides, is at least five metres wide and is located at the edge of a field used for the production of arable crops;
“capital activity” means an activity specified in Schedule 1 to this Order;
“conservation plan” means a plan incorporated into an agreement for the carrying out of one or more capital activities within a specified period;
“cultivated land” means land which is regularly ploughed or otherwise cultivated or that is regularly treated with fertilisers;
“extensive permanent grassland” means permanent grassland which is receiving no or only minimal inputs of fertiliser or pesticides;
“farmer” means a person who has an interest in agricultural land in the area designated by article 3 and who has also entered into an agreement with the Minister;
“grassland” means land on which the vegetation consists primarily of grass species;
“grassland management plan” means a plan for the carrying out of certain specific operations, including stock management and fertiliser restrictions, required by the agreement;
“improved permanent grassland” means permanent grassland that is regularly treated with fertilisers and is used for pasture or for the production of hay or silage;
“management activity” means an activity specified in Schedule 2;
“permanent grassland” means grassland which has not been ploughed or reseeded for at least ten years;
“public access route” means a strip of land which is the subject of an agreement and on which access is given to the public;
“relevant date” means 22nd June 1998;
“wet grassland” means grassland with the potential to retain winter and spring water levels at marsh level to create field wetness or to allow shallow pools to develop; and
“woodland” means land used for woodland where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes.”.
5. For article 4 of the principal Order and the heading thereto there shall be substituted the following article and heading—
“Matters in respect of which payments may be made
4. A payment to be made by the Minister under an agreement may be made in respect of—
(a)a capital activity; or
(b)a management activity which—
(i)in the case of a payment to be made under an agreement entered into before the relevant date, is specified in Part I or Part II of Schedule 2; and
(ii)in the case of a payment to be made under an agreement entered into on or after the relevant date, is specified in Part I of Schedule 2.”
6. For article 5 of the principal Order and the heading thereto there shall be substituted the following article and heading—
“Rates of payment
5.—(1) Payments to be made by the Minister under an agreement shall not exceed—
(a)in the case of a management activity, the rate specified in respect of that activity in column 2 of Schedule 2; and
(b)in the case of one or more capital activities included in a conservation plan, £100,000 in aggregate.
(2) Any works which form part of an activity which constitutes both a management activity and a capital activity may by virtue of an agreement be eligible for payment either as part of a management activity or as part of a capital activity, but the agreement together with any conservation plan incorporated in it shall not provide for payment to be made on both such bases in respect of the same works.”.
7. For Schedule 1 to the principal Order there shall be substituted the Schedule set out in Schedule 1 to this Order.
8. For Schedule 2 to the principal Order there shall be substituted the Schedule set out in Schedule 2 to this Order.
9. The following provisions of the principal Order shall be deleted—
(a)articles 4A and 6; and
(b)Schedules 1A, 3 and 4.
Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
18th May 1998
Two of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury
19th May 1998
Articles 2(1) and 5(1)
“SCHEDULE 1CAPITAL ACTIVITIES
The planting, laying, gapping or coppicing of hedges.
The creation or restoration of ponds, pools and lakes and the restoration of ditches.
The control of scrub, reedbeds or small groups of trees.
The provision of fencing to protect wildlife interest in and around ditches.
Works to protect historic and archaeological features.
The provision and restoration of gates, stiles and footbridges where an agreement includes requirements as to public access.
Re-introduction of pollarding management for neglected trees.
The renovation of farm buildings using traditional materials.
The creation of scrapes.
The provision or restoration of water control structures.
The restoration of reedbeds and sedgebeds.
The provision of water supplies and fencing where necessary for the re-introduction of grazing.
The provision of cattle drinking bays.
The provision of silt traps in water courses.
Purchase of a seed mixture for arable reversion.
Other works for the restoration or enhancement of wildlife habitats.”
Articles 2(1) and 5(1)
“SCHEDULE 2MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
Maximum rate in £ per hectare of land per annum
1. Management of improved permanent grassland in accordance with an agreed grassland management plan.
2. Management of extensive permanent grassland.
3. Where management of any kind referred to in item 1 above is undertaken, additional management for the purposes of restricting the input of fertiliser.
4. Where management of any kind referred to in item 1 or 2 above is undertaken, additional management for the purposes of providing conditions for breeding wader birds.
5. Management of wet grassland including restrictions on stocking levels.
6. In relation to cultivated land:
(a)reversion of arable land to grassland;
(b)creation and management of buffer strips.
7. Maintenance of woodland.
8. The provision of public access routes.
1. Maintenance of improved permanent grassland.
2. Management of wet grassland.
(This note is not part of the Order)
This Order amends the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Avon Valley) Designation Order 1993 (“the principal Order”) which designated an area in the Avon Valley as an environmentally sensitive area, in implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2078/92 (OJ No. L215, 30.7.92, p.85) on agricultural production methods compatible with the requirements of protection of the environment and the maintenance of the countryside, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2772/95 (OJ No. L288, 1.12.95, p.35) as in turn rectified by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1962/96 (OJ No. L259, 12.10.1996).
The definitions set out in Article 2(1) of the principal Order are consolidated and in addition new definitions are inserted (Article 4).
This Order replaces the Schedules to the principal Order (laying down detailed requirements of the scheme) by two new Schedules specifying the capital and management activities in respect of which payments may be made and specifies the maximum payments in respect of such activities.
The provisions of the principal Order that are amended or revoked do not include any that derive from the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (England) Designation (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (S.I. 1996/3104); those which derive from S.I. 1996/3104 are revoked (subject to a saving in certain cases) by the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (England) Designation (Revocation of Specified Provisions) Regulations 1998, coming into force on 21st June 1998.
No regulatory appraisal has been made in respect of this Order.
1986 c. 49. The expression “the Minister” is defined in section 18(11).
Section 18(4) was amended by S.I. 1994/249; sub-section 18(4A) was inserted by S.I. 1997/1457.
The provisions in section 18 of the Agriculture Act 1986 concerning Nature Conservancy Councils were amended by Part VII of, and Schedule 9 to, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c. 43).
1995 c. 25.
S.I. 1993/84, amended by S.I. 1994/927, S.I. 1995/197, S.I. 1996/3104 and S.I. 1997/1450.