When considering the installation of badger proof fencing, you will need to think about whether this will have any impact on your ability to claim BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) payments on that area. Badger proofing an area of grassland does not automatically make that land ineligible for BPS, but you will need to consider the following:
- Does the fenced off area still meet the minimum parcel size requirements? You don’t need to tell the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) about fenced off areas smaller than 0.01ha, but if the fenced off area is between 0.02ha and 0.1ha and is enclosed as a separate parcel, you may no longer be able to claim BPS on the area and will need to deduct it from your claim.
- Is the land still kept in a condition suitable for grazing? If the fenced off area is over 0.1ha and therefore meets the minimum parcel size rules, then you will need to consider whether the land itself is still eligible for BPS. Does the land have an eligible land cover (e.g. it is not dense scrub)? If so, is the land maintained in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation (e.g. free from dense scrub)? Is it (theoretically) suitable and accessible for animals to graze (even if you will not be allowing them to do so because of the presence of badgers)? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it is likely you will no longer be able to claim BPS on the fenced off area of land.
- Will the area of fenced of land still be meeting all of the cross compliance rules? If not, then you should not use it to claim BPS.
If you have any questions about how the installation of biosecurity measures may impact on your BPS payment, please contact RPA on 03000 200 301.