ELS and Environmental

Environmental Mixtures and the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme (ELS)

In order to secure Entry Level Scheme payments, UK growers need to deliver simple, yet effective, environmental management practices on their farms.
This includes a wide range of options to cover all types of farm. Each one is primarily designed to help tackle countryside environmental issues such as pollution, decline of farmland bird, decline and loss of biodiversity and landscape character.
Each one of these options is worth a certain number of points. Growers need to select a range of these options to reach a points target of 30 points/ha to receive a £30/ha payment, every year over the next five years.
Applications for the Entry Level Scheme are available through the Rural Development Service (RDS) and there are now monthly entry opportunities throughout 2006.
Points are awarded from three different options. The first of these involves sensitive management and enhancement of existing habitats on the farm. The second involves the preparation and implementation of a series of management plans to cover soil, nutrient, manure and crop protection issues and aim to identify environmental risk and minimise environmental impact.
The third is the creation of new habitats on land taken out of agricultural production and sown with an environmental seed mixture to encourage birds and insects and enhance the biodiversity and character of the landscape. This is where – with the support of environmental experts – Grainfarmers UAP has developed a tailored range of mixtures to meet ELS needs.
The four different types of seed mixtures that could be grown are Wild Bird Seed Mixtures, Pollen and Nectar Mixtures, Beetle Banks and Field Margins.

Field Margins and Beetle Banks:
Field Margin Points Score – 2m Buffer 300/ha, 4m or 6m Buffer 400/ha or Beetle Bank Points Score – 580/ha

Basic Habitat
A mixture of low maintenance fine grasses punctuated by clumps of coarser grasses to provide homes for nesting birds and small animals. Some of the grasses are food plants of butterflies and beetle larvae. Reduced ergot risk compared to uncultivated margins and ryegrass blends.
Contains Chewings Fescue, Common Bent, Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass, Rough Stalked Meadow Grass, Timothy, Cocksfoot, Meadow Fescue, Tall Fescue, Sheeps Fescue, Crested Dogstail. Packed in 8kg, 1 acre units

Nesting Cover
A mixture designed to create natural nesting areas for birds. The mixture consists of tufted grasses which can be sown in spring or autumn. The mixture is also suitable for beetle bank construction and is suitable for most conservation areas.
Contains Cocksfoot, Creeping Red Fescue, Timothy. Packed in 5kg, 1 acre units

Beetle Bank Mixture
This mixture is suitable for grass margins and beetle banks and includes tussock forming grasses such as Cocksfoot in combination with fescues to form dense cover. It provides excellent nesting habitat for skylarks and partridges as well as homes for small mammals and useful invertebrates such as beetles. Some of these grasses are also food plants for grassland butterflies.
Contains Cocksfoot, Chewings Fescue, Timothy, Sheeps Fescue, Meadow Fescue, Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass. Packed in 10kg units

Wildlife Value
Wildlife Value has been designed to improve habitats for skylarks and partridges as well as homes for small mammals and useful invertebrates such as beetles. Some of these grasses are also food plants for grassland butterflies.
Contains Cocksfoot, Creeping Red Fescue, Chewings Fescue, Timothy, Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass, Crested Dogstail, Meadow Fescue, Teasel, Yarrow, Burnet, Field Scabious, Common Knapweed. Packed in 5kg units

For full specifications on the above mixtures, please click here:

Wild Bird Seed Mixtures:
Points Score – 450/ha or 85/ha on set-aside

This mixture has been created by DEFRA to provide a succession of food sources for seed eating birds. The mixture can be sown on field margin strips at least 6 metres wide and the area should be re-established at least every other year.
Contains Triticale, Kale, Quinoa. Packed in 20kg, 1 acre units

An economically priced and prolific seed shedding mixture suitable for a variety of seed eating birds.
Contains Kale, Millet, Mustard. Packed in 4.5kg, 1 acre units

A traditional mixture providing both cover and seed shedding properties. Setter can be left in place for two years and provides a wonderful habitat for insects and birds.
Contains Phacelia, Mustard, Sweet Clover, Kale, Millet, Buckwheat, Maize, Sunflower. Packed in 10kg, 1 acre units

This mixture, which was designed specifically for use in cooler more exposed conditions, provides cover with feed potential. It is good for attracting insects and may last up to two years depending on the weather and management.
Contains Spring Beans, Mustard, Sweet Clover, Kale, Spring Triticale. Packed in 20kg, 1 acre units

Updated for 2006. This mixture will provide good cover combined with excellent feed value throughout the season. It is also ideal for holding partridges due to its thinner canopy and wet weather, dry cover design.
Contains Kale, Linseed, Gold of Pleasure, Sandoval Quinoa. Packed in 6.5kg, 1 acre units


New for Autumn 2006. Up to now the options have been limited to sowing a mixture in the spring. Resulting from trials undertaken through 2005 this wild bird seed mixture has been designed for farmers wishing to establish a wild bird seed mixture during the autumn months. Also this can be used as a replacement for failed spring sown crops.
Contains Winter Triticale, Winter Vetch, Phacelia, Linseed, Fodder Radish. Packed in 15kg, 0.5 hectare packs

For full specifications on the above mixtures, please click here:

Pollen and Nectar Mixture:
Points Score – 450/ha or 85/ha on set-aside

A DEFRA designed mixture of nectar and pollen rich plants and non aggressive grasses aimed at maximising areas for foraging insects, butterflies and bumblebees.
Contains Crested Dogstail, Meadow Fescue, Chewings Fescue, Sheeps Fescue, Red Clover, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Sainfoin, Common Vetch, Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass. Packed in 5kg units

Butterfly and Bee
This Mixture adds a splash of summer colour and is a rich source of pollen and nectar to attract butterflies, bees and other useful insects.
Contains Red Clover, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Sainfoin, Chewings Fescue, Sheeps Fescue, Common Browntop Bent. Packed in 5kg units

For full specifications on the above mixtures, please click here:

Set Aside Mixtures
There are many benefits both agronomic and wildlife to land managed as set aside. The main agronomic benefits are, reduced soil erosion and flooding along with the reduction of nitrate leaching during the winter months. Wildlife also benefits with the development of new habitats as well as providing valuable wildlife corridors between more permanent habitats such as woodland or hedgerows and the establishment of feeding sites and food sources. The principle of set aside is to establish an approved green cover crop prior to the set aside period, which currently is 15th January to 31st August.

Set Aside Mix ‘A’
Economical mixture with excellent sward but requires a higher degree of maintenance.
Contains Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass, Late Perennial Ryegrass. Seed Rate 10kgs/ Acre, packed in 25kg units

Set Aside Mix ‘B’
Similar to Set Aside ‘A’, but also includes Timothy for damp and heavier soils.
Contains Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass, Late Perennial Ryegrass, Timothy. Seed Rate 10kgs/ Acre, packed in 25kg units

Low Maintenance
For areas requiring minimal management.
Contains Creeping Red Fescue, Amenity Perennial Ryegrass. Seed Rate 10kgs/ acre, packed in 10kg and 25kg packs

For full specifications on the above mixtures, please click here:

Soil Protection Crops
An early sown and well established autumn crop can take up a significant amount nitrogen in the autumn and early winter and thus decrease the amount which remains in the soil. Also by the establishment of a green cover, this will reduce the risk of soil erosion on sloping areas of land.

Mustard (Variety; Rivona)
A fast establishing green cover with weed suppressant properties.
Sow at 10kgs/ acre. Supplied in 10 and 25kg packs.

Blended Italian Ryegrass Blend
An economical blend of Italian ryegrass for sowing into maize stubble.
Sow at 8-10kgs/ acre. Supplied in 25kg packs.

Extremely fast growing green cover crop with the additional benefit of pretty blue flowers that are very attractive to a wealth of insects.
Sow at 3-4kgs/ acre. Supplied in 5kg packs.

Wild Flower Mixtures
Wild flowers and the grassland they inhabit are a vital part of our landscape. The plant and animal species sustained by a meadow are staggering, but with modern larger farm units and heavily farmed land, nearly all the ancient flowering meadows have been lost.

AWF No 1 – Shaded Areas
A carefully selected mixture suitable for shade and woodland

AWF No 2 – Wetland Soils
Suitable for damp, moist and wet soils on saturated banks, streams, rivers and ditches.

AWF No 3 – Lime/ Calcareous Soils
On soils overlying limestone or chalk, particular types of flowers can be found, and these are contained in this carefully selected blend of species.

AWF No 4 – Clay Soils
This mixture should be sown on all clay soils and uses species typically found on this soil type.

AWF No 5 – Acid Soils
The flowers selected in this mixture naturally occur on soils characterised by a low pH, which allows you to produce a flowery sward on a range of acid soils.

AWF No 6 – Loam/ Alluvial Soils
This mixture is suitable for establishing flowery grassland on all loam/ alluvial type soils and can produce a rich diverse sward. A ‘general purpose’ type mixture.

AWF No 7- Hedgerows
Suitable for field and woodland margins.

AWF No 8 – Sandy Soils
On free-draining sandy soils we advise the use of this mixture to recreate a meadow typical for this soil.

A popular 100% annual mixture to produce a field of traditional wild flowers. Ideally they need to be re-sown each year, for several years, to ensure each species is present and helps build up seed stocks in the soil. NOTE: This mixture should not be cut.

All the wild flower mixtures can be used in conjunction with the Basic Habitat Mixture.

For full specifications on the above mixtures, please click here:

For more details on the above or for a copy of the ‘Enhancing the Countryside’ guide, please contact [email protected] or phone Toby on 01962 794605.