Dear Sir / Madam
A Council in the South West undertook an HLS agreement with Natural England in April 2011. Shortly afterwards they received a visit from a local RPA inspector. After the inspection the Council were subject to a 3% reduction in their HLS payments due to the presence of injurious weeds. In addition, all of the graziers and those who include the common land as part of their Single Payments Scheme were also docked 3%.
The Land is privately owned, The Council manages the land and the graziers have no formal agreement with regard to the management of the common. The current byelaws prevent unauthorised persons from cutting material on the common.
- Are the RPA right in docking the graziers SPS?
- Who has the ultimate responsibility to manage the weeds on the common, The Council, the graziers or both?
Many Thanks for considering the enclosed.