Cross compliance or lack of it.

Farmers and land managers must follow the government’s cross compliance rules if claiming subsidies through the Basic Payment Scheme. These rules include public rights of way and are very simple and straightforward. See below –

What you must not do and must do
You must not:
• wilfully obstruct public rights of way without lawful authority or excuse
• disturb the surface of public rights of way without lawful authority or excuse, with the exception
of ploughing the surface of a footpath or bridleway when it is not reasonably convenient to
avoid doing so.
You must:
• maintain stiles, gates and similar structures across a footpath or bridleway in a condition that
makes them safe and reasonably easy to use
• where you have had to disturb the surface of a cross field path or bridleway:
• make good the surface of cross field footpaths and bridleways to not less than the
minimum width within 14 days of it first being disturbed if you are sowing a crop, or within
24 hours in all other circumstances. Minimum widths are 1 metre for footpaths and 2
metres for bridleways
• indicate the route of a reinstated cross field footpath or bridleway so that it’s visible on the
ground and is at least the minimum width of the recorded route.
These rules apply to visible public rights of way only. 

This of course is really just a reinforcement of the existing law and it shouldn’t really be necessary. The fact that it is is a recognition that the law is being ignored by many landowners and goes unenforced by many local highway authorities.

So you’d think people claiming thousands of pounds from the taxpayer would abide by the terms and conditions of the deal? Funny thing is the countryside is littered with examples of the law being ignored and the cross compliance regulations being treated with a similar contempt.

Here’s some bad phone photos of an example on land where over £17,000 in Basic Payment Scheme money is being claimed. So in addition to the Highways Act law on rights of way applying so to do the regulations on cross compliance. Just bear in mind the part of the regulations which states –

You must:
• maintain stiles, gates and similar structures across a footpath or bridleway in a condition that
makes them safe and reasonably easy to use

IMG_20171110_160822.jpg
The timber step is not actually attached to planet earth.
IMG_20171110_161544.jpg
Safe & reasonably easy to use?
IMG_20171110_161218.jpg
Collapsed stone stile

 

IMG_20171110_161225.jpg
Barely wide enough for a Jack Russell to squeeze through
IMG_20171110_161817.jpg
Rotten to the core

 

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