A soil management plan should set out how you will manage the land to reduce the risk of erosion and maintain good soil structure. Please see appendix 1 for information on how to obtain further advice on controlling soil erosion and the best farming practice. You may also wish to consider the ELS land management Options to Protect Soils (introductory guidance and management requirements for these options).

A soil management plan must be documented and include the following steps:

  • Obtain and read the relevant Defra publications on controlling run-off and erosion (see appendix 1 for details). In addition you may wish to refer to the Environment Agency publications also listed, and to the Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) Audit at www.leafuk.org
  • Using the Defra field guide (available from Defra publications, see appendix 1) or the advice of a consultant, prepare an assessment of the risks of run-off and erosion for your whole farm. Produce a map showing the risk class for each field or part-field.
  • Record on a field-by-field basis the steps you will take during the coming year to minimise the risk of run-off and soil erosion, including how you will manage the soil to ensure good structure and maintain the infiltration of rainfall.
  • Repeat the field-by-field assessment each year incorporating the experiences of previous years.

EM1, 3 points per ha. This must be based on the area of land excluding unimproved land (as identified on your Farm Environment Record).