The Department of Agriculture is reminding AEOS participants that inspections are currently taking place on selected farms.
Farmers should ensure that they are in compliance with the undertakings they have made under their AEOS contracts to avoid penalties and reductions in payments.
The areas where most penalties occur are:
Additional New Hedgerow – number of plants per meter not present; length of hedgerow in original AEOS application not delivered; hedgerow not fenced nor maintained in accordance with specifications.
Species Rich Grassland – area less than claimed; less than the five positive species required; more than the 20% negative species allowed; topping not been delayed until the required date.
Traditional Hay Meadow – failure to deliver area claimed in AEOS application; cut before the 1st July; not maintained as per the AEOS specification.
Traditional Stone Wall Maintenance – failure to deliver the length in AEOS application; stone walls entered not been suitable for the action.
Laying of Hedgerow & Coppicing of Hedgerows- failure to carry out the work in line with the AEOS specification; more than the allowed 20% done each year; the hedges entered for the action not suitable.
AEOS participants are also reminded that they must submit any documents, such as record sheets, requested by an Inspector within the timeframe given, to avoid possible delays in their AEOS payment and other penalties.