With many farmers and landowners claiming under the Basic Payment Scheme there is the ever present possibility of a Cross Compliance inspection.

Reports suggest that farmers can expect to be inspected at least once in every seven years. With an increased emphasis on farm inspections from the Rural Payment Agency and growing numbers of unannounced inspections, or inspections with under 24 hours notice, it’s important to know the areas where you may fall foul of the regulations.

Who is effected?

All claimants under the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and  Environmental Stewardship.  Landowners whose land is claimed under the Basic Payment Scheme by tenants or those who own livestock.

Who inspects and Why?

The Rural Payment Agency (RPA) undertake the majority of inspections, other bodies may inspect regarding other environmental schemes, animal welfare and for farm/crop assurance purposes.

What to watch out for

Below is the RPA’s most recent data on the reasons for failures during inspections:













As you will identify the majority of these failures relate to livestock identification and records. Although ensuring ear tags are in place (or ordered) during inspection can be difficult, the majority of failures relate to incorrectly kept records, failure to record animal deaths, movements or livestock numbers accurately.

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) regulations also form a big part of failures recorded. Once again the majority of these failures result from a lack of paperwork or accurate up to date records.

With DEFRA implementing changes to NVZ areas land within these zones may change resulting on a greater responsibilities on certain landowners and farmers, whilst those coming out of NVZ areas are reminded to hold onto their records for the required 5 years.

Why does it matter?

Failure during an inspections can result in a minimum of 3% of your total BPS payment for the scheme year being docked and the likelihood of further inspections.

Want to know more

If you have any concerns relating to cross compliance on your land or any other related matters please feel free to contact the Butler Sherborn Rural Team.

Jonathan Malings MRICS


Direct line: 01285 883746

Georgina Bush BSc (Hons), MRICS


Direct line: 01285 883749




Cotswold Land

Simon Jackson - January 2018

As soon as we decided to put our home on the market there wasn’t a decision to make on whom we would choose. Butler Sherborn are known as the market leader in Cotswold village houses & they certainly lived up to it. Process of going to market was painless, very professional & speedy. We sold within two weeks with an asking price offer. Can’t ask for more!
— Simon Jackson - January 2018