Be aware of mapping changes when applying for BPS

5th February 2018

As we await on line access for the 2018 BPS (Basic Payment Scheme), we are urging farmers and landowners to pay close attention to their land data, and ensure field boundaries and eligible areas are mapped accurately before submitting their application.

The RPA (Rural Payments Agency) has recently updated its mapping data in line with the EU requirements to maintain land data of no more than three years old. This remapping exercise has used the latest Ordnance Survey (OS) MasterMap information and the most recent satellite imagery available. However, OS maps do not necessarily accurately reflect the situation on the ground and aerial imagery is often mis-interpreted by the RPA mapping team. This can result in farmers experiencing issues with their BPS payments.

“We are very concerned about the number of mapping changes that appear to have been made by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA),” explains Tracey Jackson, of H&H Land and Property Chartered Surveyor. “In many cases, landowners may not be aware that their land data has been changed by the RPA and therefore we want to highlight the importance of checking this before any 2018 BPS applications are made.

“Many farmers experienced errors and delays with their 2017 payments. To avoid this for the coming year, I strongly advise that farmers check their data for its correctness. It is also important to note that incorrect field data may also affect other payments, such as that from environmental schemes, so it is well worth getting the corrections made as soon as possible.

“On line BPS applications are expected to be available in March, so landowners have time to seek advice if necessary. Our clients are urged to come to the office early to ensure that further checks can be made and any changes required in relation to mapping data can be made concurrently with their 2018 BPS application.

“We are currently awaiting further information from the RPA on to how these changes might be administered.”