Rural Land Register - Frequently Asked Questions
Update on 17 April 2013
Amended Q5 & Q11 on 11 April 2013
Amended Q13 & Q30 and added Q39 on 2 April 2013
Click here for questions relating to the Single Payment Scheme.
1. Who needs to register land?
Anyone wishing to claim for the Single Payment Scheme, the Environmental Stewardship Schemes or the English Woodland Grant Scheme needs to register their land on the RLR.
2. How do I register land?
You should fill in an RLE1.
3. I have registered my land with HM Land Registry, does this mean my land is on the RLR?
No. HM Land Registry is not connected to the RLR. HM Land Registry records ownership boundaries whereas the RLR only registers land that is farmed or has some environmental value relevant to one of the schemes listed above. The RLR also has different rules about what may constitute a boundary.
4. What are the benefits of the RLR to me?
The RLR helps ensure your claim is accurate, will allow the application process to be simplified and makes the updating of boundaries easier. You will also receive accurate digital maps showing the boundaries of each of your fields.
5. Are the maps free?
Yes if you are an RPA customer. Please have your SBI with you when you call us. The first time you register land we will send you a complete set of maps. After that we will send you new maps for any additional land you register or updated maps for any land parcels that you tell us have been changed.
6. What maps will I be sent to show my mapped land?
On completion of mapping work we will send farmers or landowners a map showing the land parcels which have been amended. If after receiving maps showing the land parcels that have been amended you need a full set of maps, please contact the Customer Service Centre.
7. Can I review the maps Online or receive the data electronically?
No, although it is RPA’s long term vision that the maps will be accessible Online and that the data will be available electronically for you to load in your own mapping systems.
8. Can you check if my land is registered?
If you have received digital maps in the past, the land bound in pink is registered and any additional land you wish to add needs to be added by filling out an RLE1 form. If you are not sure, you can contact us to check if the land is registered.
If your tenant/landlord/previous owner had the land registered, and shown on their maps bound in pink, you can claim SPS on those fields by using the field numbers and areas from those maps on your SPS application form. The previous applicant should also complete an RLE1 to transfer the land to you.
9. What is the deadline for registration of land onto the Rural Land Register?
There is no deadline. Land can be registered at any time onto the Rural Land Register.
10. I am a tenant/landlord. Do I need to register my land?
Only one person needs to register the land on the Rural Land Register. For instance, if the tenant has registered the land and the landlord wishes to take it back in hand and apply for SPS he needs to complete the SPS application form using the registered field numbers and areas. In addition the tenant would need to complete an RLE1 form to transfer the land back to the landlord.
11. My tenant/landlord has registered my land, but won't let me see my maps.
RPA will not get involved in any disputes between a landlord and a tenant. The best way is to apply to register the land under your own business, or contact us to request a copy of the maps covering the fields that are now part of your business. Please have your SBI with you when you call us.
12. Can two people register land (e.g. tenant/landlord) with the Rural Land Register? Can two people claim land for SPS?
The land can only be registered once into the Rural Land Register but it is possible in some circumstances for a landlord to claim for one scheme and his tenant/grazier to claim under another.
13. What about fields I share?
Where more than one person claims on the same field, either for the same scheme or for different schemes, each applicant should check the boundaries and mark corrections as necessary. You should liaise with the other applicant to ensure make sure that the information submitted is consistent. We will be able to update your maps more quickly if you can send their written authorisation to us with your RLE 1 form. This should include their SBI, name and their signed agreement on the map or in a covering letter. Alternatively they can call us on 0845 603 7777, choosing the Rural Land Register option, to approve the change. They will need their SBI and land parcel reference number(s) when they call. If you don’t arrange this with the other applicant it can take longer to update your maps, as we will have to contact them to approve the change.
14. I have a boundary/land ownership dispute. How do I register this land?
We can only register land to an agreed boundary.
15. Can I apply for SPS or an RDPE scheme if my land has not been mapped on the Rural Land Register?
Yes for SPS, this process can be completed after an application for SPS has been made, provided you submit a map along with your claim form. However this will take us longer to process your claim which could cause delays to us being able to make payments. If you submit an RLE1 before you submit your claim form, we will be able to register the land more quickly and therefore process your claim more quickly. If you are unsure of the size of the land parcel, it would be better to submit an RLE1 well in advance of submitting your claim form so that you can use the correct size on your claim form and be paid the correct and full amount without the risk of making an overclaim. For Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) schemes, the land you wish to claim on must be registered on the RLR before you can start claiming.
16. What should I do if I need areas mapped urgently so that I can make an application for an RDPE scheme?
You should ensure that you mark on the front of your RLE1 form that you are a prospective RDPE scheme applicant (simply write "RDPE applicant").
17. What do I do if I have new parcels which have not previously been registered, or changes to make to existing land parcels, that I want to include on my SPS or RDPE scheme application?
You should complete an RLE1 form. If you do not receive details back in time before you submit your Single Payment Scheme application, you should also include these changes on the Field Data Sheet (SP5B) section of your application form for SPS.
18. I have sent in an RLE1 but haven't received the results back yet. How can I fill out my SPS or RDPE scheme application form?
To check on the progress of an RLE1, you will need to contact us. When filling out your SPS application form include the details as you entered them onto your RLE1 and include a covering letter with your SPS application explaining that you are waiting for the results of your request for changes to be made to the RLR. For RDPE schemes, the land you wish to claim on must be registered on the RLR before you can start claiming.
19. My SPS application pre-populated details include land that I have now given up. Do I need to notify RPA in any way other than by making the relevant amendments to my SPS form?
Yes. Please complete an RLE1 form to transfer the land to the new occupier.
20. How do I work out my field numbers and areas if I do not yet have my RLR map?
If you cannot work out the field number please supply a copy of a map marking the fields. Fields are normally shown on the 1:10,000 scale maps and sometimes on maps of a scale of 1:25,000. If you do not know the exact area please provide an estimate.
21. What about common land?
You do not have to register common land to claim SPS but if you wish to claim on it you need to complete part D "Common land grazing rights" of the SPS application form. For Environmental Stewardship, you will need to register any permanently bound land parcels within the common.
22. What is an SPS permanent ineligible feature?
We have identified permanent physical features that are not eligible for payment for SPS, using Ordnance Survey information and information and information supplied by farmers. These ineligible features are recorded on the RLR and show on your RLR maps. Their area is deducted from the total area of a land parcel to calculate it SPS maximum eligible area.
If an SPS permanent ineligible feature has already been removed from the total land parcel area on the maps and is shown as white space, we will not deduct its area again from the recorded SPS maximum eligible area for the land parcel.
23. Should all SPS permanent ineligible features be captured on the RLR?
Yes, you should have notified us of all the Single Payment Scheme Permanent Ineligible Features (PIFs) on your land. If you have not already done so, or there are changes to the PIFs you have informed us of already, you should complete an RLE1.
24. Can you register buildings/tracks/ponds/woodlands?
For SPS, we will register any fields with a permanent boundary, where the area is over 0.1 of a hectare. For Environmental Stewardship, the minimum field size is 0.01ha. Ponds can be registered as part of a bigger field. Buildings and tracks/roads cannot be registered. Features such as ponds, buildings and tracks with a hard (non grazeable) surface are classified as SPS permanent ineligible features. If these features are present within your land parcel you should inform RPA so their area can be deducted from the total area of the land parcel to calculate the revised SPS maximum eligible area.
25. What do I do if some of my SPS ineligible features are seasonal?
You should deduct the ineligible area before completing your SPS application form.
26. I have some temporary SPS ineligible features, should they be mapped on the RLR?
No, we will not capture temporary ineligible features on the RLR. You will need to make the adjustment on your SPS application form and provide a sketch map of the parcel showing the temporary ineligible feature.
27. Is there a list of all SPS permanent ineligible features?
Yes, you can find a list of permanent and temporary SPS ineligible features in section C, Table 1 of the RLE1 guidance booklet.
28. Do the area measurements take slopes into account?
No. The only instance when contours are taken into account is if they are included in a land survey undertaken by a qualified surveyor commissioned by you and the results submitted to the RPA. The RLE1 guidance contains details of the criteria that must be met for us to accept a survey.
29. Why are areas on the maps different from figures provided on other Defra maps?
Firstly the RLR maps are capturing the total field size. Secondly, the maps are being produced from more recent Ordnance Survey digital mapping data which enables more accurate area measurements to be made than before. If you have an RDPE or ERDP Scheme agreement it may be affected as a result. The RLR map is the definitive map and should be used for future dealings with RPA, Natural England, the Forestry Commission and Defra.
30. What should I do if the boundary of a field is incorrect and the correct boundary is not shown on the map?
Although recent Ordnance Survey mapping is being used it is not feasible for it to be totally up to date with all changes on the ground as they are made. Changes such as new roads or housing may be missing. In this case you should mark the correct boundary on the map as clearly as possible, and if possible provide some measurements to assist us with recording the exact position of the boundary.
If your boundary change affects a neighbouring farmer it can take longer to update your maps as we have to contact them to approve the change. We will be able to update your maps more quickly if you can send their written authorisation to us with your RLE 1 form. This should include their SBI, name and their signed agreement on the map or in a covering letter. Alternatively they can call us on 0845 603 7777, choosing the Rural Land Register option, to approve the change. They will need their SBI and land parcel reference number(s) when they call.
31. Can I write on the maps?
Yes. Please write and draw on the maps as required. We will respond to the changes marked by you so please take the time to ensure that the information is shown as clearly as possible. If any changes require detailed instructions please include a separate explanation.
32. How do I register land I have in Scotland?
Phone the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Development on 01315 568 400.
33. How do I register land in Wales?
Phone the Divisional Office of the National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department on 02920 752 222.
34. How do I register land in Northern Ireland?
Phone the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Londonderry on 02871 319 900.
35. If I have land in two countries e.g. England and Wales who do I register with?
The Welsh land in Wales and the English land in England with the RPA.
36. Is there an appeals process?
If after receiving your amended maps you believe they are still incorrect you should contact us with full details of the fields in question. If this does not resolve the matter you have the right to appeal. We can provide details of the appeals process if you contact us to request them.
37. Can a land agent deal with the maps on my behalf?
Yes. You may appoint an agent providing you submit form SP9 to empower your agent. Please contact us to obtain a form or you can print one from our website.
38. Google Earth appears to be the best system for aerial photographs, does RPA use this system?
No, we use information from the Ordnance Survey (OS) and other sources for aerial photographs. This includes the latest satellite technology (GEO Eye) which was launched earlier this year. We may use Google Earth in certain circumstances to back up other information, but will not usually use it to confirm boundaries of land parcels.
39. I have a change to make to my maps to correct the boundary with a neighbour, but I don’t know who the neighbour is. Can I still tell you of the change?
Yes, you can still tell us of the change on an RLE 1 form, but it may take us longer to update your maps as we may have to identify and contact the neighbour to approve the change.
If you cannot find the answer to your question here, then please contact us on 0845 603 7777.
If your enquiry is more complicated or not urgent you may prefer to e-mail us at CSC@rpa.gsi.gov.uk or write to us at:
Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 300
Sheffield, S95 1AA
Page published: 17 April 2013