The rules with regard to eligibility of agricultural land to draw down payment are set out in detail in both the Terms and Conditions document for the Basic Payment/Greening Scheme that is provided to each farmer annually and in the 2015 Guide to Land Eligibility. It is the responsibility of each claimant to assure themselves that their lands meet the relevant conditions to be deemed eligible for payment under the various area-based schemes.
With regard to fencing there is no requirement for individual parcels within the folio to be fenced. However, in the normal course of events external boundaries must be fenced and the fencing must be appropriate to the type of livestock grazing the land. Fencing is not however required for exclusively owned hill lands, provided the lands continue to be farmed in the traditional manner.
For hill land to be deemed eligible an agricultural activity needs to be carried out. In practical terms this requirement is often satisfied via the stocking of appropriate livestock.
In cases where a claimant is in any doubt with regard to the eligibility of lands they can employ the services of an advisor, trained by officials from my Department, under the Farm Advisory System (FAS), to provide advice on specific cases. A full list of FAS advisors is available on the Department's website.