Common (soft) rush encroachment in pasture on marginal farms in the north and west of England has become a significant issue over the past 5 years. A combination of wet ground conditions during summer and autumn months and changes to livestock management systems has resulted in increasing competition from rush plants. Short term control strategies can help to limit the spread of encroachment, but a more fundamental and farm specific approach is needed to address the problem. This involves assessment of soil management, acidity, nutrient availability and pasture management in line with the objectives of land managers. A financially and technically sustainable plan can then be designed and put in place.