Warwickshire Rural Hub
Here is a flavour of some of the most recent industry news stories. To read all news posts please click on one of the categories above.
Calculate your business labour efficiency with AHDB
Assessing the needs of your workplace labour requirements is crucial. It will help you retain current staff and help recruit the right people for the future. You will also identify where training might be helpful to plug skills gaps. The AHDB calculator is easy to use and should only take around 20 minutes to complete. You can use the calculator to find out where you can make improvements to your business labour needs and it is recommended that you use the calculator every year to compare your progress. Visit this page for further information.
PCF webinar on preparing for agricultural transition – 17 May at 1.00pm
The Prince’s Countryside Fund is inviting farmers to join them for a free webinar, on 17 May at 1.00pm, to hear about how farm business income streams will change over the next few years, and ways to prepare for this. Adele Jones (Sustainable Food Trust) is the presenter for the event. She will review the core principles included within new UK agricultural policy – looking at the upcoming environmental opportunities, as well as improving productivity. She will provide practical examples and next steps, as well as avoiding any technical jargon. Following the 30 minute presentation there will be the opportunity to ask questions. Book your space on this page.
New regulations for selling firewood for domestic use
As from 1 May 2021 there are new rules for selling firewood for use in domestic heating appliances in England. You can only supply or sell wood fuel in volumes of less than 2 cubic metres if it is certified as ‘Ready to Burn’. This confirms it has a moisture content of 20% or less. The Ready to Burn certification scheme applies to:
- firewood in single retail bags
- firewood supplied as a bulk delivery in loose volumes of less than 2 cubic metres
- wood briquettes in single retail bags
- wood briquettes supplied as a bulk delivery in loose volumes of less than 2 cubic metres
If you’re a small-scale wood producer who supplied less than 600 cubic metres of wood between 1 May 2020 and 30 April 2021, you’ll have until 1 May 2022 to comply with the new Ready to Burn certification scheme. Read more on this page.
Demonstrate your business is COVID secure by signing up to the Business Pledge
The Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire COVID Secure Business Pledge is open to businesses in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to sign up to. The pledge seeks to promote COVID Secure best practice while providing reassurance to employees and customers of businesses in the local area. The pledge is a marketing tool to help promote that your business is doing the right thing to customers, and provide reassurance to staff.
By signing up to the voluntary Pledge businesses are agreeing to a number of measures to ensure their premises are COVID secure. By signing the pledge businesses can also access useful information on business support available, help with designing risk assessments, and free access to the Warwickshire EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) Programme to provide help online or over the telephone for staff experiencing difficulties at this time. Read more here.
Adapt and diversify with the help of a grant from WCC
Warwickshire County Council has established a Covid-19 Adapt and Diversify grant scheme as part of a package of funding to support economic recovery in the county. It is open to all retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses and certain identified businesses in their supply chains that have also been affected by Covid-19. The new scheme offers grants of £2,500 to £5,000 to access specialist external advice and up to £20,000 for projects which involve specialist advice and/ or the purchase of equipment or the refurbishment of property. Round two of the scheme will open to online applications from 9.30am on Monday 17 May and close as soon as the funding has been allocated. Visit this page for full information on how to apply.
Access funding to recover from the pandemic
The Recovery Loan Scheme is to help businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period Up to £10 million is available per business. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. The borrower is 100% liable for the debt. The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review. Businesses need to confirm that they would be viable were it not for the pandemic and they have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Visit this page for full information.
May is skin cancer awareness month
Three out of five skin cancers occur on the head and neck – so please remember to protect yourself when working outdoors, especially if the UV index is 3 or higher. To download an advice sheet on safe skin care please visit this page.
Website to track bovine TB outbreaks
The Animal and Plant Health Agency has launched an online interactive mapping tool for ongoing and resolved TB breakdowns in England and Wales over the past 10 years. The site can be used to find out about the bovine TB situation in your local area, and when purchasing cattle. Visit the site here.
Launch of two new farmer networks in Warwickshire
The Warwickshire Rural Hub is pleased to announce the launch of two new sustainable farming groups in Warwickshire. We already work closely with the Arden Farm Wildlife Network and we will be working closely with these two new groups. One group will cover the south Warwickshire area (south of the A46 and west of M40) and one group will cover the Leam and Upper Avon area (east of the M40 and up to Rugby and across to Coventry and Nuneaton) .
These groups have been set up with the help of local organisations and farmers, with the aim of helping farmers adapt to future schemes and move to more sustainable methods of agriculture. The groups will be free to join and farmer-led so you will decide what you want to learn about. The groups could cover any subject including;
- Sustainable / regenerative farming methods
- Prepare for the future of landscape scale support post BPS
- Environmental schemes
- Net Zero
- Managing wildlife habitats and conservation mixes
We are busy organising farm walks to launch these groups and will let you have further details as soon as possible.
Guidance on three silvopasture planting designs
Silvopasture is a form of agroforestry where trees are deliberately planted to be part of a farm’s livestock system. Innovative Farmers has shared guidance on three tree planting designs which are being trialled as part of a field lab investigating the benefits of agroforestry. Visit this page for information on the three designs which were chosen to suit the grazing requirements of the farmers in the trial, as well as fitting into the natural environment surrounding the chosen fields.
Take 2 minutes to complete the Tractor Wheel of Life
A healthy and resilient business is all about balance. The 2 Minute Farmer is a project which has identified 10 areas that contribute to a balanced farm life and these are all included in a self-assessment tool called the ‘Tractor Wheel of Life’. As the wheel is still in development farmers are being asked to test out the prototype and complete the feedback form. You can either complete the Wheel online or request a paper copy. To download the Tractor Wheel of Life and find out more about the project visit this page.
Please complete the AHDB planting survey for 2021
Growers are being encouraged to complete the AHDB planting survey which will provide an estimate of the area of cereals and oilseed rape intended for harvest in 2021 in Great Britain. By publishing accurate results of the surveys, AHDB can assist in the marketing decisions made by all levy payers. The survey can be found here
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Warwickshire, CV8 1PR
Tel: 07780 159291
Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
Marcus Faulkner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
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