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.
Grants for students starting an agriculture-related course in 2021
The Deakin and Combe Memorial Trust is inviting applications for assistance with the costs of further education. The trust will make awards to those who are studying, or about to study, an agriculture-related course in the 2021/22 academic year, and whose parent(s) have contributed to the industry in England or Wales. Last year, successful candidates received grants of between £500 and £1,000 towards items such as training courses, laptops and books – a significant sum for any student while at college or university. Closing date for applications is 27 August 2021. Read more here.
Read comparison of 5 different methods of rejuvenating hedges
Many hedges in the UK are not in good condition, partly due to over-frequent trimming with mechanised flails. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology compared 5 different methods of rejuvenating hedges which can be viewed on this page. The findings showed that:
- Traditional hedgerow rejuvenation methods i.e. hedge-laying and coppicing, reduce gaps and stimulates growth from the base. Denser hedges are better for perennial plants, small mammals, farmland birds and some invertebrates.
- Traditional Midland style hedge-laying was the most expensive and time consuming method tested, but it improved the hedge condition, increasing the density and reducing gap sizes.
- The conservation hedging technique yielded a hedge structure and rates of woody re-growth as good as traditional hedge-laying in improving hedge condition.
- The wildlife hedging technique resulted in a greater density of woody material than traditional hedge-laying three years after rejuvenation, with smaller gaps in the hedge base. The average hedge width was more than twice that of the traditional and conservation laid hedges.
- Re-shaping with a circular saw resulted in vigorous growth in the hedgerow canopy, but did not reduce gaps at the base or stimulate basal woody growth.
- Coppicing resulted in vigorous growth of woody stems and a dense woody structure at the base of the hedge but very few berries were produced even four years after coppicing.
English Woodland Creation Offer opens for applications
With £15.9 million available in its first year, this new grant scheme supports the creation of a range of woodland types and sizes, while providing greater financial incentives for landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees. The English Woodland Creation Offer provides greater flexibility and recognition of the benefits woodland can provide for people and wildlife by offering additional incentives to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place for the right reason. The grant will cover standard capital costs for tree planting (up to a per hectare cap of £8,500) and annual maintenance payments of £200 per hectare for 10 years, as well as rewarding farmers and landowners for providing public and wider environmental benefits. To read all about the scheme, find out if you are eligible and make an application, visit this page.
Demo of Nano tracker at Stratford Livestock Market on 29 June
NFU Mutual Stratford and South Warwickshire is teaming up with Warwickshire Police and Stratford District Council to hold a demonstration of a Nano tracker at Stratford Livestock Market between 9.00am – 12 noon on Tuesday 29 June You can watch the tracker being fitted and also order one for a heavily discounted price of £70 plus VAT to include the first year’s subscription. The Nano tracker is suitable for quad bikes, trailers, plant and other machinery.
To book your place at the demonstration please email Luke Ryder on email@example.com
Woodland Trust MOREwoods and MOREhedges schemes for large scale planting
If you are thinking about large scale tree or hedgerow planting you could receive up to 75% of the cost from the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods and MOREhedges schemes. Their expert advisers will also make a site visit, help you plan the scheme and supply the trees and protection. Read more here.
New tool to estimate nitrate losses
The Environment Agency has developed a tool to estimate annual losses of nitrate (N) at the field and farm scale using data provided by farmers during farm visits. The tool will help the Environment Agency and farmers to identify more sustainable farming practices that prevent environmental pollution. The Nitrate Leaching Tool (NLT) models N losses that could occur as a direct result of individual farm practices and evaluates a range of leaching measures that farmers can put in place. The NLT helps farmers, their advisors, environmental regulators and water companies to discuss these issues and promotes a collaborative approach for identifying solutions. Visit this page for full information.
Using greening features on your farm to benefit your business and the environment
In 2021, the greening requirements previously attached to 30% of farmers’ Basic Payment Scheme payment came to an end. Farming Advice Service has provided information on how the existing greening features on your farm can be retained to benefit your business and the environment. The article has been produced in collaboration with Championing the Farmed Environment. Read more here.
Heart of England Forest look to recruit a Conservation Farmer
Heart of England Forest is looking for an enthusiastic individual passionate about conservation farming to demonstrate that biodiversity-rich landscapes can also be productive for food. The role will be based between Dorsington and Pebworth. The Conservation Farmer will be responsible for the development and management of the Heart of England Forest’s livestock grazing programme to ensure that animals are available for grazing on a wide range of habitats throughout the Forest. The ideal candidate will be a team player, comfortable with working on their own for significant periods, and undertaking all aspects of farm work as required, from animal husbandry to arable, and accurate paper and electronic record keeping to general farm maintenance. The closing date for applications is 4 July. To download the full job description please visit this page.
The Agricultural Census for 2021
Defra will be sending details about this year’s agricultural census to all active commercial farms in England. Completion is mandatory and this can be done either online or via paper form. All farmers are encouraged to respond within two weeks of receiving the information. The 2021 census will capture detailed information on land use, crop areas, livestock numbers and the farm labour force. The data collected provides the government, farming industry, policy makers and stakeholders with the necessary information about agriculture to help plan future policies and priorities. The data is also used to enable research and investment in the industry, as well as to monitor environmental changes and the wider impact of farm activities.
£10m available for next woodland carbon units auction
The Woodland Carbon Guarantee gives land managers the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government at a guaranteed price protected against inflation. The scheme’s previous auctions have helped stimulate proposals for over 2,300 hectares of tree planting. Farmers and land managers in England are now being encouraged to apply by the 9 July deadline ahead of the next auction which will take place online between 26 July and 1 August. The Guarantee provides land managers the option to sell their captured carbon in the form of verified carbon credits to the government for a guaranteed price every 5 or 10 years up to 2055/56. For further information please visit this page.
Paralegal vacancy in Wright Hassall’s agricultural team
Due to growth Rural Hub Business Supporter Wright Hassall is seeking to appoint an additional Paralegal in their busy Agriculture department. Although legal experience is desired this is not essential. Candidates must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, be enthusiastic with a ‘can-do’ attitude; and be highly organised and a real team player. To read all about the role’s responsibilities and the terms and conditions of employment visit this link.
Free digital advice for small and medium enterprises from the Growth Hub
Free digital advice to SMEs and charities is now available to help them recover from the pandemic and rebuild the area’s economy. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub has joined forces with Digital Boost which aims to support one million small businesses and charities across the UK by January 2022. Advisers from the CWLEP Growth Hub and Digital Boost will connect people who want to upskill and grow their business with volunteer digital experts from a wide range of high-profile partners including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Google, Apple, BT and Vodafone. As well as mentoring calls, there are webinars and workshops available to join on topical issues ranging from funding for start-ups to GDPR support, as well as a resource library to access to find out more detailed information. Read more here.
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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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