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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Latest News

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.

New guide on using tree shelters and guards

The new Tree protection: The use of tree shelters and guards guide outlines a framework for woodland owners and managers considering what method(s) of protection are needed for the successful establishment of trees. The guide also highlights the key considerations when evaluating the efficacy of tree protection, and explores a sustainable approach to the use of plastics within forestry.

Free support and advice for getting back to business

The Professional and Business Services Sector & Enterprise Nation, supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, have teamed up to offer small businesses free expert advice to recover from the impact of COVID19.  Up to the 31st of December 2020 professional bodies and trade associations are mobilising experts in their sector to offer free calls on topics from accounting to advertising, HR and legal affairs.  Enterprise Nation is providing free access to the platform to enable small businesses to connect with business advisers.  To sign up to receive the advice please visit this page.  

Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust loan scheme for smaller businesses

Warwickshire County Council has approved a loan of £1m to the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) to enable it to support businesses who are having cash flow problems due to the pandemic crisis.  The scheme enables lenders to provide loans of up to £5m to smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. To be eligible for a loan under CBILS, a smaller business must:

  • Be Coventry and Warwickshire based in its business activity, with turnover of no more than £45m per year.
  • Need to borrow between £50,001 – £100,000
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender.
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To apply for a loan please visit this page. 

Advice for tourism businesses and they re-open their doors to welcome back customers

Warwickshire County Council is working hard with the Districts and Boroughs and other partners to help businesses in the tourism sector to be fully equipped for reopening after lockdown.  Most sectors of the visitor economy reopened on July 4th, provided they adhered to the necessary Health & Safety and social distancing criteria.  It is vital that businesses observe all the legislation in place to protect themselves and their customers and, to assist them to do that, there is a lot of helpful information available.   Visit this page for further details.

Rural businesses rise to Covid-19 challenges by showing great innovation

Forward-thinking rural businesses are showing their innovative expertise and exploring new markets during the coronavirus outbreak, a new in-depth survey has revealed.  The data was collected by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub via the Warwickshire Rural Hub.  The results were included in the latest CWLEP Growth Hub SmartRegion report (June 9-22) which also gathered information from the CWLEP’s business engagements and survey data, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, the Federation of Small Businesses and the National Farmers Union.

Of the people who responded to the Warwickshire Rural Hub survey 53% of responders were sole traders, 37% were micro businesses and10% were small or medium businesses

95% of respondents said that their business had been adversely impacted by Covid-19 with 53% seeing their business temporarily cease trading.   To cope with the impact of Covid-19 businesses had:

  • furloughed staff
  • temporarily changed their products
  • sought new supply chains
  • changed staff working patterns

But there is positive news too, which shows the resilience of our rural business community:

69% of businesses were undertaking innovation
37% of respondents were investing in their business
53% of businesses were looking to diversify
42% were exploring new markets

And a fast Broadband connection was felt to be the single most important issue for rural business development.  The Rural Hub is now working with the CW Growth Hub to analyse the results and pass on intelligence to contacts in local government to influence future support for the rural sector.

Irrigation advice from the Environment Agency

May 2020 was the driest on record (and the fourth driest spring on record) in England, with below average rainfalls recorded across the country. The dry conditions will be having a significant impact on crops and grass. For more information on this, please read the Environment Agency’s irrigation advice in ‘Making your business resilient to drought’ and ‘What can Irrigators do’ sections of the Environment Agency’s updated irrigation prospects.  Visit this page for further information.

YFC Climate Change Challenge competition

The government has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the NFU announced an ambition for the food and farming sector to reach that target by 2040.  National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, in association with Championing the Farmed Environment and supported by Defra, want you to share your ideas, or practical examples that you might already be using on your farm to help reduce emissions, in a short video (3 minutes max).  Winners will have the opportunity to share their ideas with international climate change policy makers at next year’s COP26 in Glasgow.  Closing date is 30 July 2020.  For full entry details please visit this page. 

An update on the work of Championing the Farmed Environment

Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE) has a new theme: climate change mitigation.  You can read CFE guidance on how to incorporate climate change mitigation into a farming business on this page.    To help you stay connected during lockdown CFE has also launched a podcast series.  It’s not too late to take advantage of their subsidised seed mix offers supported by Syngenta.  Visit this page for details.  Over the last year CFE worked closely with Agricology to share a joint mission and messages with a wider audience.  The Agricology events pages list CFE events as well as lots of great online events offered by CFE partners and Agricology supporters.


Defra publishes report on integrated pest management

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan puts Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the centre of the future approach to crop protection. The aim is to create policies which focus on minimising pesticide use and making the greatest possible use of alternatives, such as improved crop husbandry and the use of natural predators. To read a copy of the final project report please visit this page. 

Moisture meter guidance from Red Tractor

Red Tractor has issued new guidance regarding calibrating moisture meters, following the cancellation of clinics due to coronavirus.

  • Contact the manufacturer of your moisture meter for specific advice as to how to calibrate at home.
  • Contact your merchant – they may be offering calibration services, or may be able to provide you with tested samples to calibrate against.
  • Apply for a reference sample – some merchants are selling these. Are there any neighbours you can work with to buy a set of samples and use between you?
  • Send your meter off to be professionally calibrated.

Whichever method you select for the calibration you must record and retain the information.

Rural Crime Team Expansion

Warwickshire Police and PCC Philip Seccombe have announced an expansion of the rural crime team with an additional four dedicated rural crime officers to be recruited. This team was launched in October 2019 and has been a huge success in the fight against crime in the county. Should you wish to contact your local rural crime officer please contact who can forward through details.

Government to establish trade and agriculture commission

The government has announced that it will establish a trade and agriculture commission to help inform post-Brexit trade policy.  The international trade secretary, Liz Truss. announced the news on 29 June)following ‘positive discussions’ with UK farming unions.  She said the commission would make recommendations for agricultural trade policy, higher animal welfare standards and export opportunities for farmers.  The group, which could be made up of government officials, industry representatives, civil society groups and experts in food and farming, would make recommendations on the UK’s future food trade policy.

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A donation to the Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, it is only donations of over £100 that can be acknowledged on the Hub website as a Champion.  A donation can be given to the Hub by cheque, bank payment, standing order or by the Paypal Link Below.


Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm, Kenilworth
Warwickshire, CV8 1PR

Tel: 07780 159291

Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA

Hub Chair

Henry Lucas




Jane Hampson

Tel: 07780 159291

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Karen Ellis
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson

Hub Steering Group Members

George Bostock, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall


The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.

© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.