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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.

Leaving lawns long boosts butterfly numbers by 93%

Letting parts of your garden grow wild with long grass can increase butterfly numbers by up to 93% and attract a wider range of species, according to new research from leading wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation.   The study provides the first scientific evidence that having long grass in your garden increases butterfly abundance and diversity. Creating such wild spaces may help to reverse the decline of these beautiful insects.  The research is great news for gardeners and non-gardeners alike, proving the free and easy action of letting an area go wild can make a positive impact for butterflies.

The potential to provide wild spaces for butterflies and moths to thrive is huge. Gardens make up more than 728,000 hectares in Great Britain.   If each of these gardens had a space that was allowed to go a little wild, with grass growing long, it would make a huge difference for butterflies and moths, providing spaces for them to feed, breed and shelter.   While the research specifically studied gardens, the benefits to butterflies of long grass and wild spaces are likely to extend beyond the garden gate. Public green spaces such as parks, school grounds, allotments, and road verges, could also provide vital spaces for wildlife, and enable more people to see more butterflies if allowed to go a little wild.  Read how to create your own wild space on this page.  

Do you know a young Warwickshire farmer who deserves recognition?

Following the continued success of their Young Farmer of the Year Award Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society is again looking for a young farmer who deserves recognition for their work within the agricultural industry. This award, which has been running for the last 4 years, was won in 2023 by Bizza Walters with Sam Evans as runner-up.  You can read all about Bizza on this link.  KADAS Young Farmer 2023

The award is sponsored by Warwickshire Agricultural Society and comprises £500 for the winner and £300 for the runner-up.  If you know someone like Bizza and Sam who can showcase genuine expertise in their agricultural field, possess a strong work ethic, demonstrate proactive and forward-thinking qualities, and serve as an outstanding ambassador for farming and agriculture in the UK, then please nominate them now for the 2024 title.  Entry criteria are simple: Nominees must be under the age of 30 on the closing date of 30th September 2024, working in agriculture and living in Warwickshire.  The winner will be announced in early December and presented with the award at the next Kenilworth Show in 2025.  Read more and submit your nomination on this page.  

Farming in Protected Landscapes programme for the Cotswolds is extended to 2025

The application window for this grant is open now and remains open until all funds have been allocated. The programme has now been extended until 2025 and been allocated an additional £2 million.  Grants are for one-off projects that haven’t started yet and will be completed by 2025.  Grants are available for projects that:

  • support nature recovery
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • protect or improve the quality and character of the landscape or place

Grants can cover capital and revenue costs, up to 100% in exceptional cases. The level of funding offered depends on how much commercial gain a project may provide, in addition to delivering outcomes for climate, nature, people and place.   Read more on this page.  

Changes to Hemp Licensing announced

For every tonne of hemp produced, 1.63 tonnes of carbon is removed from the air, which makes hemp an effective sequester of carbon dioxide.  The roots of the hemp plant grow strong and up to nine feet deep, and the root networks can help to hold the soil together and prevent erosion  Hemp can only be cultivated outdoors under the Home Office’s ‘industrial hemp’ licensing regime for the purposes of fibre and seed production. A first-time licence costs £580. Licences are issued for three growing seasons. Repeat growers currently pay £326.  Under the planned changes, licence holders will be able to grow hemp anywhere on a licensed farm and the maximum period for a licence will be extended from three to six years, subject to compliance with the terms of the licence.  The proposals, which have been developed in collaboration with experienced growers, include an option to apply for a licence with a deferred start date by up to one year. These changes are planned to come into effect for the 2025 growing season.

Over £6000 raised at Warwickshire RABI farmhouse breakfast

The charity farmhouse breakfast held on 7 February 2024 in aid of Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) raised an incredible £6046.30.  The event was hosted by Simon Moreton at Wetherle Manor in Weston under Wetherley and organised by Warwickshire RABI.

A delicious full cooked breakfast with all the food donated by local farmers and farm shops was prepared by staff from Barclays Bank and served during the morning by volunteer committee members from Warwickshire RABI.  Rural Hub was represented at the event by Chair Karen Ellis, Co-ordinator Jane Hampson and Health event massage therapist Maya van der Galian, who all enjoyed a big breakfast whilst chatting to local farmers.

The date for next year’s event will be announced soon – we hope to see you there!

RPA announces Grants for Storm Henk waterlogging

Eligible farmers in England who suffered uninsurable damage to their land during Storm Henk will be contacted by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) about a grant to help cover the costs of returning the land to the condition it was in before it flooded.  The Farming Recovery Fund supports the cost of reinstating agricultural land which flooded between 2 and 12 January 2024.   The payment will be £130 per hectare and the RPA will indicate how many hectares of your land are eligible.  The minimum grant available is £500 and the maximum grant available is £25,000.  If the RPA writes to you, you are eligible.   Read more on this Defra blog post.

Water Restoration Grant is now open

The Water Restoration Fund (WRF) has 2 types of grants, development and delivery awards, to fund projects that restore and improve water and wetland environments such as rivers and their headwaters, canals, lakes and ponds.  The development awards are between £75K and £250K and the delivery awards are between £500K and £2 million.    The £11 million available is made up of water company fines.  Defra is encouraging local groups and farm clusters to work together and consider applying for funding to deliver projects at the catchment scale.   Projects will be encouraged to restore and protect habitats using nature-based solutions, improve community access to blue and green spaces, ranging from re-meandering rivers and restoring water-dependent habitats to removing barriers to enable fish natural movement in rivers.   The closing date for applications is 7 June 2024.  Read more on this Defra blog post.

Update on Long Compton abattoir – help needed with business structure and Articles

Farmer John Weaver, who is spearheading the campaign to buy the Long Compton abattoir site and re-open an improved facility, has given us this update:

“As well as launching the website and fundraising campaign, we have drawn up a Profit and Loss spreadsheet and the business plan is being pulled together. We have also set up a new company and opened a new Business account.  The main stumbling block at the moment is finding assistance in working out the correct business structure and finding someone who can put together the articles of association, so that we can offer shares to interested parties.  If you know of someone who can help please let me know”.

Can you help?  Please contact John on jdweaverlmf@gmail.com 

Read more about the campaign to save the abattoir on their website.  

Permitted poultry and pig farms are now required to produce a Climate Change Risk Assessment

The Environment Agency has brought in a new requirement for all existing permitted pig and poultry farms to produce a climate change risk assessment.  There is already a requirement for new permits. The assessment should identify risks and propose mitigation strategies.  The EA expects all operators to at least have completed a climate change risk assessment by 1 April 2024.   By 31 October 2026 the EA expect all permitted poultry farms to have appropriate climate change adaptation planning as part of their management system.  AHDB has set up some model templates to help farmers complete the assessments.  Visit this page to download the templates.

Host a visit for Open Farm Sunday 2024

Since the first Open Farm Sun­day in 2006, over 1600 farm­ers across the UK have opened their gates and wel­comed over 2.7 mil­lion peo­ple onto farms for one Sun­day each year.   It is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for every­one, young and old, to dis­cov­er at first hand what it means to be a farmer and the work they do pro­duc­ing our food, enhanc­ing the coun­try­side and all the goods and ser­vices farm­ers provide.  Each event is unique based around the farm’s indi­vid­ual sto­ry. Activ­i­ties dur­ing the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, trac­tor and trail­er rides, demon­stra­tions, pond dip­ping, activ­i­ties for chil­dren, a mini farm­ers mar­ket or farm shop.

This year’s event is taking place on 9 June.    If you have never hosted an event but are thinking of getting involved this year, LEAF is running a series of Zoom meetings which will give new farmers all the information they need to host an event.  Visit this page to sign up to a Zoom meeting, read top tips, download a resource pack and register your event.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust seeks two Agricultural Advisers

By joining the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust agricultural advice team, you’ll be on the front line, helping farmers, landowners and growers to support nature’s recovery whilst enabling them to continue growing high quality food. With farmland covering 70% of Warwickshire this role will support farmers, landowners and growers to make space for nature and take action for wildlife.  As an Agricultural Adviser at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, you will work alongside colleagues in the team to help inspire and support farmers across the area. You will work closely with the Rural Hub Warwickshire Farm Cluster Groups and other partners to provide advice and guidance to farmers. Helping them to integrate nature into their business, apply for the Government’s new agricultural grants, and support them to transition to a more nature friendly way of farming.  The roles are full time, but part-time hours will be considered.

The full application pack can be download below.  Closing date for applications is 28 April and interviews take place on 9 May.

Agricultural Adviser Job Pack April 2024

All poultry keepers must now register their flock with Defra

All poultry keepers will be required to register their birds with Defra this autumn, even if they own just a couple of birds in a garden.. Currently, only those who keep 50 birds or more are required to submit their details. But as part of a move to tighten up on disease control in the wake of recent avian influenza outbreaks, this is being extended to all poultry keepers.   After registering their birds, keepers receive important updates, such as local avian disease outbreaks and information on biosecurity rules to help protect their flocks.  The register will also be used to identify all bird keepers in disease control zones, allowing for more effective surveillance.

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A donation to the Rural Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, only donations of over £100 can be acknowledged on our Hub Supporter's page.  A donation can be paid by cheque, BACS, standing order or by the Paypal link below.  If you would like our bank details please contact the Co-ordinator on info@ruralhub.org.uk 

 

 

Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
Archway Cottage, 2 Church Street, Marton, Rugby CV23 9RL

Email: info@ruralhub.org.uk
Tel: 07780 159291

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

 

Rural Hub

Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

Tel: 07780 159291

 

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Karen Ellis (Chair)
Amy Brant
Rosemary Collier
Emlyn Evans
Ian Jelley
Henry Lucas
Marion Perrett Pearson
Alexandra Robinson

 

Environmental Steering Group Members

Zoe Bell (Chair)
Tony Beysens
Meehal Grint, Kings Seeds
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Louis Phipps, Bragborough Estate
Zoe Burrows, Rookery Farm

 

 

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