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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.

Spending Review increases Defra’s budget for 2021/22

The Chancellor’s statement to Parliament on 25 November included an announcement that Defra’s budget for 2021/22 was increasing by almost £1 billion.  This increased budget:

  • Ensures total farm support in England of £2.415 billion in 2021/22 to meet the government’s manifesto commitment to maintain the current annual budget to farmers.
  • Provides more than £90 million for the Nature for Climate Fund.
  • Increases funding in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Provides exceptional multi-year provision for flood and coastal defence.
  • Ensures funding for fisheries is maintained in line with the government’s manifesto commitment in 2021/22.
  • Provides support to implement flagship Environment Bill measures including biodiversity net gain for development, creating new legally binding environmental targets, and the Office for Environmental Protection.

Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull to go into Tier 3 from 2 December

Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull will be placed into Tier 3, the very highest level of restrictions, from 2 December:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces
  • pubs, cafes and restaurants remain closed although they can operate a take-away service
  • gyms and leisure centres can remain open but group exercise cannot go ahead
  • all retail shops, personal care and close contact service may stay open

Read the full list of regulations on this page.  

Severn Trent Pesticide Amnesty Scheme

Between 1 December and 16 January 2021, farmers in Severn Trent priority catchments can sign up to dispose of unwanted pesticides through the water company’s free, COVID-secure Pesticide Amnesty scheme.  On a first come, first served basis, each farm can anonymously dispose of up to 75 litres or kilograms of pesticides, herbicides or rodenticides that have been banned or are passed their expiry date, through STW expert disposal partner, Chemastic  Register your details with Chemastic by calling 01287 213155 or emailing   You will need to provide your catchment name and code, product name, active ingredient and concentration, weight and volume of the product in containers, collection address, two contact phone numbers and an email address.    After the registration period has closed, Chemastic will arrange a suitable collection date with you.

COVID-19 Winter Plan

The COVID-19 Winter Plan sets out the government’s programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality.  The Plan also sets out how national restrictions will be lifted in England on Wednesday 2 December.  Vaccines are at the centre of the government’s plan to ensure life can return to as normal as possible. The government has announced agreements with seven different vaccine developers, securing access to more than 350 million doses to be made available across the UK. Next month, the government will be ready for a UK-wide vaccination programme to begin, provided regulators approve the vaccines.   Read the Winter Plan on this page.

CFE publish Net Zero Action guidance

As part of their ongoing commitment to support the farming industry towards net zero emissions and climate change mitigation, Championing the Farmed Environment has launched eight new guidance pages to help farmers and land managers start their net zero journey.  They have also reviewed their Farm Carbon Calculator summaries, to help farmers choose the right tool for them, and published Aim-Action-Results pages.  Visit this page to read more.

The Land App – manage all your data, projects and team from a single place

The Land App supports land managers design integrated estate plans that support diversification.
The main objective is to support the development of the natural capital market and the transition to agri-environmental schemes by enabling improved decision-making. The platform enables the land management sector to work collaboratively and transfer land data more effectively.  It is a software platform that enables the user to pull in data such as boundaries, registry titles, Ordnance Survey data and Defra designations, and to build projects and schemes that support diversification by including farming and environmental activities, energy generation and alternative land uses. The platform is collaborative, allowing consultants and land managers to work together in real time to deduce the most effective use of the land assets.  For full information please visit their website.  

Boosting flock performance in sheep

This has been a very good year for sheep farmers with prices well ahead of previous years. However with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is difficult to predict what the future might hold. Brian Hanthorn Beef and Sheep adviser from College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Dungannon, suggests that sheep farmers should focus on factors they can change which have the biggest influence on profitability within their own flock.  Read his full article here.  

What will leaving the EU mean for livestock markets?

The UK has left the EU and the transition arrangements end on 31 December 2020.   The AHDB lead livestock analysis, Duncan Wyatt, believes that livestock farmers need to be mindful that moving animals off farm could be interrupted and they should have contingency plans in place, recognising their usual buyers or abattoirs might not be taking animals with the degree of regularity they are used to at the moment.    To read Duncan’s full article please visit this page.

New grants for businesses forced to closed during November lockdown

The Government has announced the provision of Local Restrictions Support Grants to assist businesses that have been mandated to close from 5th November 2020 to manage the spread of coronavirus.    For those businesses that are closed and have a current business rates account the amount of the funding is based on the property rateable value.  Visit this page for full details of how to apply.

2019 report on the spread of bovine TB

The Animal and Plant Agency 2019 Epidemiology report relating to bovine TB was released in October 2020.   The document showcases how the disease is spreading in cattle across the country as well as the main sources of infection.   In Warwickshire in 2019 there were 64 incidents of bTB (page 37 of the report).  Please click here to read the whole report.

Warwickshire NFU County Adviser meets WCC leader

Warwickshire NFU County Adviser George Bostock recently met with Warwickshire County Council lead Cllr Isobel Seccombe.   High on the agenda was additional grant funding for agriculture in the county with the new shared prosperity fund being introduced in 2021. It was highlighted that Warwickshire remains a fundamentally green county with agriculture at the heart of the economy and was agreed that a scheme increasing farm productivity, diversification and benefitting the environment is important.  The NFU has been invited to discuss the matter once further details are released by the government on when the funds will be made available for the local authority.    Further items discussed included rural broadband, HS2, bTB, climate change ad fly tipping. Should you wish to hear more on this meeting please contact George Bostock.

Warwickshire Rural Crime Team newsletter for October 2020

Catch up on all the feedback from the Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team during October 2020.  Articles include an update on Operation Galileo (combating hare coursing) and livestock worrying.   You can catch up on all news on the team’s Facebook page.  You don’t need to be a Facebook user to view the page.

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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
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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