Warwickshire Rural Hub
Legislation & Regulation
Keep up to speed with the agricultural transition with the Future Farming Advice team
New regulatory position statement on applying organic manure until 1 March 2022
The Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on spreading organic manures this autumn and winter. The document states farmers can apply organic manure to agricultural land that may exceed the needs of the soil or crop on that land in certain situations, but must not cause a risk of pollution.
There is a hierarchy of actions.
- If you can follow farming rules for water, Rule 1, then you do not need to use this RPS – carry on with your planned activities.
- If you can follow the conditions in this RPS – tell the Environment Agency you are using the RPS as described in the ‘contact’ section, and carry on with your activities.
- If you cannot comply with the conditions in this RPS, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03708 506 506 (general enquiries). The Environment Agency will assess the risk of your activities.
The RPS is only in place until 1 March 2022, unless the Environment Agency chooses to extend. Farmers will need to consider their position carefully and may wish to take independent professional advice regarding their circumstances to ascertain whether they are compliant with Farming Rules for Water. If you are also in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) then you should also follow the rules that apply to NVZs.
Revised Red Tractor standards equip British farms for the future
The UK’s largest food standards assurance scheme has released details of its new standards for members which apply from 1 November 2021. For the first time in its history, Red Tractor consulted with all of its 46,000 members and the entire food supply chain. Over 3,000 pieces of feedback were received. To read about the key changes in each sector please visit this page.
New email address for applying for an agricultural dispensation on road journeys
The new email address for agricultural dispensations for moving large vehicles and loads on the roads is:
When contacting Warwickshire Police please provide details of the type of vehicles to be covered (ie, tractor/combine harvester) the make of vehicle and the VRM. You will also need to provide evidence of appropriate insurance cover. For further information and advice please call the Abnormal Loads, Vehicle Recovery, & Alarms team on 01926 415847.
Non-agricultural activities allowed for 28 days/year on land eligible for BPS
These non-agricultural activities are allowed on agricultural land eligible for BPS – but not for more than a total of 28 days in the relevant calendar year (whether consecutive or not):
- clay shooting
- car boot sales
- car parking
- country fairs and shows
- farm auctions and shows
- horse riding activities using apparatus or fixtures, like show-jumping or an in-field cross- country course
- festivals and events
- scout or guide camps (or similar)
- using land for television and film locations
- caravan sites
- motor sports
- grass airstrips
- rearing game in pens which are moved at least once every 28 days
- agricultural competitions which include trade stands
The 28 days should include all the days the land was unavailable, including preparing the land and/or clearing up afterwards. If an activity lasts less than 24 hours, it still counts as one of the 28 days. Read more here.
Progress update on Agricultural Transition Plan
On 30 June 2021 Defra published a progress update on the Agricultural Transition Plan which sets out the changes they are making to agricultural policy in England. It covers further details of the early roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive ahead of the scheme opening in Spring 2022. This includes eligibility and how farmers can be rewarded through the scheme. Visit this page for full information. You can calculate the progressive reductions in your direct payments currently paid through BPS on this page.
Changes to Right to Work checks from 1 July
As from 1 July 2021 it will no longer be possible to accept EU passports or ID cards as valid proof of right-to-work, with the exception of Irish citizens. To carry out an online right-to-work check, employer’s will need an applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online. The right-to-work check can then be completed online by visiting GOV.UK. There is no need to retrospectively check the status of any EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens employed before 1 July 2021.
A right-to-work check should be completed for every individual who is employed by a company. There is a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegally employed worker who does not have the right to work in the UK and where correct checks were not undertaken. A collection of guidance and communication materials for employers can be found on GOV.UK.
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.
Cross Compliance in 2021
You must meet all of the cross compliance rules throughout the whole year to receive all of your rural payments. The RPA is removing duplication with existing guidance about some of the cross compliance rules. They are doing this by outlining the cross compliance rules and then linking to the detailed rules themselves on GOV.UK and other websites. There are also some changes to how cross compliance runs. These includes inspections and enforcement actions the RPA will take if you do not meet the rules.
To read the Cross Compliance rules for 2021 please visit this page.
To read the changes to Cross Compliance for 2021 please visit this page.
Updated information on riparian rights
Updated information on your responsibilities and rules to follow for watercourses on or near your property, and permissions you need to do work around them, have been placed on the Gov.uk website. Visit the link below to view the information.
Reminder on water abstraction licences
If your current water abstraction licence is due to expire, and you want to continue to abstract, you need to apply for a new licence at least 3 months before the existing licence expires.
For more information on applying for a water abstraction licence, please visit the website below.
Please be reminded that Dewlap tags, which are inserted through the dewlap of cattle, are legally classed as a mutilation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). Using the dewlap tag is therefore illegal and if farms are found to be using these tags at an RPA or APHA inspection it will be considered a rectifiable breach and will incur a penalty.
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