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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Legislation & Regulation

Rules for farmers post cross compliance from 2024 onwards

2023 is the final year of Cross Compliance and all rules must be followed by farmers receiving a single farm payment until 31 December of this year.   From 1 January 2024
Cross Compliance ends as a sanction mechanism and will not apply to delinked payments.  However, most cross compliance standards will continue to apply to farm activities as they are enshrined in other English laws.  Defra has established a Farm Regulation Hub which lists all of the legal requirements for farmers and land managers.  You can access the Hub on this page.

Defra is also looking at ways to fill the gaps in Cross Compliance rules which are not covered by current laws together with better ways of using existing enforcement tools.  They have also run recent consultations on how to protect and manage hedgerows and improve livestock traceability.

Get ready for changes to fire safety legislation

Businesses across Warwickshire are being advised to prepare for upcoming changes in fire safety legislation set to take effect on the 1st of October 2023.  To ensure that businesses are ready for the changes coming in, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will be taking proactive measures to raise awareness of this new legislation locally, as the changes coming soon will apply to all businesses.  Effective from October 1st, the introduction of Section 156 of the Building Safety Act mandates that all businesses, irrespective of their size, employee count, or business type, must comprehensively document their fire risk assessments and fire safety arrangements. Additionally, the revised legislation stipulates that in residential buildings housing two or more domestic premises, residents must receive information regarding fire risks and the fire safety measures implemented for their protection.   Many premises will be affected by the changes including small shops, take-aways, holiday lets and small blocks of flats.  Read more on the changes that are required on this page.  

Build a Health and Safety Policy for your business with the Farm Safety Foundation

Farming is a business and every business needs a health and safety policy.  If the business employs more than 5 employees, the law says that this policy needs to be in writing.   Farm safety is good basic common sense and a health and safety policy doesn’t need to be lengthy or complicated.  It just needs to be tailored to your business and set out who does what and when.    It is also important to regularly review the policy and keep it up to date.

The Farm Safety Foundation has created an online ‘Build Your Own Health & Safety Policy’ digital tool which will take you through a series of simple questions and create a policy just for you. It’s quick and so easy to do – in fact, it’s so easy you could even do it on your phone. It’s free, it can be changed or updated when needed, and it might just save a life.  Visit this page to get started on building your policy.

Prepare for new veterinary attestation rules from December 2023

The new veterinary Statutory Health Attestation is required from the 13 December 2023 to certify exports of Products of Animal Origin to the EU.  The Export Health Certificates require that the animals’ farm of origin has undergone regular visits by a veterinary surgeon. The veterinary attestation template should be completed and signed by your vet.   Farmers and vets must keep a copy of this declaration for their records and provide a copy to their livestock auction market or meat processor if asked.

Obtaining a signed veterinary attestation must be done at least once over a 12-month period and can be combined with any other routine veterinary visit.

Farmer declarations can continue to be used as a source of evidence for the certification of the ‘regular vet visit’ until 13 December 2023. After this date, certification will be needed from either membership of a qualifying farm assurance scheme or via a valid veterinary declaration

Read the rules and regulations for farmers and land managers all on one page

Following feedback, Defra has established a new page on its website which lists all of the rules and regulations for farmers and land managers in one place.  The rules are also arranged in a more intuitive way, by the activities that you undertake.  Defra is keen for further feedback on the new page, so please try and send them your thoughts.  Access the new page here.  

No changes for Cross Compliance in 2023

The cross compliance rules that you must meet in 2023 have not changed from 2022, but there have been some changes to how cross compliance runs.  It is no longer the case that penalties will be applied differently between all other rural payments claimants and those:

  • who claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) only
  • whose Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements start on or after 1 January 2021 only
  • whose CS agreements start on or after 1 January 2021 only and who claim for BPS

A new section has been added to tell you about plans to replace BPS with delinked payments in 2024 and what this means for cross compliance.

Read all the Cross Compliance rules for 2023 on this page.  

RPA moves towards partnership approach for visits

The Rural Payments Agency has introduced a more supportive, partnership-based approach to inspections, moving away from the penalty-based system under the EU, to farmer-focused visits for schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship.  To reflect this change, inspections are now referred to as visits. Inspectors are now referred to as Field Officers and the Inspectorate is known as the Regulatory and Advice Service.  As part of this supportive approach, a new visit record checklist has been introduced which will help inform farmers of their responsibilities.

Read more here.

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 this website.

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Tel: 07780 159291

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Rural Hub


Jane Hampson

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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