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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Legislation & Regulation

Learn how to manage and maintain your woodlands

Forestry Commission has published some new information on woodland management in England, including funding to maintain your woodland, useful guidance, and the regulations you’ll need to follow.  Visit this page to read the advice.

No change for GAECs and SMRs for Cross Compliance in 2022

As with previous years, the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will run for the full calendar year (1 January to 31 December 2022). Those who are intending to claim payments under BPS for 2022 will be required to comply with the BPS requirements for the entire year.  There are not going to be any changes to the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) and Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs), in 2022. However there are some operational changes that will be implemented:

a) following an inspection the RPA will send a letter shortly after a visit confirming the initial results;

b) For many farmers, penalties for non-compliance (or reductions for non-compliance for Countryside Stewardship agreements starting on or after 1 January 2021) will be more proportionate.

UK-wide bird housing measures to be introduced on 29 November

The Chief Veterinary Officer for England has agreed to bring in new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks.  The new housing measures, which will come into force on Monday 29 November, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.  Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to use the next five days to prepare for the new housing measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and put up additional housing where necessary.    Read more here.

New red diesel rules come into force on 1 April 2022

Although red diesel will continue to be permitted for farm work from 1 April 2022 its use will no longer be legal on construction sites.  Therefore, unless machinery is being used for farm work, flood or snow clearance, gritting, or roadside hedge and verge cutting, it will no longer be allowed to run on red diesel.  Any construction or amenity work such as sports field mowing or trimming hedges around car parks must only be carried out using white diesel.  The current guidance from HMRC is to remove all traces of red diesel from the tank and filters.  In the 2020 budget it was announced that the government would remove the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biodiesel from most sectors from April 2022, excluding agriculture, to help meet its climate change and air quality targets.

What the end of trailer tests means for farmers

The government has announced a package of measures to streamline the HGV test process in a move aimed at freeing up driving examiner time and helping tackle the backlog of tests.  One measure announced was the ending of the requirement that car drivers must take a practical test to get a B+E driving licence entitlement to drive heavier weight trailers over 750kg.   Trailer tests ended on 20 September, but the laws on driving a car with a trailer will not actually change until sometime after 15 November.  Until the law is actually changed all the current rules remain in place, with the legal requirement for car drivers who first passed their car test after 1 January 1997 to have passed a B+E practical test to drive trailers over 750kg in certain circumstances.  For further information on the changes please refer to this guide from the National Farmers’ Union.

Changes to felling licence applications

As from 22 October 2021 the Felling licence application process will be simplified when swift action is required to prevent the spread of pests or diseases and protect public safety.  A limited number of felling licence applications directly related to the management of tree pests and diseases may be exempt from being included on the Public Consultation Register before the trees are felled.   These changes will be applied to very specific situations, for example to prevent the spread of quarantine pests or diseases.  You can read more about the changes online. 

Keep up to speed with the agricultural transition with the Future Farming Advice team

The Future Farming Advice team is responsible for making sure that people have the advice they need to support them through the agricultural transition and beyond.  You can keep up to date with news, advice and guidance by visiting this page.  

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If you cannot comply with the conditions in this RPS, email enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk 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.

National Farmers’ Union has drawn up some guidance on the subject on this page.      AHDB has written a guidance note on 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:

Abloads@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk

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.

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.

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.

Website: Open Website

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.

Contact: None
Telephone: None
Email Address: None
Website: Open Website

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