Warwickshire Rural Hub
New app to help you manage your hedgerows
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species has launched the Healthy Hedgerows app, a rapid hedgerow health checking survey. With just a handful of questions, this hedgerow health-checker will place each hedge you survey in the lifecycle and give you instant management options. It has been designed for farmers and landowners that want to understand their whole hedge network and create a hedge management plan at the farm scale. By answering just a handful of simple questions, it can help you understand where each hedge is in its natural lifecycle, and work out how best to manage it. Visit this page to read more and download the app.
Read how to help pollinators on your farm
The European Innovation Partnership (Wales) has written a handy guide showing farmers how they can help pollinators to thrive on their land. The booklet contains 6 case studies. To read the booklet click here.
Read comparison of 5 different methods of rejuvenating hedges
Many hedges in the UK are not in good condition, partly due to over-frequent trimming with mechanised flails. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology compared 5 different methods of rejuvenating hedges which can be viewed on this page. The findings showed that:
- Traditional hedgerow rejuvenation methods i.e. hedge-laying and coppicing, reduce gaps and stimulates growth from the base. Denser hedges are better for perennial plants, small mammals, farmland birds and some invertebrates.
- Traditional Midland style hedge-laying was the most expensive and time consuming method tested, but it improved the hedge condition, increasing the density and reducing gap sizes.
- The conservation hedging technique yielded a hedge structure and rates of woody re-growth as good as traditional hedge-laying in improving hedge condition.
- The wildlife hedging technique resulted in a greater density of woody material than traditional hedge-laying three years after rejuvenation, with smaller gaps in the hedge base. The average hedge width was more than twice that of the traditional and conservation laid hedges.
- Re-shaping with a circular saw resulted in vigorous growth in the hedgerow canopy, but did not reduce gaps at the base or stimulate basal woody growth.
- Coppicing resulted in vigorous growth of woody stems and a dense woody structure at the base of the hedge but very few berries were produced even four years after coppicing.
Guidance on three silvopasture planting designs
Silvopasture is a form of agroforestry where trees are deliberately planted to be part of a farm’s livestock system. Innovative Farmers has shared guidance on three tree planting designs which are being trialled as part of a field lab investigating the benefits of agroforestry. Visit this page for information on the three designs which were chosen to suit the grazing requirements of the farmers in the trial, as well as fitting into the natural environment surrounding the chosen fields.
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.
Farm Crap App
A new manure management app “the Farm Crap App” is designed to help farmers and growers value the nutrients found in organic manures.
What is it?
The app, developed by the SWARM Knowledge Hub in collaboration with Rothamsted Research North Wyke allows the farming community to appreciate the nutritive and economic value of livestock manures.
Farmers are able to visually assess manures and slurry application rates and calculate what is being provided in terms of available nutrients as well as giving an estimate of potential savings in artificial fertilisers.
The data is based on Defra’s RB209 Fertiliser Manual values for crop available nutrients along with the industry produced publication Think Manures and allows you to select different seasons, types of manures and crops growing to see what the manure will provide in terms of fertiliser value.
The calculator determines the amount of crop available nutrients that are found within manures spread at different rates. This helps with decisions on how much to spread in order to meet the crop requirements.
How do I access it?
The app is available on Apple and Android devices, through the Google Play or iTunes stores. For more information please visit this link.
Report a rural crime anonymously
The NFU has partnered with the charity Crimestoppers to launch the Rural Crime Reporting Line, a service through which you can anonymously give information about four rural crimes. You can either call the dedicated Rural Crime Reporting Line on 0800 783 0137 or visit www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk to give information about one of these four crimes:
- Large-scale, industrial fly-tipping
- Hare coursing
- Livestock theft
- Machinery theft
New EU Organic Regulation
Following five years of debate, MEPs have approved the new regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products. The new EU law is intended to improve the quality of organic food in the EU and also help to address the needs of a fast-growing organic market. The regulation will now go to Council where it is expected to be signed off next month and it will enter into force in January 2021.
Are you a rural business working in an off mains area of Warwickshire?
Then the Warwickshire Rural Community Council Energy Scheme may be for you. It is open to individuals and rural organisations alike.
The scheme aims to create collective purchasing power and keep prices at an affordable level for users. Membership is open to all in Warwickshire – whether you’re an individual householder, a community group or a business – and it’s free to join.
To find out more visit their website.
Information on the TB Advisory Service
The TB Advisory Service has been set up to enable cattle keepers to access specialist advice on building resilience to bovine tuberculosis (bTB). The service is fully-funded by Defra through the Rural Development Programme for England, and is available to farmers in the High Risk and Edge areas of England (Warwickshire is in the Edge area). Eligible farmers will receive bespoke advice on biosecurity and the risks associated with cattle movements and trading.
If any eligible farmers would like to register for the service please visit their website to register some details including your CPH and SBI numbers.
Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit looking for farmers
The Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit aims to quantify which management practices work best to improve carbon storage in soil. The project, which has been kindly funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, will allow for much needed data to be collected on soil carbon sequestration whilst at the same time enabling farmers to play a positive role in the development of effective climate change mitigation mechanisms. For further information please contact Becky Wilson.
Get advice on pesticide safety
April is the beginning of the sowing and spraying season and these activities present their own safety risks. If you are using pesticides check the Health and Safety Executive’s code of practice for advice on how to take precautions when storing, handling, using, keeping records and disposing of pesticides and pesticide waste at www.pesticides.gov.uk/guidance/industries/pesticides
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Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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Marion Perrett Pearson
Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
Andrew Cook, Farmer
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Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
Marcus Faulkner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
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