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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Recent Developments

Calculate your business labour efficiency with AHDB

Assessing the needs of your workplace labour requirements is crucial. It will help you retain current staff and help recruit the right people for the future. You will also identify where training might be helpful to plug skills gaps.    The AHDB calculator is easy to use and should only take around 20 minutes to complete.  You can use the calculator to find out where you can make improvements to your business labour needs and it is recommended that you use the calculator every year to compare your progress.    Visit this page for further information.

 

PCF webinar on preparing for agricultural transition – 17 May at 1.00pm

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is inviting farmers to join them for a free webinar, on 17 May at 1.00pm, to hear about how farm business income streams will change over the next few years, and ways to prepare for this.  Adele Jones (Sustainable Food Trust) is the presenter for the event. She will review the core principles included within new UK agricultural policy – looking at the upcoming environmental opportunities, as well as improving productivity. She will provide practical examples and next steps, as well as avoiding any technical jargon.    Following the 30 minute presentation there will be the opportunity to ask questions.  Book your space on this page.  

 

Demonstrate your business is COVID secure by signing up to the Business Pledge

The Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire COVID Secure Business Pledge is open to businesses in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to sign up to. The pledge seeks to promote COVID Secure best practice while providing reassurance to employees and customers of businesses in the local area. The pledge is a marketing tool to help promote that your business is doing the right thing to customers, and provide reassurance to staff.

By signing up to the voluntary Pledge businesses are agreeing to a number of measures to ensure their premises are COVID secure.   By signing the pledge businesses can also access useful information on business support available, help with designing risk assessments, and free access to the Warwickshire EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) Programme to provide help online or over the telephone for staff experiencing difficulties at this time.  Read more here.

Website to track bovine TB outbreaks

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has launched an online interactive mapping tool for ongoing and resolved TB breakdowns in England and Wales over the past 10 years. The site can be used to find out about the bovine TB situation in your local area, and when purchasing cattle.  Visit the site here.

Launch of two new farmer networks in Warwickshire

The Warwickshire Rural Hub is pleased to announce the launch of two new sustainable farming groups in Warwickshire.  We already work closely with the Arden Farm Wildlife Network and we will be working closely with these two new groups.  One group will cover the south Warwickshire area (south of the A46 and west of M40) and one group will cover the Leam and Upper Avon area (east of the M40 and up to Rugby and across to Coventry and Nuneaton) .

These groups have been set up with the help of local organisations and farmers, with the aim of helping farmers adapt to future schemes and move to more sustainable methods of agriculture.  The groups will be free to join and farmer-led so you will decide what you want to learn about.  The groups could cover any subject including;

  • Sustainable / regenerative farming methods
  • Prepare for the future of landscape scale support post BPS
  • Environmental schemes
  • Net Zero
  • Managing wildlife habitats and conservation mixes

We are busy organising farm walks to launch these groups and will let you have further details as soon as possible.

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.

Please complete the AHDB planting survey for 2021

Growers are being encouraged to complete the AHDB planting survey which will provide an estimate of the area of cereals and oilseed rape intended for harvest in 2021 in Great Britain.   By publishing accurate results of the surveys, AHDB can assist in the marketing decisions made by all levy payers. The survey can be found here​​​​​​​

Do you know someone with 30 years service on the same farm?

Warwickshire Agricultural Society is inviting applications for long service awards in respect of anyone who has worked in the agriculture/ horticultural industry for 30 years or more either on the same farm or for the same employer.  Applications should be submitted to Roger Campion, the Hon Secretary of the Society, on rogercampion@hotmail.com by 7 June.

Request for user input to the development of the new Livestock Information Service

There is a requirement to build a new multi-species livestock traceability service for England to incrementally replace ARAMS, CTS Online and eAML2 – the current systems for sheep/goats, cattle and pigs.   Development of the new online system is in progress and engagement with different users from various farming systems and backgrounds has taken place.   Consultation with wider ‘user communities’ to help further review and test the online system and help develop a ‘fit for purpose’ service is now required.   Input from farmers, farm secretaries, auctioneers, abattoir managers; from smallholders who record livestock movements on paper or by phone – through to larger farmers who use current online services or farm software is now sought.   If you want to get involved, please email comms@livestockinformation.org.uk, and they’ll be back in touch with more details. In the meantime, you can find out more about the ambition for the new Livestock Information Service online.

Guidance for seasonal agricultural workers coming to the UK for work

Seasonal agricultural workers from overseas (edibles only) coming to England for longer than 2 days will need to take a mandatory workplace, community or home lateral flow device (LFD) test on or before days 2, 5 and 8 after their arrival. Workers can continue to work during their quarantine on the farm for 10 days.  For the full list of government guidance please visit this page.  

New BASIS certificate in lowland game management launched by GWCT

The BASIS Certificate in Game Management is designed to encourage best practice across the sector, while providing qualified individuals with a professional accreditation that demonstrates assurance of high standards of practice to employers, customers and the general public.  The three-day training course will include various modules in both practical and lecture-based sessions, covering predation control, gamebird releasing, shoot and land management, game crops and industry regulation.  To complete the Certificate, candidates are required to take a multiple choice and short answer exam paper at the end of the training, or the modules can be completed within a 12-month period (over three separate one-day sessions) for candidates that are unable to join for three consecutive days.  The  course is being run in May, July and October during 2021.  Visit this page to book your place.

New recruits sought for facetime a farmer

The team behind Farmer Time is seeming new farmers to sign up for the initiative, linking farms to schools via digital channels.  The campaign has matched over 600 schools and farms since its launch in 2017, and now has an additional 200 schools ready and waiting to be matched.  Sponsored by Sainsbury’s, Strutt & Parker and G’s Fresh, the initiative enables pupils to regularly chat live with their matched farmer from their classrooms through a video call platform, such as FaceTime or Zoom.   Visit this page for information on how to sign up.

BeeConnected – helping farmers and bee keepers to work together

BeeConnected is a free, web-based system where you register as either a bee keeper or grower.   Through using the anonymous online mapping system bee keepers record the location of their hives and farmers register where and when they plan to spray fields.  Bee keepers registered through BeeConnected will then receive notifications of any upcoming spraying happening within 5km of their hives.  Click here for more information and to register.

Syngenta launches its 2021 Operation Pollinator seed offer

Rural Hub Business Supporter Syngenta has launched its 2021 Operation Pollinator seed offer, which supports growers to enhance biodiversity on their farms and demonstrates that profitable intensive farming can go hand in hand with the protection of natural resources and biodiversity.  Visit this page for full information.

Syngenta is the sponsor of the Warwickshire Rural Hub Environmental Farming Award.  The 2021 award is now open for entries.  Visit this page to read all about the entry conditions and download an application form.

Entries to the Rural Business Awards are now open

Enter up to 2 of the 13 categories in the Rural Business Awards for the chance of receiving regional and national recognition, strengthening the reputation of your business.  Being a part of the RBAs enables you to access media and press opportunities.  As a direct result of entering the RBAs, past finalists have given radio and TV interviews, and been featured in regional and national papers.  Additionally, the RBAs are an opportunity to network with other rural businesses and our sponsors, giving you the chance to share rural-specific challenges and best practices.  Closing date is 31 May.  Click here to enter the awards,

Participation in the GWCT’s Big Farmland Bird Count doubles since 2020

The results of the 2021 Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Big Farmland Bird Count has shown that a total of 25 species from the Red List were recorded in this year’s count.  Of these, starlings, fieldfare, lapwing and linnet were the 4 most abundant red-listed species recorded, with over 112,000 spotted in total, which equates to 22% of all the birds counted. The 5 most abundant birds counted were woodpigeons, starling, rooks, fieldfare and chaffinch, making up over 37% of the total number of birds recorded.   Surveys were undertaken in every county of England and across much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with Norfolk topping the leaderboard and Lincolnshire in second place. Participation rates increased in England, Wales and Scotland.   The average farm size of those taking part was 1,027 acres. 48% of participants were in agri-environment schemes, with 39% providing some form of extra support for birds, through growing bird seed mixes or by winter feeding.  The full results from the count can be read here.

AHDB machinery costing calculator

Calculate the cost of farm machinery, per hectare or per hour, with a simple calculator available for download on the AHDB website.  The tool can also be used to compare the costs of owning equipment with the cost of hiring it or getting in a contractor.  Different machinery systems can also be compared and repair costs can be calculated for budgeting purposes.

New updated Countryside Code is launched by Natural England

Key changes to the new, updated Countryside Code include:
  • A reminder not to feed livestock, horses or wild animals.
  • To stay on marked footpaths, even if they are muddy, to protect crops and wildlife.
  • Information on permissions to do certain outdoor activities, such as wild swimming.
  • Clearer rules for dog walkers to take home dog poo and use their own bin if a there are no public waste bins.
  • A refreshed tone of voice, creating a guide for the public rather than a list of rules – recognising the significant health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature.
  • New wording to make clear that the code applies to all our natural places, including parks and waterways, coast and countryside.

The launch of the Code comes alongside a publicity campaign to increase awareness of its existence.  A copy of the code can be viewed here.

Measure your farm performance with the AHDB KPI Express

Understanding how your farm business is performing is critical. It’s fundamental to making decisions on how to improve performance. It helps you know where you are now, supports setting future targets and seeing how actual performance measures up against these targets.  A new tool from AHDB provides a core set of Key Performance Indicators to use as the starting point to understand how your farm business is performing.   Visit this page to use the KPI Express tool.

What the spring budget means for Warwickshire’s businesses

Warwickshire County Council’s Chief Economist, Sunny Parekh, gives an update on what the spring budget will mean for businesses in Warwickshire.  Read the full article here. 

Do you need support during lambing?

Farming Community Network and the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs are working together to support sheep farmers experiencing difficulties during lambing time due to Coronavirus isolation rules. If you, or some of your staff, are unable to work or travel please call FCN on 03000 111 999 and they will endeavour to use their local networks to find you help.

Read benchmarking of crop performances with AHDB

Farmbench was launched by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board over 4 years ago and since that date they have examined nearly 7,900 crop enterprise performance results from the 2017 to 2020 harvest years for conventionally grown combinable, potato and sugar beet crops.

  • Of the combinable crops, winter wheat and oilseed rape returned the biggest margins of all the crops based on all four years in the top 25% performers
  • Farmbench users confirmed that winter combinable crops are more profitable than combinable spring crops
  • Apart from linseed all other top 25% performing crops produced a positive 4-year average net margin
  • For the middle 50% of performers, only winter oats and wheat returned a positive margin.

Read the full results here.  

Omnia Scout app for crop walking launches update

An update of the Omnia Scout app, developed by H L Hutchinson, Ltd. has been launched to make it easier to share crop walking information and update field records remotely.  The iOS app is a complete rebuild of the original Omnia Field Scout app that allows growers to view the various layers of data stored within their Omnia account from an iPhone or iPad, and also update field records with notes, pictures, operational inputs or other information.  It also features an offline function whereby crop records can be downloaded in advance of going into an area with limited or no data connection, and any changes will be synced as soon as a connection is available.  The Omnia Scout app is available for iPhone and iPad from the Apple app store.

cottages.com seeks new holiday cottages in Warwickshire

Do you own a holiday cottage?  Choosing the right people to let your holiday home is incredibly important, but you can rest assured that with decades of experience helping thousands of owners like you get the most from their holiday homes, Warwickshire Rural Hub business supporter cottages.com makes the whole experience enjoyable, hassle-free and most of all, a success.  Due to increased bookings in 2021 they are now seeking more holiday homes in Warwickshire.

Cottages.com is home to a unique family of specialist property collections. By joining them, your property will automatically be marketed on cottages.com – the UK’s most popular cottage holiday website, as well as through a handpicked selection of their collections.  A local expert who lives in the area will work with you to decide which collections are the best fit for your property, showcasing it in the right way to maximise every possible booking opportunity and delivering you more income.    For a FREE guide to letting in Warwickshire and beyond visit: www.cottages.com/let-your-property or call Sarah on 07813 341 562.

 

Calling all wildlife friendly commercial farmers in Warwickshire

The re-branded Warwickshire Rural Hub Environmental Farming Award, sponsored by Syngenta, has been launched for 2021.  The 2020 award had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Awarded to reward excellence in integrated farming and conservation on a commercial Warwickshire farm the winner will receive a barn owl box, winner’s certificate and a £100 voucher from Syngenta for some King’s Seeds mixes.   The winner will be asked to host a Rural Hub evening farm walk in summer 2022 where Syngenta will provide refreshments.

To enter the award please download the tick box entry form below and return this to Jane Hampson by 10 May 2021.

Environmental Farming Award 2021 Application Form

Mob grazing – what is it?

Think back to the thousands of bison and wildebeest travelling over vast areas, staying in a tightly knit group for safety. They were eating the fresh grass, dunging and urinating on the area, trampling on much of it before moving on and possibly not coming back to that area for months, even years. Grazing with a high density of stock for a short duration, coupled with a long rest period, is the crux of mob grazing. Mob grazing is often referred to as ‘tall grass grazing’, as ideally the covers will be much higher than what you would see with rotational grazing, it might appear that they are eating what looks like a hay field!   Visit this page to read the full article from AHDB.

Window opens to join Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first in a package of environmental land management schemes, which will provide a straightforward way for farmers to get paid for producing public goods. These include cleaner water, cleaner air and carbon reduction.  Defra will start to pilot the Sustainable Farming Incentive this year with an initial group of several hundred farmers. Then, in March 2022, they will start to roll out the scheme to recipients of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).  If you are interested in joining the pilot you must:

  • be a recipient of the Basic Payments Scheme, registered on the Rural Payments Agency system
  • enter land parcels (fields) into the pilot that do not have an existing agri-environment agreement on them
  • have management control of the land for the duration of the pilot.
  • enter land parcels that are in England
  • enter land parcels that are not common land

Visit this page to express interest in taking part in the pilot. To express an interest, you just need to complete a short, simple online form.

New drone rules and regulations for 2021

New rules came into force on 31 December 2020 for the use of drones to align regulations across EU member states and standardise the process for drone operations. For many people the basic rules on their day-to-day flying won’t change, but there are some important amendments that users need to be aware of.  Read all about the new rules and regulations on the NFU website.  

Read some tips from a cattle handling expert

Globally respected animal behaviourist Professor Temple Grandin from Colorado State University shares her extensive knowledge about handling cattle and gives you some top tips that can be quickly adopted on farm.   Read the full article here.  

The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board also has a publication entitled “Improving cattle handling for better returns”.  Download your copy here.  

Agricultural transition – watch a PCF webinar on getting ready for change

Prince’s Countryside Fund and McDonald’s hosted a webinar on 9 March 2021 which covered what’s happening in England under Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan, what this means in practical terms for farmers and simple next steps that farm businesses can take to prepare themselves.   The webinar was delivered by Kite Consultants who also answered questions on the agricultural transition from farm businesses.  McDonald’s and PCF hosted this webinar as part of their Ready for Change programme. Aimed at farmers who’ve participated in The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, Ready for Change equips farm businesses with the tools to adapt their activities and make sensible, informed decisions about their businesses. Since September 2020, 37 farm businesses have taken part in the workshop.  You can watch a recording of the webinar on this page.  

 

Free 1-1 online Countryside Stewardship advice sessions

On behalf of Natural England Chris Seabridge Associates is organising free online one-to-one advice sessions for farmers interested in applying for Countryside Stewardship.  The sessions will cover application preparation advice and pre-application submission advice.  The advice will be delivered by approved Farm Conservation Advisers.  Many of the sessions in Warwickshire will be delivered by Zoe Bell.

To book your place please call Chris Seabridge Associates on 07593 449868 or email bookings@chrisseabridge.co.uk.

Please provide your name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when getting in touch.   The office will then arrange a suitable appointment.

Book your free online Countryside Stewardship advice event

On behalf of Natural England Chris Seabridge Associates is hosting free online webinars giving information on applications to this year’s Countryside Stewardship scheme.   The presenter will be Jim Egan, Technical Adviser of King’s Crops.

The webinars are taking place on the following dates and times:

Thursday 25th March at 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday 30th March at 7.00pm – 8.30pm
Monday 12th April at 8.30am – 10.00am
Tuesday 4th May at 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday 19th May at 7.00pm – 8.30pm

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email bookings@chrisseabridge.co.uk quoting the event you would like to attend. Please provide your name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when booking your session. You will then be emailed the joining details.

Defra urges food, drink and environmental businesses to sign up for free coronavirus testing for staff

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice MP is encouraging food, drink and environmental services industries to test their staff for coronavirus by registering for free lateral flow testing kits provided by the government.   These tests are for staff who cannot currently work from home. Only businesses registered in England with more than 50 employees can apply for these free test kits.  You must apply by 31 March.  Staff members of businesses with fewer than 50 employees can be tested at one of Warwickshire’s lateral flow testing centres.  Lateral flow tests are self-administered and give a result within 30 minutes.

Defra’s team are able provide you with further guidance and examples of where businesses similar to your own have successfully introduced testing.  They are also keen to promote case studies and support you – contact them at Covid-19.WorkplaceTesting@defra.gov.uk

 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive

At NFU21 the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, spoke about the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the first in a package of environmental land management schemes, which will provide a straightforward way for farmers to get paid for producing public goods.  These include cleaner water, cleaner air and carbon reduction.  Defra will start to pilot the Sustainable Farming Incentive this year with an initial group of several hundred farmers. Then, in March 2022, they will start to roll out the scheme to recipients of BPS. 

In March 2021 farmers will be able to express an interest in taking part in the pilot.  Defra would like to involve several hundred farmers in the first phase of the pilot, from a range of farm types from across England.   The first agreements will go live in October 2021.   Further information on how to apply to join the pilot will be posted in due course.  

Roll out of E10 fuel is good news for farmers and the environment

The government has announced that motorists across the UK are set to shift to a greener fuel with the introduction of E10 at petrol stations in September 2021.  The 2 petrol blends that are currently widely available in the UK contain no more than 5% ethanol, known as E5; the fuel being rolled out in September has up to 10%. Using bioethanol in place of traditional petrol can reduce CO2 emissions and, therefore, increasing the ethanol content of petrol.  The NFU has long been calling for the government to authorise E10 fuel and feel that this new introduction will provide a boost for the UK wheat and sugar sectors and as well as playing an important and immediate role in delivering the government’s green agenda.  The introduction of E10 fuel could cut transport carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire.

Forces Farming – helping ex-forces personnel to find a new career in agriculture

Retired forces personnel can often have many skills which are very transferable to farming – and they are also used to working outdoors in all weathers!    Their forces training means that veterans will also be punctual, thrive on routine, be safety conscious and be used to physical work.  If you are a farming business which would be interested in hosting an insight day, offering some work experience or even a longer placement to a forces veteran please visit the Forces Farming website for information on how to register your interest.

Recycle your farm plastic with the Green Tractor scheme

Green Tractor’s aim is to provide UK agriculture with the ability to recycle all farm plastic by 2030.  They operate on a not-for-profit basis.  The Green Tractor Scheme provides sustainable solutions for plastic used across all sectors of agriculture in the UK. The scheme is primarily focused on the collection and processing of waste farm plastic. Although agricultural plastics only represent 3% of the total plastics used in the UK, it is important that this high-profile sector continues to improve producer responsibility.   The Green Tractor Scheme covers the significant majority of the UK’s collectors and provides shared responsibility for farm plastic across the entire supply chain. The first plastic recycling survey shows that 19,974 tonnes of plastic was collected in 2018 and 24,149 tonnes was collected in 2019. Most of the plastic was sent for recycling with only 4% going to landfill.  To find out how to join the scheme please visit the Green Tractor website.  

Coventry Harvest Hub welcomes wonky fruit and veg

Coventry Harvest Hub aims to link together local growers of fresh fruit and vegetables (who have some excess to spare) with people who can collect it and deliver directly to the food banks, so that nothing goes to waste.  They also provide re-usable crates for collecting and transporting the food.  Are you interested in sharing some of your excess fresh fruit and veg with people who need it?   The Harvest Hub is happy to accept what others might consider ‘imperfect’ or ‘wonky’. Everything can be arranged flexibly, as they understand that supply will vary.  If you are willing to share, please can you sign up on their website.

Complete your NRoSO training online

This year, due to Covid-19, NRoSO has temporarily suspended all face-to-face events, so you can now complete your annual National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training online.  The training course awards 8 NRoSO or 8 BASIS CPD points and can be completed with either a fruit or arable focus. The course takes 2.5 hours to complete and costs £30 per course.   Operators can sign up and begin their training any time between 14 January and 30 June 2021. However, all courses must be completed by 31 August 2021.  Visit this page for further information.

Female farmers requested to complete online survey

Newcastle University would like to invite female farmers to complete a short survey for women in entrepreneurs in the agriculture industry in England.  This survey is being conducted by researchers at Newcastle University, commissioned by Defra.  The purpose of this research is to examine how women entrepreneurs in the agriculture industry are being affected by EU Exit and COVID-19, both now and in the future.  The benefits of participating in this research are sharing your thoughts and experiences with Defra so they can listen and learn; with the overarching aims of supporting the farming community throughout the agricultural transition period, helping businesses to prepare and make decisions, and targeting communications.

Please note that participation in the survey is voluntary, and the survey should only take 10-15 minutes of your time. You may withdraw at any point during the process without giving any reasons.  You can access the survey here.  

 

New project offers free farm plans for farmers in the Leam catchment

With funding from the Environment Agency, existing partners Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Rivers Trust are working with Zoe Bell and the Warwickshire Rural Hub to complete a new project in the Leam catchment offering:

free whole farm plans
a webinar programme
a farm cluster group

The whole farm plans will include soil analysis giving recommendations for natural flood management and water improvement measures.  Funding is available for under-sowing maize, leaky dams, attenuation ponds, rainwater harvesting, cover crops and much more.

To book a free and confidential whole-farm plan please contact alys.routley@severnriverstrust.com or telephone her on 07923 220393

 

AHDB issues yellow rust watch list for winter wheat

AHDB has issued a yellow rust watch list to help flag winter wheat varieties most likely to perform out of line with the disease ratings published in the AHDB Recommended Lists (RL). The watch list, which orders varieties based on yellow rust levels from the three worst RL trials (for each variety), can help identify those most likely to benefit from closer monitoring. AHDB plans to update the watch list annually,  The RL 2021/22 booklet edition is now available. To download it or to access the watch list, visit ahdb.org.uk/rl

New BASIS trainee membership scheme is launched

Until now to become associated with BASIS it has been a requirement to have successfully passed one of their accredited qualifications. The new BASIS Trainee Membership has been established to provide an opportunity for individuals to receive the support and guidance they require at the start of their career, and can act as a stepping stone towards BASIS courses and the full Professional Register in the future.  For full information please visit this page.

New bank Oxbury is launched which puts farmers first

Oxbury, a new specialist agricultural bank, has now fully launched its savings and loan operations.   Designed with a 100% farmer focus, the bank and its products have been built with the specific aim of benefiting farmers and offering straightforward lending and savings products tailored to their needs.  To support farmers in their borrowing needs, the bank’s flagship account, Oxbury Farm Credit, will allow access to the cash needed for farm inputs such as feed, seed, chemicals and fertilisers.  Later in the year, the bank will also be launching the UK’s first carbon mitigation savings account for the general consumer. This allows everyone to save in an environmentally conscious way while supporting tree-planting projects on British farms. It also brings more money into the agricultural sector, as all funds saved with Oxbury are only used to support lending to UK agriculture.  You can access the bank’s website on this page.  

New website to help businesses navigate trading after Brexit

Growth Hubs throughout the West Midlands are working together to encourage all business to ‘Check, Change and Go’ following the end of the transition period and the UK’s exit from the EU.  A new website has been launched to provide impartial information to help businesses stay informed about the changes that affect them and take advantage of new opportunities arising from the new rules which came into force from January 1.  The website – www.wmgrowthhubs-eusupport.co.uk – provides information on the local and national business support that is available for SMEs to find the help they need. It gives details of events and workshops to be held to guide businesses through the maze of changes and maximise the new opportunities.  There is also the opportunity to complete an EU Transition Support Questionnaire to request specialist support needed by your business and sign up for updates.

Applications open for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship

Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust aims to inspire passion in people and develop their potential to lead positive change in farming and food.   T hey award life-changing scholarships that unlock individual potential and broaden horizons through study and travel overseas, with a view to developing the farming and agricultural industries.  Each year Nuffield Farming Scholarships are awarded to approximately 20 deserving individuals working in farming, horticulture, forestry or any other countryside and ancillary industry – or are in a position to influence those who do.  Applicants must be aged between 22 and 45 years (the upper age limit is 45 on 31st July in the year of application).  To apply for a scholarship please visit this page.  The closing date for applications is 31 July.

Addington Fund seeks building land for development of retirement homes

The farming charity Addington Fund is looking to buy a limited number of retirement homes for farmers who want to retire but cannot contemplate it on financial grounds. These can be purchased out right by Addington or on a shared equity basis using a declaration of trust agreement. If you would like more information, please call Sue English on 01926 620135 opt 2 or email sueenglish@addingtonfund.org.uk 

The charity is also looking to create the first Addington Fund owned retirement cul-de-sac for retired farmers and agriculturists. They are looking for a suitable development of up to five houses/bungalows in a suitable rural location with sympathetic like-minded partners as a builder or a landowner.  Addington Fund is happy to assist with planning applications. Please contact Bill Young on 07909 538426 or billyoung@addingtonfund.org.uk for further information.

Trading with the EU from 1 January 2021

The UK has agreed a free trade agreement with the EU based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, meaning businesses will be able to continue to trade, selling to their customers in the EU, and people will be able to continue to buy goods from Europe tariff-free.   Visit this page for full information on the actions that you and your business will need to take from 1 January 2021.

Read the statistics on farm business income in England 2019/20

Defra has published its annual statistics on farm business income in England for 2019/20.  The figures represents the financial return to all unpaid labour on their capital invested in the farm business, including land and buildings. It is designed to compare performance across different types of farming.  The average Farm Business Income in 2019 /20 was £46,000. A combination of reduced prices and increased costs led to lower incomes, with output virtually unchanged.  Read the full report here.

Government unveils path to sustainable farming from 2021

Plans to deliver a better, fairer farming system in England have been set out by government. They will transform the way farmers are supported, in the most significant change to farming and land management in 50 years.  The roadmap outlines changes that will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers adapt and plan for the future.   The changes will be designed to ensure that by 2028, farmers in England can sustainably produce healthy food profitably without subsidy, whilst taking steps to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions.  Read more here.  

The 28-page booklet “Farming is Changing” can be read as a pdf copy or you can order a physical copy free of charge.

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.  

Support for small businesses facing making redundancies

The Coventry & Warwickshire Redundancy Support Service is a collaborative service created by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and partners such as Department for Working & Pensions, CWLEP and many more.  The service is designed to support local businesses through these turbulent times as they make some quite difficult decisions in the months and, possibly, years ahead. The CWRSS can offer a wide variety of support from E-packs to workshops and one-to-one sessions.  All Coventry and Warwickshire businesses will have opportunity to access services with a dedicated support team to help them work through the services and options available.  For further information please visit this page.  

A425 out of Southam to be closed for 9 months

The contractors working on behalf of HS2 ltd will be closing a section of the A425 Leamington Road near Southam and the public right of way (PRoW) SM24 in order to safely excavate a 15-metre-deep trench and construct the “cut-and-cover” section of the Long Itchington Wood Tunnel. The road and public right of way will be closed from 26 October 2020 for a period of up to nine months. A diversion will be in place for cyclists and road users. A diversion notification for the PRoW will be placed at SM24 access points providing details of the alternative PRoW routes available.   Access will be maintained for businesses and residents within the section of the road that is closed.   The contractors will be installing “Businesses open as usual” signs for businesses leading up to the road closure.

Public concern grows over impact of pandemic on UK food supplies

Calls have been made for farmers to have increased access to new technologies as public concern rises over the impact of the pandemic on UK food supplies.  The public have highlighted their worry over the fragility of the food system in the face of Covid-19, climate change and possible trade interruptions.  More than two thirds (66%) of adults are worried about the impact that a second wave would have on food supplies, a new YouGov survey has shown.  Fears for the food system’s resilience in the face of climate change and trade interruptions after the Brexit transition period ends are also playing on public consciousness.  The survey of over 2,100 adults was carried out on behalf of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which has called for farmers to have access to ‘all the tools available’ in order to fight the threats.

Read the full article here.  

Working towards net zero emissions for beef farmers

Farming for a Better Climate has produced some practical guides on how farmers can reduce carbon emissions from beef production.  Visit this page to read the guides.

Committee on climate change – advice on agriculture and land use

The Committee on Climate Change has released its Land Use: Policies for a Net Zero UK.   The report outlines what is needed for the UK to stay on track to meet its net zero requirements.  The report acknowledge that British farming produces some of the most sustainable food in the world, highlighting that emissions from UK beef is half that of the global average. The report also emphasises that we cannot risk importing food with a higher carbon footprint than food which has been produced in the UK.  You can read the full report here.

Nature Friendly Farming Network publish a guide to net zero carbon in farming

Net zero carbon refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere. Achieving net zero is required to meet the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperatures below a 1.5°C rise above pre-industrial levels.  To achieve the scale of change needed, action must be taken now to reduce emissions and lay the foundations for the longer-term transformation required.  In order to help farmers achieve net zero targets Nature Friendly Farming Network has created a practical guide for farmers.

New opportunity for farmers – Arden Farm Wildlife Network

Are you a farmer in the Arden area of Warwickshire interested in:
• Getting support to help you with managing the options in your environmental schemes.
• Keeping up to date with the changes in environmental support and different channels of funding available.
• Improving your farm for wildlife with low cost methods – that can benefit your business too.
• Finding more about what wildlife you have got on your farm?

The Arden Farm Wildlife Network could help you!

If you would like further details then please give Zoe Bell a call or drop her an email.

Contact: Zoe Bell
Telephone: 07980 771872
Email Address: zoecbell@outlook.com
Website: Open Website

New scheme to encourage investment in superfast broadband

A new scheme for small to medium sized businesses is being piloted in the Warwickshire area to encourage commercial investment in superfast fibre broadband.
The Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks Programme aims to support projects across the UK that will stimulate more commercial investment in full fibre, the “gold standard” of fast and reliable broadband. Coventry and Warwickshire is one of the test regions for the scheme. The programme will see local companies will be offered vouchers (worth between £500 and £3000 each) by broadband suppliers to pay for gigabit capable connections.
More information is available on the website below.

Website: Open Website

Get pelletwise

The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group has produce “A guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and slug control”.
To view the guide use the link below.

Website: Open Website

A new platform for smart farming

The Horizon 2020 thematic network smart AKIS has recently launched a free online platform providing a number of tools to facilitate and promote the use of smart farming technologies.
The platform is intended for farmers, advisory services, agriculture consultants, and farming equipment providers. It includes a database of the latest technologies already available on the market or emerging from research projects. Additionally, it provides guidance, advice and a space for exchange on the use these new technologies.

Website: Open Website

New website about plant pests

A new website to improve access to information about plant pests and diseases has been launched by Defra.
The Plant Health Portal is already making it easier for plant health professionals to share and use vital information on plant pests and diseases, unlocking the power of data to better assess threats and determine action to tackle them.
The site is still under development, and has been launched in ‘beta’ form to enable users to give feedback to inform further improvements. There are plans to add more data and introduce further refinements to the site’s search functions during this second phase. Users are encouraged to send feedback on the site to Defra.

Website: Open Website

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Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm, Kenilworth
Warwickshire, CV8 1PR

Email: info@ruralhub.org.uk
Tel: 07780 159291

Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA

 

Hub Chair

Henry Lucas
E: henrylucas76@gmail.com

 

Hub

Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

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

 

Disclaimer

The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.

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