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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Recent Developments

Export of live animals for slaughter is now banned in law

A new ban on exporting live animals (exc poultry) for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain came into law on Monday 20 May as the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Act received Royal Assent.  The Act will ensure that animals are slaughtered domestically in high welfare UK slaughterhouses.

Lynda and Andy Eadon farm dispersal sale – 7 June

Lynda and Andy Eadon of Napton on the Hill are dispersing of their livestock and scanning equipment on 7 June at Melton Mowbray livestock mart.
For more information, please contact Martin Lloyd on 07775 758586.

Read about trading water rights

One of the innovative approaches the Environment Agency (EA) encourages to help manage water resources is water rights trading. This is where somebody without a water
abstraction licence or who is looking for more water may be able to enter into an agreement with an existing licence holder to trade water rights. The EA recently updated its
water rights trading map, which gives an indication of the potential for the quantities associated with a licence to be traded. The map now covers all of England and is based on more up-to-date data.. There are wider benefits of the map, such as helping farmers identify neighbours who may wish to form or join a Water Abstractor Group.    Read more on this page.  

Leaving lawns long boosts butterfly numbers by 93%

Letting parts of your garden grow wild with long grass can increase butterfly numbers by up to 93% and attract a wider range of species, according to new research from leading wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation.   The study provides the first scientific evidence that having long grass in your garden increases butterfly abundance and diversity. Creating such wild spaces may help to reverse the decline of these beautiful insects.  The research is great news for gardeners and non-gardeners alike, proving the free and easy action of letting an area go wild can make a positive impact for butterflies.

The potential to provide wild spaces for butterflies and moths to thrive is huge. Gardens make up more than 728,000 hectares in Great Britain.   If each of these gardens had a space that was allowed to go a little wild, with grass growing long, it would make a huge difference for butterflies and moths, providing spaces for them to feed, breed and shelter.   While the research specifically studied gardens, the benefits to butterflies of long grass and wild spaces are likely to extend beyond the garden gate. Public green spaces such as parks, school grounds, allotments, and road verges, could also provide vital spaces for wildlife, and enable more people to see more butterflies if allowed to go a little wild.  Read how to create your own wild space on this page.  

Do you know a young Warwickshire farmer who deserves recognition?

Following the continued success of their Young Farmer of the Year Award Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society is again looking for a young farmer who deserves recognition for their work within the agricultural industry. This award, which has been running for the last 4 years, was won in 2023 by Bizza Walters with Sam Smith as runner-up.  You can read all about Bizza on this link.  KADAS Young Farmer 2023

The award is sponsored by Warwickshire Agricultural Society and comprises £500 for the winner and £300 for the runner-up.  If you know someone like Bizza and Sam who can showcase genuine expertise in their agricultural field, possess a strong work ethic, demonstrate proactive and forward-thinking qualities, and serve as an outstanding ambassador for farming and agriculture in the UK, then please nominate them now for the 2024 title.  Entry criteria are simple: Nominees must be under the age of 30 on the closing date of 30th September 2024, working in agriculture and living in Warwickshire.  The winner will be announced in early December and presented with the award at the next Kenilworth Show in 2025.  Read more and submit your nomination on this page.  

Over £6000 raised at Warwickshire RABI farmhouse breakfast

The charity farmhouse breakfast held on 7 February 2024 in aid of Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) raised an incredible £6046.30.  The event was hosted by Simon Moreton at Wetherle Manor in Weston under Wetherley and organised by Warwickshire RABI.

A delicious full cooked breakfast with all the food donated by local farmers and farm shops was prepared by staff from Barclays Bank and served during the morning by volunteer committee members from Warwickshire RABI.  Rural Hub was represented at the event by Chair Karen Ellis, Co-ordinator Jane Hampson and Health event massage therapist Maya van der Galian, who all enjoyed a big breakfast whilst chatting to local farmers.

The date for next year’s event will be announced soon – we hope to see you there!

Update on Long Compton abattoir – help needed with business structure and Articles

Farmer John Weaver, who is spearheading the campaign to buy the Long Compton abattoir site and re-open an improved facility, has given us this update:

“As well as launching the website and fundraising campaign, we have drawn up a Profit and Loss spreadsheet and the business plan is being pulled together. We have also set up a new company and opened a new Business account.  The main stumbling block at the moment is finding assistance in working out the correct business structure and finding someone who can put together the articles of association, so that we can offer shares to interested parties.  If you know of someone who can help please let me know”.

Can you help?  Please contact John on jdweaverlmf@gmail.com 

Read more about the campaign to save the abattoir on their website.  

Do you know a farm employee who deserves a long service award?

The Warwickshire Agricultural Society awards grants for charitable causes and supports local agricultural shows.  The Society also presents long service awards such as an engraved tankard and a framed certificate, to long-term agricultural workers with over 30 years service with the same employer.  The presentation will be made at a location decided by the winner – this could on farm or at an event.

Do you know someone who deserves a long service award?  Please forward their name and contact details to Jane at the Rural Hub, who will pass on the details to the Society.

Contact Jane

South Warwickshire fresh Food Producers – please contribute your views on the current status in the local area

A team at the University of Warwick’s Crop Centre are researching the development of a strategy to increase the production and consumption of locally produced fresh food,  with a focus on South Warwickshire. This includes food that is produced in the neighbouring counties and may be sold in South Warwickshire.  The team would like to invite you, as a local producer, to take part in a short survey to help them understand the status of fresh food production in the local area. The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete. Please take part in this survey if you produce any of the following: fresh vegetables, fresh meat, fresh eggs and dairy, and fresh fruit.    Your participation is appreciated.  Please access the survey on this link.   

If you have any queries on the project, please contact Jasmine Lee.

Help Save Long Compton abattoir!

Long Compton Abattoir (LCA) has served farms and consumers from Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and beyond since the 1920s.  The announcement that this small abattoir is to close in January 2024 is a devastating blow to farmers and smallholders in the region.   So, a team of local farmers and stakeholders, the Save Long Compton Abattoir Steering Group, are working hard to rescue this essential rural service.

There is significant momentum to find a solution. The Steering Group currently propose setting up a new limited company and funding the purchase of the site and business by selling shares in multiples of £1000. In excess of £3 million is needed, to be raised at pace.   The Steering Group is, in the first instance, seeking expressions of interest (not your final commitment) from potential investors like you, big and small. If successful we can then progress to the next stage of negotiation.

Would you be interested in 1, 5, 10, 100 or 1000 shares?
If so, we would love to hear from you…preferably before February 5th.

Please visit this link to put forward your expression of interest and read all about the actions completed so far to save the abattoir.

All the guidance on de-linked payments

The Rural Payments Agency is replacing the BPS in England with delinked payments from 2024. The RPA will pay delinked payments annually between 2024 to 2027 and the amount paid will decrease each year, with 2027 being the final year of delinked payments.  To receive delinked payments, you must be eligible for BPS payments in 2023 (with some exceptions on inherited land) and have a reference amount.     The reference amount will normally be the average BPS payment in the reference period, which is the BPS 2020 to 2022 scheme years. If you did claim in 2023, but did not claim BPS in the reference period, you will only have a reference amount if BPS reference data has been transferred to you.

The RPA has started writing to farmers about the transition from BPS payments to de-linked payments.  To read all the guidance on how de-linked payments are calculated, how they affect different types of businesses and how they are treated for tax purposes. please visit this page.

Sign up for flood alerts with the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is urging people to check their risk of flooding and sign up for free flood alerts and warnings. The service will tell you:

  • current flood warnings or alerts
  • river, sea, groundwater and rainfall levels
  • your flood risk in the next 5 days

If you want to know if there’s surface water flooding (also known as ‘flash flooding’) in your area you will need to contact your local council.  Visit this page to learn more.

Defra set up a new single page for the Sustainable Farming Incentive

A new landing page on the Defra website has been created for farmers who are thinking of or will be applying to the Sustainable Farming Incentive.   The page lets you register your interest in SFI, sets out why farmers should apply for an agreement, lists the 23 actions you can apply for, gives feedback from farmers and signposts farmers to other grant funding available.  Visit the page on this link.  

Most farmers are no longer required to register their interest in the scheme and can now apply directly. All farmers who have a live 2023 agreement before the end of the year will receive an early payment. This is worth 25% of the value of their annual agreement and will be received in the first month of the agreement.

 

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.

Break free from environmental jargon with the Prince’s Countryside Fund glossary of terms

Speaking at the Farmers Weekly awards at the start of 2021 HRH The Prince of Wales, set a challenge – to explain terms and practices linked to the environment in straightforward language.   So, the Prince’s Countryside Fund has created A-Zero: A farmer’s guide to breaking free from environmental jargon. The booklet is aimed at farmers and hopes to ensure that the ambitions around improving the management of the UK’s environment are accessible to all.  Visit this page to download the booklet.

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.

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.

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.  

 

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.  

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.  

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.

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.

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Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
Archway Cottage, 2 Church Street, Marton, Rugby CV23 9RL

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

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

 

Rural Hub

Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

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

 

 

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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