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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Recent Developments

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.

New tool to estimate nitrate losses

The Environment Agency has developed a tool to estimate annual losses of nitrate (N) at the field and farm scale using data provided by farmers during farm visits. The tool will help the Environment Agency and farmers to identify more sustainable farming practices that prevent environmental pollution.  The Nitrate Leaching Tool (NLT) models N losses that could occur as a direct result of individual farm practices and evaluates a range of leaching measures that farmers can put in place. The NLT helps farmers, their advisors, environmental regulators and water companies to discuss these issues and promotes a collaborative approach for identifying solutions.  Visit this page for full information.

Using greening features on your farm to benefit your business and the environment

In 2021, the greening requirements previously attached to 30% of farmers’ Basic Payment Scheme payment came to an end.  Farming Advice Service has provided information on how the existing greening features on your farm can be retained to benefit your business and the environment. The article has  been produced in collaboration with Championing the Farmed Environment.  Read more here.

Heart of England Forest look to recruit a Conservation Farmer

Heart of England Forest is looking for an enthusiastic individual passionate about conservation farming to demonstrate that biodiversity-rich landscapes can also be productive for food.  The role will be based between Dorsington and Pebworth.  The Conservation Farmer will be responsible for the development and management of the Heart of England Forest’s livestock grazing programme to ensure that animals are available for grazing on a wide range of habitats throughout the Forest.  The ideal candidate will be a team player, comfortable with working on their own for significant periods, and undertaking all aspects of farm work as required, from animal husbandry to arable, and accurate paper and electronic record keeping to general farm maintenance. The closing date for applications is 4 July.  To download the full job description please visit this page.  

The Agricultural Census for 2021

Defra will be sending details about this year’s agricultural census to all active commercial farms in England.  Completion is mandatory and this can be done either online or via paper form.  All farmers are encouraged to respond within two weeks of receiving the information.  The 2021 census will capture detailed information on land use, crop areas, livestock numbers and the farm labour force.  The data collected provides the government, farming industry, policy makers and stakeholders with the necessary information about agriculture to help plan future policies and priorities. The data is also used to enable research and investment in the industry, as well as to monitor environmental changes and the wider impact of farm activities.

Paralegal vacancy in Wright Hassall’s agricultural team

Due to growth Rural Hub Business Supporter Wright Hassall is seeking to appoint an additional Paralegal in their busy Agriculture department.  Although legal experience is desired this is not essential.  Candidates must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, be enthusiastic with a ‘can-do’ attitude; and be highly organised and a real team player.   To read all about the role’s responsibilities and the terms and conditions of employment visit this link.  

Free digital advice for small and medium enterprises from the Growth Hub

Free digital advice to SMEs and charities is now available to help them recover from the pandemic and rebuild the area’s economy.  The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub has joined forces with Digital Boost which aims to support one million small businesses and charities across the UK by January 2022.  Advisers from the CWLEP Growth Hub and Digital Boost will connect people who want to upskill and grow their business with volunteer digital experts from a wide range of high-profile partners including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Google, Apple, BT and Vodafone.  As well as mentoring calls, there are webinars and workshops available to join on topical issues ranging from funding for start-ups to GDPR support, as well as a resource library to access to find out more detailed information.   Read more here.  

New permitted development right to be introduced on 1 August 2021

The government has agreed a new Class MA right to allow for the change of use from commercial, business use and service use (Class E) to residential use (Class C3) without requiring a full planning application.   The new Class MA rights could open up new opportunities for some farmers, but anyone considering change of use from offices to dwellings might need to take advice about acting before the rule change.  Currently Class O allows change of use to residential without any limitations of the floor area.  However, once the new Class MA permitted development comes into effect in August 2021, there will be a limit of 1,500 square metres.  In addition, the buildings will have needed to have been vacant for three continuous months prior to the application for prior approval under the new Class MA, which is not currently a requirement under the existing permitted development rules (Class O).  For advice on planning please consider contact Rural Hub Business Supporter Sheldon Bosley Knight.  

Consultation by Defra on lump sum exit scheme and de-linked payments

In 2022, Defra plans to offer farmers in England who wish to exit the industry the option of taking a lump sum payment in place of any further Direct Payments.  They believe this will help those who wish to retire or leave the industry to do so in a planned way.  It is envisaged that the lump sum exit scheme will make more space for the next generation of farmers, as well as providing opportunities for existing farmers who wish to expand to improve their profitability. It will sit alongside extra support to help new entrants into the industry.  Defra is also planning to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the land for all farmers in 2024. This means that recipients will no longer have to farm the land to receive the payments. Delinked payments will replace the current BPS for all farmers in England.    A consultation on these two proposals will run for 12 weeks and end on 11 August 2021.  Visit this page to take part. 

Go wild in June with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

The UK’s biggest nature challenge 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where we ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June.  Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! But to help you on your way, The Wildlife Trusts will also provide you with a FREE postal or digital pack of goodies to inspire your wild month – including an activity passport and a wallchart to track your progress.  Alongside all of these benefits, taking part in 30 Days Wild is scientifically proven to make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to nature.   You can sign up here https://www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/30DaysWild

 

Sign up to receive blight warnings for 5 days ahead

With the Syngenta BlightCast agronomy tool, potato growers and agronomists will be better prepared to cope with more aggressive blight strains this season. It includes a forecast using the Hutton Criteria proposed to model strains of blight capable of developing at shorter periods of 90% relative humidity.  BlightCast uses local weather forecasts and sophisticated disease modelling algorithms to predict blight risk for up to five days ahead – enabling growers and agronomists to plan strategies more effectively.  BlightCast reports for 2021 will commence on 21st April 2021.  Visit this page to sign up.

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.

 

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​​​​​​​

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.

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. 

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.

 

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.  

 

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.

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

 

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.

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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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
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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)
Rosemary Collier
Amy Brant
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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