Rural Hub News

All the news about the Warwickshire Rural Hub

Massage therapist helps to reduce tension

during second health and wellbeing event

We held our second Health and Wellbeing event at Rugby Farmers’ Market café on Monday 17 February 2020.  The room was buzzing with farmers who had come to buy and sell livestock and we used the occasion to offer them a free stress-busting massage with Maya, our massage therapist.  Maya had a steady stream of visitors who gave great feedback on the benefits of her massage, which can include reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, reduction of stress hormones and increase in joint mobility and flexibility.  Farming Community Network distributed free copies of their publication “Fit for Farming” and had several meaningful conversations with visitors to their stand.  We will be back again on Monday 6 April – this time with the addition of two senior nurses.  

Cover crops and green manures 

with Kings Crops

Over thirty farmers and members of the Rural Hub and Arden Farm Wildlife Project visited Pleasance Farm in Kenilworth on 28 January 2020 to hear all about cover crops for wildlife and green manures. Richard Barnes from Kings Crops explained how winter cover crops can be tailored to provide habitat for wildlife, as well as improving soils. He also gave us some ideas of which crops can be used as summer cover/green manures for fields which are left unplanted in the spring.

Thanks must go to Henry Lucas for acting as host and Zoe Bell of the Arden Farm Wildlife Project for organising the event.

Workshop on RDPE Growth Programme funding  

for small businesses in rural Warwickshire 

 
Nearly 100 people attended two workshops on 6 and 9 December 2019 giving information on the RDPE Growth Programme funding, which is open for expressions of interest until 16 February 2020.
 
Speakers from the Rural Payments Agency gave full information on the criteria for applications under the three programmes of business development, food and drink processing and rural tourism and gave tips and hints on how to best complete the expression of interest form.  David Cooke from Hill Farm Marina, who along with his business partner was successful in being awarded a grant to develop a marina and cafe in Wootton Wawen, then gave the applicant’s perspective.  A lively question and answer session completed the workshops.
 
Staff from the Economy and Skills Department of Warwickshire County Council, who organised the events, were on hand to provide support, along with representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Warwickshire Rural Hub.
 

In previous rounds, businesses in rural Warwickshire have been allocated £2.6 million in financial support. Farm diversification and food & drink are two of the priorities for the business development grants in 2020 (as well as there being separate grants for food processing and rural tourism).  To find out more about the grant programme please visit this page.  

 

Helping hedgehogs to thrive on farmland

with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Counting hedgehogs is difficult but there is no doubt that there has been a serious decline in numbers since the millennium.  So on Tuesday 12 November 2019 we heard all about how we can encourage hedgehogs to farmland when Dr Debbie Wright, Senior Hedgehog Officer at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, led an event at Gate Farm, Fen End by kind permission of Susie Hammett.  
 
Firstly, we undertook a tour of Gate Farm to look at habitats that are favoured by hedgehogs before we returned to the training room to watch a fascinating presentation that told us all about the different species around the world, the lifecycle of our own species of hedgehog, the reasons for its decline in numbers and what we can all do to help them to thrive.   Everyone present learned something new about our prickly friends and went home determined to help them remain part of our diverse countryside.

 

 

 
 

Achieve your goals with less stress

with Focussed Farmers

 

 

 

How to train our minds to achieve our goals with less stress was the subject covered by Holly Beckett at the Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society/Rural Hub talk on 6 November 2019.
 
Holly Beckett is a 2015 Nuffield Scholar and fourth generation farmer from Warwickshire who received funding from the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust to pilot the introduction of the latest latest developments in psychology within the ag-sector.   During her talk Holly explained how the average “normal” person is attuned to the present moment for 1% of the time but through brain training and the practice of mindfulness our attention can be improved.  Holly has set up the Focussed Farmers project which provides a set of resources including a free video series which helps farmers and ag-sector workers define their goals and put purposeful focus into action.   During the talk the audience engaged in some mindfulness training and hopefully left the event feeling less stressed and determined to continue their brain training!
 

Using social media to promote your business

with NFU and Sunflower VA

How to use social media to promote farming and rural businesses was the topic discussed at our event on 24 October 2019.

Hosted by NFU our first speaker was their social media lead, Charlotte Coates.  Charlotte explained how NFU used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote a positive message for farming and to raise the profiles of their campaigns.  The growing importance of using short videos was highlighted and we all learned how to take a good selfie!    Sharing beautiful shots of our countryside, tagging key influencers, following industry hashtags and showing pride in our industry were Charlotte’s top tips.   We also learned how to deal with any negativity.  Our second speaker was Amanda Morris from Sunflower VA who gave some case studies of local businesses who had successfully raised their profile through social media, some statistics on why every business needed to get social and tips on the best times of day to post stories and tweets.    There was plenty of questions from the floor as many members of the audience used their iPads and ‘phones to get online. 

We would like to thank Charlotte and Amanda for delivering their wisdom and George Bostock, NFU Warwickshire Assistant Adviser, for his help in organising the room.

 

 

Making the most of your rural property assets

with Rural Hub Business Supporters

 

Diversification via development of rural property assets was the theme of the Rural Hub event on 24 September 2019 at Deer Park Hall, Eckington near Pershore. Rural Hub Business supporters sponsored the event and provided the speakers. Firstly, Dan Jackson from Sheldon Bosley Knight explained the rules behind Class Q permitted development rights of agricultural buildings. Then Daniel O’Donnell of Rosconn Strategic Land gave an overview of Promotion Agreements. The letting of agricultural buildings was covered by Tony Rowland of Sheldon Bosley Knight and the seminar concluded with a presentation by Douglas Godwin of Parkinson Wright on the legal perspectives to consider. Breakfast bacon rolls gave the delegates plenty of time to network. The Rural Hub would like to thank its business supporters for their sponsorship of this event.

 

 

Biodiversity offsetting

What is it?

Biodiversity offsets are conservation activities in one location that compensate for losses in another (e.g. following housing developments). Landowners are ideal candidates to create new habitats – such as ponds, woodlands and hedgerows – to replace those that have been lost and Warwickshire County Council is looking for landowners who would like to enter long-term funding agreements. that can cover 100% of the costs. At our event on 10 September 2019 delegates heard from David Lowe of WCC who gave an overview of biodiversity offsetting, the few rules that will need to be complied with through the legal agreement and offered landowners the opportunity to write their own grant scheme and payment terms. The NFU then gave its own perspective on the scheme and explained how they would prefer marginal areas of land to be used in the scheme, rather than land that is currently producing food. We would like to thank NFU for hosting the event and providing lunch.

 

 

Thomas Maynard of Hatton Farms Ltd

wins Forsyth Lapwing Trophy for 2019

Thomas Maynard, Director of Hatton Farms Ltd, was announced as the winner of the Forsyth Lapwing Trophy for 2019 at a Syngenta farmer’s meeting on 1 July 2019.  The trophy, sponsored by Syngenta, is awarded for excellence in environmental farming and conservation on a commercial Warwickshire farm.

As well as retaining and managing such features for wildlife as woodlands, ponds and hedges Thomas has also taken an archaeological feature out of cultivation.   Winter bird seed plots, beetle banks and pollen and nectar mixes have been introduced to the farm and Tom uses grass leys to help control black grass and on arable headlands to improve arable gross margins, field operation efficiency and improve soil structure.  Hatton Farms hosts regular visits from schools and bird surveys.  Thomas Maynard was presented with the Forsyth Lapwing Trophy to retain for one year plus a Syngenta seed mixes voucher by south Warwickshire farmer Anthony Forsyth.  The runner-up for 2019 was Jonathan Hince, Farm Manager of HJ and CF Beecham of Tidmington, near Shipston on Stour.

Photo: Left to Right – Jonathan Hince, Anthony Forsyth, Thomas Maynard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Hub helps to inspire its Members to do something different, to embrace change and learn from each other.”

Henry Lucas,
Warwickshire Rural Hub Chairman

"The Hub helps to inspire its Members to do something different, to embrace change and learn from each other."

Henry Lucas,
Warwickshire Rural Hub Chairman

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Donate to the Hub?

A donation to the Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, it is only donations of over £100 that can be acknowledged on the Hub website as a Champion.  A donation can be given to the Hub by cheque, bank payment, standing order or by the Paypal Link Below.

Contact Us

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

Email: info@ruralhub.org.uk

Registration No: 7026157

Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA

Hub Chairman

Henry Lucas
E: henrylucas76@gmail.com

Rural Hub Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

Tel: 07780 159291

 

 

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Karen Ellis
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson
James Walton

 

 

 

Hub Steering Group Members

George Bostock, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall

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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