Rural Hub News
Maximise profit for minimal effort
Over 50 farmers gathered in Hampton Lucy on 26 October 2023 to hear about the benefits of growing Miscanthus. This carbon negative biomass crop is planted in late spring and harvested in later winter. Once planted, it has a 20 year life span and requires no fertiliser and minimum input. Returns start during the second year of planting. The crop also improves soil, air and water health and encourages biodiversity.
The event also included a drone demonstration and a soil sampling demo. To find out more about growing Miscanthus please visit the Terravesta website. More growers are required to meet the biomass demand.
Branded Rural Hub coffee mugs
are now on sale
Breed for CH4nge
with low methane sheep
Results of soil improvement project
attracts farmers from all over the midlands region
on 6 September. Held in Welton, Northants and led by Senior Agricultural Adviser, Marion Perret-Pearson we heard all about the results of a three-year soil improvement project and watched some soil machinery in action.
Sun block at the ready
at the machinery sale on 7 July
It was a welcome hot day at the machinery sale at Rugby Livestock Mart on 7 July.
We were holding our first health and welfare event outside of the cafe to meet farmers who don’t usually attend livestock sales and were pleased to meet a range of new faces during the morning. Maya our massage therapist was as popular as ever, and gave 12 massages in the shade of the sheep pens. And Gill and Sue our nurses from Parish Nursing were on hand to check blood pressures, offer holistic health advice and rub on sun cream to visitors who needed some extra protection. Caroline from RABI and Allyson from FCN also joined us.
We’re back in the cafe on Monday 4 September and look forward to seeing some familiar faces once again.
These events are kindly supported by the Royal Countryside Fund.
Biodiversity, beans and bees
are all viewed on a visit to Warwick Crop Centre
Water buffalo charm Rural Hub visitors
on a visit to see how a local farmer is adding value
We had a fantastic visit to Napton Buffalo on 21 June 2023 to watch the water buffalo being milked and hear all about their management regime. We also tasted the delicious ice cream and heard about the other uses for the milk, which include mozzarella and Asian sweet meats. But as a dual purpose breed, the water buffalo are also used for meat which is butchered on farm into burgers, to be sold at shows and events. The Rural Hub members left the event very much charmed by these calm and curious animals.
Thanks go to Jackie, Roger and James for sparing the time to host us.
The sun shines on Kenilworth Show
on 3 June 2023
Beautiful sunshine blessed the Kenilworth Show in 2023 which brought in over 20,000 visitors to Warwickshire’s largest one-day agricultural show. The Rural Hub had a stand in the Discovery Barn where we were promoting our health and welfare events for farmers at Rugby Livestock Mart and our three sustainable farming groups. Maya our massage therapist gave out 16 free massages to grateful visitors to the stand and we also signed up some new members. And during a lunch time dash to the dog show, Rural Hub dog Beatrice won a special rosette in the prettiest bitch competition!
Owl pellet dissection workshop
is a fascinating evening
Our owl pellet dissection workshop on Wednesday 3 May 2023 was led by the Warwickshire Mammal Group who taught us how to identify the bones of a range of mice, voles and shrews. Thank you to the Phipps family of Bragborough Estate in Braunston for hosting us and to Louis Phipps for providing the owl pellets.
Our health event for rural women
welcomes a steady stream of visitors
Our health and welfare event on 24 April 2023 was aimed at rural women, and we welcomed a steady stream of women and children to Meriden Village hall to enjoy free refreshments, a chat and health check with a nurse and a free massage. We also had information available on the signs of sepsis and Caroline from RABI was able to offer welfare advice. Feedback from our nurses showed that they were able to conduct vital in-depth discussions on a wide range of issues including post-operative care, bereavement, diagnosis of new conditions and the difficulty of registering with a new GP practice. Thank you to The Prince’s Countryside Fund for grant-aiding this important event.
The early bird watcher
catches the bacon buttie
Our dawn chorus walk on Saturday 22 April 2023 hosted by Miranda and Uli at Village Farm, Marton was led Nick Martin from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, who is a passionate ornithologist. Starting at 6.00am Nick was able to identify which songs belonged to which birds, as well as visually identifying the species which could be seen in the trees. Nick confirmed that the elusive kingfisher was heard joining in the chorus and also informed Miranda and Uli that they had a raven on the farm. After the walk had concluded everyone gathered in the party barn at Village Farm to enjoy tea and bacon butties, prepared by Uli, Jane and Maya whilst the walk had been taking place. It was a fitting end to a fantastic morning.
Biodiversity net gain
Is it for you?
That was the question posed to the members of our South Warwickshire Sustainable Farming Group on the evening of 26 April 2023 when they visited Alscot Estate near Alderminster. Tom Bridge, Estate Manager, took members on a walk around land in the scheme to learn more about how the estate has approached biodiversity net gain, what it means for the farm and the practical implementation and management required. Following the walk we retired to the village hall for a question and answer session with more detail on each step required to achieve trading credits. If you farm in south Warwickshire and would like to join the sustainable farming group please contact Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org
A busy morning in Rugby Farmers’ Mart cafe
for another one of our Fit for Farming events
Maya from Vital Massage Marton gave 14 stress-busting massages, including one for Isobelle, from our funders The Prince’s Countryside Fund, who thoroughly approved of the benefits! We were also joined by The UK Sepsis Trust, The Farming Community Network and Severn Trent Water who gave out details of a new grant scheme for livestock farmers alongside the Rivers Leam and Avon. We will be back in the cafe in a few weeks!
How to attract barn owls to farmland
in South Warwickshire
Warwickshire Rural Hub attends
The Prince’s Countryside Fund farm support group conference
Over 70 representatives from 33 farm support groups attended the PCF’s Farm Support Group conference at Stoneleigh on 9 and 10 March 2023, providing an opportunity to network and share learning with those who work to support farming families across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Warwickshire Rural Hub Co-ordinator was one of the attendees.
Discussion on the first day centred on policy, with speakers including NFU Vice President David Exwood, TFA Chief Executive George Dunn, Baroness Kate Rock, and Defra Deputy Director, Programme Policy, Engagement and Strategy Jonathan Baker.
On the second day we heard from those working with the farm support groups, when the discussion surrounded the future of support payments for farmers, policy changes around the UK and succession and the next generation. Becky Willson of Farm Carbon Toolkit also gave an uplifting and engaging session on the opportunities for farmers in working with carbon, in building resilience and future proofing their businesses.
The AHDB’s agri-leaders
take advantage of a Rural Hub health check
On 7-8 February 2023 over 160 delegates at the AHDB AgriLeader Forum in Stratford on Avon were challenged to reflect on their business and leadership styles. This annual event helps high-achieving farming business leaders to develop and drive the three pillars essential for running a successful business: leading yourself, leading your people and leading your business. But for the first time in 2023 the delegates were also able to take advantage of another pillar essential for running a successful business: looking after yourself.
The AHDB had invited the The Rural Hub to run one of our farmer health and welfare events in the margins of the conference. Massage therapist Maya was fully booked giving out free massages to the delegates whilst nurses Gill and Jo from Parish Nursing UK chatted to the farmers about a wide range of health issues and checked on blood pressure readings. We also distributed copies of the FCN booklets “Fit for Farming” plus leaflets from a variety of other health charities.
Feedback from the AHDB was very positive. The organisers said: “we were all thrilled at the number of attendees that took the opportunity to either have a massage, a health MOT or a private chat. It was a fantastic – and very important – addition to the Forum so please do pass on our thanks to everyone”.
South Warwickshire Sustainable Farming Group
learn more about the benefits of cover crops
Lord Willoughby de Broke was the host for our November 2022 South Warwickshire Sustainable Group event, which looked at how cover crops can benefit soil. The farm agronomist, Peter Dews, led the discussion about when to use cover crops, species selection for different scenarios, how to establish and manage cover crops and the pitfalls to avoid.
The activities of our South Warwickshire Sustainable Farming Group are grant -aided by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
We have three sustainable farming groups in Warwickshire – the other two cover the Arden region and the Upper Avon and Leam catchments. If you are interested in joining one of these free groups please contact Jane on email@example.com
Read all about the benefits of joining a group on this page.
What are the benefits of trees
to a farming business?
from the Environmental Land Management Scheme. Following on from the inside session we made a short journey to view a grant-aided tree planting scheme on a farm on the edge of Southam.
Staying positive about agricultural transition
on a beautiful summer evening
Stay positive about agricultural transition was the advice from Jim Egan of Kings Crops at our farm walk at Weston Hall Farm on 21 June 2022, kindly hosted by Alistair MacGregor. Jim gave us information on the new funding streams available under ELMS and colleague Meehal Grint gave advice on managing the wildlife areas that we viewed on the farm. Upon return to the farmyard we all enjoyed Napton Buffalo Burgers and drinks, sponsored by Rural Hub business supporter, Syngenta. It was a beautiful summer evening and a fantastic event.
Vines and Wines
on our visit to a north Warwickshire farm
Blabers Hall in Fillongley planted their first vines in 2018 and now produce 6 different wines. On the afternoon of 25 May 2022 Rural Hub members were treated to a tour of the 6 acre vineyard by owners Clarke and Adele Adams, who explained all about their arrival at the farm, research into new business ventures and why they decided to start a winery. We also heard about the process of planting, growing, harvesting and processing grapes and how Clarke and Adele market their wines. On our return to the farm buildings we then tasted a range of their produce.
Also joining us on this event were representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber and the CW Growth Hub, who explained about the free support available for small and medium businesses in Warwickshire operating in the hospitality sector.
The event was a great networking opportunity for all concerned.
A Change of Chair
for Warwickshire Rural Hub
After 19 years in post Kenilworth farmer, Henry Lucas, retired as Chair of the Warwickshire Rural Hub on 10 March 2022. Henry was one of the people instrumental in establishing the Rural Hub in 2003 and took the Chair of the first meeting in August of that year. He worked with four Co-ordinators – Victoria, Emma, Carrie and Jane – and oversaw the Rural Hub through its journey from a fledging idea to a charitable incorporated organisation with 15 business supporters and1200 members which is part of The Prince’s Countryside Fund Farm Support Group Network. We would like to thank Henry for his passion and commitment over so many years. We will be honouring his contribution at a special event in the summer.
The new Chair of the Warwickshire Rural Hub is Karen Elis. Karen is well-known in the farming community of Warwickshire through her voluntary work with the Farming Community Network and her membership of many rural organisations in the county. We look forward to working with Karen as we move forward with the development of our health and welfare events and our 3 sustainable farming groups.
“The Hub helps to inspire its Members to do something different, to embrace change and learn from each other.”
Warwickshire Rural Hub Chair
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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
2 Church Street, Marton, Rugby CV23 9RL
Tel: 07780 159291
Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Karen Ellis (Chair)
Marion Perrett Pearson
Environmental Steering Group Members
Zoe Bell (Chair)
Meehal Grint, Kings Seeds
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Louis Phipps, Bragborough Estate
Zoe Burrows, Rookery Farm
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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