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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Latest News

Here are our most recent industry news stories.  To read all news posts please click on one of the categories above.

Download the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2019

The new guide to Cross Compliance rules in England for 2019 can be downloaded here.

There are no confirmed policy changes to the rules for 2019.  However, please be aware that for SMR 1 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) land that was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, transitional arrangements have been in place to not meet some of the NVZ rules. These arrangements come to an end in July 2019, when the requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. For more information read SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones on page 39 of the guide.

Cross Compliance rules for January 2019

1st – You must start following the rules in the cross compliance 2019 guide from this date. The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2019 year starts.

1st – You can apply organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland and tillage land on shallow or sandy soils from this date if conditions are suitable and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for application of these manures. (SMR 1)

1st – Beginning of the year for assessing the annual amount of livestock manure applied to your land. (SMR 1)

16th – You can apply manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland and tillage land from this date if conditions are suitable. (SMR 1)

Respond to consultation on UK Shortage Occupation List

The Government has launched an important consultation on which roles could and should be on the UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The SOL comprises of occupations and job titles held to be in shortage across the UK where it would be sensible to fill through non-EEA migration. Job titles on the SOL are not required to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test.  For the first time, ‘lower skilled’ roles may also be considered.  The consultation closes on 6 January 2019, and you can respond via this link.  

Source a local fresh turkey with the help of the NFU

Source a local, fresh turkey direct from the producer by using the NFU Turkey Finder.  Just type in your postcode and find a local farmer from a list of more than 250 NFU members across England and Wales.

FC launches improved land information search tool

Forestry Commission has launched a new map browser with an improved Land Information Search.This new FC map browser (for use by customers in England) has improved functionality and accessibility and a new Land Information Search tool.  The new services are accessed on GOV.UK   The map browser allows you to view data layers published by the Forestry Commission. You can see how they interact with the area of land you have an interest in, and can identify various agreements for forestry and woodland management activity that has been approved.

Volunteers required to test new food and farming website

Would you like to form part of a testing group for a new website all about British food and farming?

The National Farmers Union is looking for a group of volunteers to help test a new public facing website that will be launched in January 2019. You don’t need to be an IT guru to volunteer, all levels of IT knowledge are welcome. All you’ll need to do is navigate around the website and provide feedback on the user experience The session will take place at the NFU’s building on the park between 10am and 2pm on Friday 21 December.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to take part please contact Victoria Sanderson at the NFU on

Reminder of key dates in December

1st – BPS 2018 payment window opens
1st – You need to carry out your annual inventory of sheep and goats. (SMR 8)
31st – Official end of the BPS 2018 scheme year

Method of ageing lambs to change

In a move that could potentially save producers and the supply chain an estimated £24 million Defra has confirmed plans to use a fixed cut-off date of 30 June to age lambs instead of checking teeth.  The new cut-off date will be implemented by June 2019. The new process of ageing lambs will provide a much simpler and more accurate way to determine whether a lamb is over 12 months old and whether the carcass needs to be split to remove the spinal cord.

Read the draft agreement on our withdrawal from the EU

The 585 page draft agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is available on the website.

Defra recruits 2,000 additional staff to work on Brexit

Defra secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that Defra has recruited more than 2,000 staff to work on our exit from the EU.  These include fixed-term appointments, interims and staff redeployment.    More than 400 posts of the additional posts have been filled from across the Defra group – the majority coming from Natural England, the Rural Payments Agency, the Environment Agency and the Animal Plant and Health Agency.

Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme

Do you want to save money on your energy bills and the make the most of low carbon opportunities?  The Green Business programme can help you identify energy savings and support the development of new low carbon products and technologies.   For further information visit this page.

Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme

Supporting the development of new innovative products and technologies for SMEs, the programme provides a range of assistance including one-to-one support, networking and access to grants of up to £100,000.  Visit this page for further information.

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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


Registration No: 7026157

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

Hub Chairman

Henry Lucas

Rural Hub Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson

Tel: 07780 159291

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Paul Rice
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson
James Walton


Hub Steering Group Members

Luke Ryder, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Susan Schlee, S2M Marketing
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Mark Meadows, Tithe Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Bob Slater, Slater Farm Management Services
Chris Tallis, Tallis Amos Group
Jef Tuyn, Agricultural Consultant
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey 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.

© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.