& Funding


& Regulation




& Safety

Warwickshire Rural Hub

Latest News

Here is a flavour of some of the most recent industry news stories.  To read all news posts please click on one of the categories above.

Support for farmers to tackle air pollution

Did you know that free expert support and confidential advice is available now from local air quality specialists, enabling farmers to choose the best way forward for their farm?

In September 2018, the government launched a new £3 million air quality project to support farmers through the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership. Since then, specialists have been working with farmers across the country to reduce ammonia emissions to improve their farm business and the environment.

Visit this link to check if your land is in a high priority and to read more about the partnership.

Defra issues 3 new general licences to control pest bird species

Three new general licences for killing certain birds have been issued by Defra, extending the number of species that can be shot without having to apply for an individual licence.  These new licences extend the number of birds and range of circumstances under which lethal control is permitted without the need for an individual licences.

The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:

  • conserve other wild birds, flora or fauna
  • preserve public health or public safety
  • prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit (GL36)

The bird species covered  by GL36 are carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, woodpigeon, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet and ring-necked parakeet.

Kenilworth Show – competition results!

Thank you to everyone who visited the Rural Hub stand at the Kenilworth Show on 8 June and tried their hand at our competition.

We asked entrants to match 8 leaves and 8 small logs to some tree names.  Out of 51 entries 13 people got the correct answer, which is:

Tree Name                 Leaf Letter    Log Number

Ash                            E                    2
Cherry                       C                    5
Elder                          G                    7
Field Maple                H                   6
Hazel                         B                    1
Holly                           A                    8
Horse Chestnut           F                    3
Scots Pine                  D                   4

A bird box will be presented to the winner.

Thank you to Jon Slee for setting the competition and Tony Beysens for donating the bird box.

Free workshop on HS2 Woodland Fund

The Forestry Commission is running a free workshop on the HS2 Woodland Fund and Woodland Condition Assessments. The workshop will be held on Monday 17 June 2019 in and around Oakley Wood near Leamington Spa, from 10.00 am until 15.00 pm. They will cover scheme rules and examples of previous successful projects indoors before lunch, then we’ll head outside to practice doing a Woodland Condition Assessment in PAWS woodland.

Book your place by emailing Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Tea and coffee will be provided, but attendees will need to bring their own packed lunches.

Information for farmers affected by HS2

Guides for farmers and growers on HS2 proposed approach to handling agricultural property matters have been published. They provide a single source of information for all those affected by the new route. There will eventually be a bespoke guide for each affected farmer.

The guides comprise 3 parts:

  • part 1 contains general policies and guidance on key issues, including land acquisition, land access, construction, land restoration and compensation.
  • in part 2, further explanatory notes on land acquisition and temporary occupation are included.
  • in part 3 is an example of the content that will be tailored to an individual farmer. The principles set out in the guide will be adhered to during the detailed design and construction of the railway.

You can access the information here.

Churchill Fellowships for Rural Living

The Churchill Fellowships are seeking applications to their Rural Living category that explore multidisciplinary approaches for strengthening rural communities, for example to invigorate transport networks, reimagine housing, employment and enterprise, or improve access to education, culture and healthcare.  This category is in partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

A Churchill Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand your horizons and make a difference. It offers up to two months overseas, researching a topic of your choice – and then a lifetime relationship to help you spread the global insights that you bring back.  Everyone can apply, regardless of age, background or qualifications, so long as you are a UK citizen aged 18 or over.  The Fellowships particularly welcome applicants who would not find funding elsewhere.  The closing date for applications is 17 September 2019.  You can find out full information on how to apply on this page.

Rural broadband enquiry launched

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an enquiry into rural broadband and digital only services.  The committee is seeking responses to five questions:

  1. What are the barriers to delivering superfast broadband and improved mobile phone coverage in rural areas at an affordable cost?
  2. Is enough being done to address the disparity in coverage and digital service provision between rural and urban areas?
  3. Is the current Universal Service Obligation (USO) adequate for the needs of rural communities and businesses and will it be effectively delivered?
  4. Are the Government’s recent policy and funding announcements for improving digital connectivity adequate for rural areas?
  5. How well do digital public services work in rural areas where there are poor internet connections? What support or alternatives are available?

Responses must be received by 24 June.  Visit this page for further information.

Key dates in May and June 2019

31 May – Deadline to make certain changes to a BPS application received by 15 May without a penalty

10 June – Deadline for late BPS applications, or late amendments, with penalties. Any applications or supporting evidence received after this date will not be accepted

30 June – End of crop diversification ‘cropping’ period and end of Ecological Focus Area (EFA) periods for fallow and nitrogen fixing crops

Countryside Stewardship one to one advice sessions

If you are thinking of applying for Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier this year you may be interested in attending a one to one advice session where the options available to you under a Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier scheme can be discussed and assistance offered with the application process, should you decide to apply.

Please call Jennifer Davies on 01785 710548 or email for more information and to book one of these free sessions in your local area (dates, locations and times to be confirmed). Please provide your name, address, contact number, email and farm CPH or SBI number when booking.

Just a reminder, if you have not yet ordered your pack you will need to order one from the RPA by the 31st May and the Mid Tier application window closes on 31st July.

Go wild in June with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

This June, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust challenge you to do something wild every day. That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness. They are giving out free packs of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas from your Wildlife Trust to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond). You’ll also get inspiring emails from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, invites to exclusive events and a chance to join in on social media using the #30DaysWild   To get your free 30 Days Wild pack in time for June (digitally via email or post), which includes a wallchart, a poster, an interactive booklet and some stickers to help you go wild, just sign up on the website

New Environment Agency hotline for exempt abstractors

The Environment Agency has established a free hotline and bookable appointments service to help previously exempt abstractors complete their New Authorisation application forms by 1 October, in order to meet the deadline of 31 December 2019. The dedicated team will be supporting New Authorisations applicants by:

• answering any specific questions they may have
• helping them decide if they need to apply for a licence
• talking them through completing their application forms
• arranging a convenient call-back time to take them through their application

The hotline and bookable appointments service can be accessed by calling our normal National Customer Contact Centre service on 03708 506506 and asking for New Authorisations, or by email via enquiries@environment‐

British Farming Awards are open for entries

The AgriBriefing 2019 British Farming Awards are now open for entries.   Now in its seventh year, the awards have become a nationally recognised event which celebrates, showcases and rewards farmers doing fantastic work across the country.  There are a total of 14 categories covering the core farming sectors as well as awards that recognise the talent of youngsters coming into the industry and acknowledge the contribution rural businesses are making to wider industries.   The closing date for entries is 12 July.   Further information on the awards is available here.

Would you Like to

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.