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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.

Increase to annual investment allowance

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) has increased from £200,000 to £1,000,000 for a limited time, until 31 December 2020.   If you’re thinking of investing in plant and machinery you will receive tax relief.   For further information please read this briefing note from our business supporter, Ellacotts.


Changes to general licences for bird control

Natural England is revoking three general licences for controlling certain wild birds as of Thursday 25 April 2019.  These licences cover 16 species of birds including several members of the crow family, Canada goose, some gulls and pigeons.  Natural England is working to put in place over the next few weeks alternative measures to allow lawful control of these bird species to continue where necessary. In the meantime, once the licences have been revoked and until new licences are issued, anyone needing to control one of these 16 bird species where there is no reasonable non-lethal alternative will need to apply for an individual licence.  The action is the first stage of a planned review of general and class licences, which will be completed this year.  For further information please visit the Defra website.

Do you grow maize under plastic?

SGS Banbury is looking for a grower who grows maize under plastic that they can use for an efficacy trial looking at weeds.  A pre-emergency spray would be required.  If you are interested in being paid to host this trial please contact Jo Hawke on 01295 671933

Farms sought for coppice wood and soil erosion trials

Researchers from Earthwatch and Small Woods Association are looking for farms in Warwickshire willing to establish field-scale trials that will be used to study how coppice wood products may prevent soil erosion. The trials will involve Earthwatch and collaborators installing short bundles of coppiced wood in affected fields. It is hoped these will trap eroding soils and provide added benefits such as improving soil fertility and soil biodiversity. The trial will last 1-2 years, according to site availability. If you would like to discuss this initiative please get in touch with Martha Crockatt or Alan Jones or tel: 01865 318838

CTS Online unavailable on 27 April

Due to essential maintenance work the CTS Online service will be intermittent between 7am and 10pm on Saturday 27 April 2019.  Farmers should try to submit notifications to BCMS before or after this downtime. If however, farmers believe that this downtime will result in late movement notifications or late passport applications etc, they should notify BCMS to make sure that this downtime is accounted for at BCMS validation.

Respond to planned tenancy reforms

Plans have been put forward by Defra for a radical shake-up of agricultural tenancy legislation in England and Wales, with a key aim of making it easier for people to enter and exit the industry.  Consultations have been launched and the deadline for responses is 2 July 2019.
The papers set out options that ministers hope will create opportunities for new entrants, who they say will bring new skills, ideas and innovation to the sector.  The proposals are broadly based on the work of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG), which made a series of recommendations to government back in 2017.

To respond to the Defra consultation please visit this page.


RPA bridging payments

RPA has confirmed that farmers will start receiving bridging payments from 12 April. These payments will cover BPS 2018 claims and CS 2018 advance payments.  Further information can be viewed here.

Are you a wildlife friendly farmer?

We are looking for entrants to the Forsyth Lapwing Award for 2019 which recognises farmers in Warwickshire who have integrated environmental measures with farming operations. The award is sponsored by Syngenta who will be heading the judging panel and providing the winner with a voucher for its seed mixes. The winner also retains the Forsyth Lapwing Trophy for one year.

The closing date for the competition is 7 May 2019 and short-listed farms will be expected to host a two-hour visit from the judges during the final week of May. The winner will be announced at the Syngenta barbeque and crop trials event in Chesterton on the evening of 1 July. This year we have simplified the entry form, so download your copy below and send your entry to Jane Hampson on by 7 May.

Forsyth Trophy 2019 Application Form

Storage and spreading of manures post Brexit

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, farmers may find themselves in a situation where they face added pressures on the storage and land-spreading of organic manures, digestate, waste and potentially waste milk.  The NFU has been informed by the Environment Agency (EA) that current regulations on the storage and land-spreading of these materials will remain in place as it currently stands unless further notice is given by Defra or the EA.

NFU launches new mobile app

The National Farmers’ Union has launched a dedicated app as an additional tool to help members stay up-to-date with the very latest NFU news, advice and information.  The app will enable members to access important NFU updates quickly and easily, with the ability to customise content by farming sector, access content without an internet connection and have the option of being notified when important news and information is uploaded.  For further information please visit this page.

Electronic Communications Code and landowners

The one-year-old Code has vastly changed the relationship between landowners and telecoms operators. With more power in the operators’ hands and rents appearing to plummet, landowners have understandably felt aggrieved. But after a long standoff, the two sides are reconnecting. So what are the key messages for landowners wanting the best deal from their telecoms lettings? Read this briefing note from our business supporter Shakespeare Martineau to find out.

Earn up to £8 per hectare for improving water quality

Farm to Tap is a Severn Trent scheme that focuses on managing pesticides and the other impacts of diffuse water pollution that comes from farms, and other land users.  You might know this scheme as Farmers as Producers of Clean Water.  Farmers are being urged to come together to help keep Metaldehyde out of drinking water and there are payments available for those joining the scheme.   The deadline is 1 September 2019.  To check if you are eligible and to register your interest please visit this page.


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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.

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