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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Recent Developments

New app allows farmers to search for bulls

A new livestock matching app named Tudder is due to be launched on 14 February.

  • The app features profiles of farm animals from 43,000 farms across the UK, representing about one-third of all UK farms
  • Farmers will swipe right for yes and left for no in the search for the perfect match for their farm
  • Once a match has been made, farmers will be redirected to the SellMyLivestock (SML) website, where they can browse photos and learn more about the breeding stock listed

The app is available to download in the Apple and Android stores – search for Tudder to find it.

Key dates for BPS, CS and ES

The Rural Payments Agency has put together a timeline of the important dates for 2019 to be aware of for Basic Payments Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship.   The dates and further information are available on the RPA website.  Alternatively you can download the calendar here.  

Police to get new powers to tackle traveller sites on private land

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced some new proposals to make it a criminal offence to set up an unauthorised camp.  The new measures include:

  • Reducing the number of vehicles involved in an unauthorised encampment before police powers can be exercised
  • Extending the period during which travellers would be unable to return to land from three to 12 months
  • A further consultation on making it a criminal offence to set up an unauthorised encampment.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships are open for applications

Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust has opened its doors for 2020 applications.  The closing date is 31 July 2019.

To date, 854 Scholars from the UK and over 1600 Scholars worldwide have been awarded Scholarships which have gone a long way in helping advance the food and farming sectors, as well as aiding personal development and career progression.  Each year, approximately 20 Scholarships are awarded, providing successful candidates with a bursary of approximately £7,000 toward the travel and research of a topic of interest in the farming, food, horticulture or rural industries.  For further information please visit this website.

Salmonella Typhimurium in sheep

Animal and Plant Health Agency has recently investigated incidents of a potential new strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in sheep. This strain of Salmonella is associated with an on-going human outbreak.  More information is available on the APHA website.

AHDB develops Brexit website

The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board has developed a dedicated website to help farmers to navigate the implications of a no-deal Brexit.  You can access the website here.

Registering chemicals in preparation for EU exit

If your business uses a chemical you may need to register that chemical once the UK leaves the EU. Now is the time to identify the chemical you use, understand how to register that chemical and prepare for that registration. Visit this page for further information.

AHDB images for health and the environment

AHDB has pulled together a suite of red meat and health images, gifs and messages which you can download and use on social media to help spread positive messages on red meat, health, nutrition and the environment. You can download them from here.

Young Farmers’ festival planned by Farmers Weekly for May 2019

This spring, Farmers Weekly plans to launch a brand new event for Britain’s young farmers and other young people in our rural industries – the Young Farmers’ Festival.  The event would take place Thursday 2nd May to Sunday 5th May and comprises of activities, discussions, music, sports and general revelry!  Farmers Weekly want to hear your thoughts on some ideas for the event, so please contact James Williams at

Water resources advice – be prepared for summer 2019

The Environment Agency has offered some advice to farmers for preparing for summer 2019:

  • Consider whether you require a licence for a previously exempt activity, including for trickle irrigation and previously exempt geographical areas. You need to apply for a licence to cover this activity by December 2019
  • Audit your water usage – use this to identify where you could save water
  • Review irrigated crop plans against water availability
  • Fill water storage reservoirs over the winter when water is available and consider increasing your onsite water storage to improve resilience (for example rainwater harvesting, or constructing a storage reservoir)
  • Assess changes you could make as to how you take water
  • Review whether your abstraction licence(s) meet your needs for next year and vary them over winter where appropriate (manage your abstraction or impoundment licence online)
  • Consider trading your water rights with other farmers if you don’t need as much water for your business
  • Look at water saving technologies
  • Make regular checks for leaks in water systems and carry out any necessary repairs
  • Create a plan for dry weather and potential shortage of water

Do you farm in Flecknoe, Sawbridge or Willoughby?

Warwickshire Moth Group is currently trying to pull together an atlas of the smaller moths of Warwickshire.  But the group has something of a black hole around the villages of Flecknoe, Sawbridge and Willougby.   The group is therefore looking for people who farm in that area who would be willing to let them come and record their moths.   Habitat is immaterial and the group members are just wanting to be able to park safely and have the landowner’s permission.  If you live in this area and would like to help the group with their atlas of moths then please contact Alan Prior.


Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society seeks new Secretary and Livestock Secretary

Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society are currently are looking to fill two self-employed part-time roles

• Society Secretary
• Livestock and Crops Secretary

Ideally candidates will be from a farming/agricultural background, but also with secretarial/administration experience. The successful candidates should be capable of managing many interrelated activities and developing strong relationships with the network of suppliers, sponsors and volunteers.   The successful candidates will need to be able to work flexible hours and be willing to go the extra mile running up to the Show day in early June.  The job descriptions for the two roles can be downloaded below.  Any queries and applications should be directed to Mrs Nicola Maynard, Society Chairman on

KADAS Job Descriptions

Beware of bogus sites for registering for an EORI number

It has become apparent that there are several suspicious websites claiming to help businesses register for a UK trader number (an EORI number) as part of their preparations for exiting from the EU.  There is only one official website to register for a UK trader number which is at

Draft clauses in Environment Bill are published

The Environment Secretary has published draft clauses on environmental principles and governance to be included in the Environment Bill set for introduction next year.  Announced by the Prime Minister in July, the Environment Bill will create a new framework for environmental governance as we leave the EU.  You can read full details here.

Are you an arable farmer who would like to increase your profits?

Farm business consultants Andersons has been awarded an AHDB contract to provide advice to a limited number of arable businesses and are looking for farmers to take part in the project.  For participating farmers Andersons will undertake a confidential assessment of their 2018 harvest on an individual basis, using AHDB’s Farmbench program. This will provide an individual cost of production calculation for each of the arable crops.   You will then be invited to take part in a meeting at Stoneleigh on 27th February 2019.  The Farmbench software for completion prior to the meeting is available here.  You will need to use Google Chrome to get the best experience from the website.  If you would like to take part in the project or need help with completing the software please contact Harry Batt at Andersons on or telephone him on 07948 245525.


Join the Big Farmland Bird Count

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Bird Farmland Bird Count takes place in 2019 between 8 – 18 February.  Farmers are being encouraged to spend just 30 minutes at some point during those dates recording the birds on their farm.  The count is also a great way to see how birds are doing on your land in the middle of the winter and to demonstrate the benefits of the work you’re doing to provide year round food and habitat for birds.   You can find out more about the Big Farmland Bird Count, register your interest in taking part, download or order recording forms here.

Metaldehyde slug pellets to be banned from spring 2020

Defra Secretary the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has confirmed that slug pellets containing Metaldehyde will be banned from spring 2020. It will be legal to sell Metaldehyde products for outdoor use for the next six months, with use of the products then allowed for a further 12 months. (Posted 19.12.18)

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.

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.

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.

Making Tax Digital starts on 1 April 2019

With effect from 1 April 2019, if your taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold you must follow the Making Tax Digital rules.  Full information is available here.

Keep up-to-date with how to prepare for Brexit

Defra has posted information on how to prepare in the unlikely event of a no-deal EU exit.  Keep up to date by visiting this page.

New opportunity for farmers – Arden Farm Wildlife Network

Are you a farmer in the Arden area of Warwickshire interested in:
• Getting support to help you with managing the options in your environmental schemes.
• Keeping up to date with the changes in environmental support and different channels of funding available.
• Improving your farm for wildlife with low cost methods – that can benefit your business too.
• Finding more about what wildlife you have got on your farm?

The Arden Farm Wildlife Network could help you!

If you would like further details then please give Zoe Bell a call or drop her an email.

Contact: Zoe Bell
Telephone: 07980 771872
Email Address:
Website: Open Website

New scheme to encourage investment in superfast broadband

A new scheme for small to medium sized businesses is being piloted in the Warwickshire area to encourage commercial investment in superfast fibre broadband.
The Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks Programme aims to support projects across the UK that will stimulate more commercial investment in full fibre, the “gold standard” of fast and reliable broadband. Coventry and Warwickshire is one of the test regions for the scheme. The programme will see local companies will be offered vouchers (worth between £500 and £3000 each) by broadband suppliers to pay for gigabit capable connections.
More information is available on the website below.

Website: Open Website

NFU Mutual launch new insurance for Smallholders

Smallholdings are an essential piece of the patchwork that makes up our great countryside and are vital to the wellbeing of the farming scene. As the leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual has launched a new insurance that insures smallholders managing small flocks or herds, right through to individuals and families who are keen to get involved in small scale farming. Visit the website to contact your local agent.

Website: Open Website

New Defra code of practice for species control

The “Species Control Provisions: Code of Practice for England” sets out how the provisions for species control agreements and orders contained in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 should be applied by environmental authorities. These powers ensure that, in appropriate circumstances, landowners take action on invasive non-native species or permit others to enter the land and carry out those operations, to prevent their establishment and spread.
For further information please use the link below.

Website: Open Website

Get pelletwise

The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group has produce “A guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and slug control”.
To view the guide use the link below.

Website: Open Website

Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation

The Department for Transport has proposed the crop cap be set at 4% in 2018, decreasing incrementally until it reaches 2% by 2032. The NFU is calling for the cap, which governs the volume of crop-based biofuels allowed to be used on UK roads, to be set at the maximum possible level of 7%. Many other EU member states have opted for 7% – as per set out in the EU directive, leaving UK arable farmers at a competitive disadvantage.

Parish council help required for broadband rollout

CSW Broadband are looking to work even more closely with parish councils. What they would like to know now is what would parish councils find most helpful to assist you in informing your residents about the broadband rollout and answering their questions?
Please drop an email to, and the team will develop a plan that incorporates as many of your suggestions as possible.

Marketing for plant based substances

The EU Court of Justice has confirmed a ban on products of a ‘purely plant-based substance’ using the term milk, cream, butter, cheese or yoghurt in their marketing. There are some allowances, including coconut milk and ice cream, but the rule applies to all products not on the list of exceptions, such as soya and tofu.

New Red Tractor Stickers Launched

Red Tractor has teamed up with Massey Ferguson to print 15,000 trailer stickers to help farmers spread the positive message of UK Farm Assurance. The stickers bear the slogans “Great Food, Great Farming” and “Trust the Tractor”.
The stickers are free of charge to Red Tractor members.

Website: Open Website

Co-op commits to British farming

Announced last September, a promise to source fresh lamb and bacon from British only sources by the Co-op came into effect this week. This now means that the Co-op sources 100% British beef, chicken, ham, pork, duck and turkey and uses only British meat in all sausages and in its own-label chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches (with the exception of continental varieties in ready meals and sandwiches). This bold move places farming right at the centre of their business and has been widely congratulated by the industry

A new platform for smart farming

The Horizon 2020 thematic network smart AKIS has recently launched a free online platform providing a number of tools to facilitate and promote the use of smart farming technologies.
The platform is intended for farmers, advisory services, agriculture consultants, and farming equipment providers. It includes a database of the latest technologies already available on the market or emerging from research projects. Additionally, it provides guidance, advice and a space for exchange on the use these new technologies.

Website: Open Website

Open Water – chose your water supplier

From 1 April 2017, farms and other eligible business customers in England will be able to choose their supplier of water and waste water retail services.
Businesses which are eligible to switch supplier can choose to shop around and switch to a new retail service provider for water and wastewater services; negotiate a new price and service package with their existing retailer, or a new retailer; or stay with their current retail service provider, accepting default price and service terms.

Contact: None
Telephone: None
Email Address: None
Website: Open Website

Call for vigilance for Sweet Chestnut Blight

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are reminding woodland managers, tree professionals and the plant trade to be vigilant over the coming months for sweet chestnut blight, caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica.  Suspected cases in trees and woodland should be reported to the Commission with Tree Alert. Suspected cases in chestnut plants moving in trade, such as in garden centres and nurseries, must be reported to APHA’s Plant Health & Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) on 01904 405138 or

Telephone: 01904 405138

New website about plant pests

A new website to improve access to information about plant pests and diseases has been launched by Defra.
The Plant Health Portal is already making it easier for plant health professionals to share and use vital information on plant pests and diseases, unlocking the power of data to better assess threats and determine action to tackle them.
The site is still under development, and has been launched in ‘beta’ form to enable users to give feedback to inform further improvements. There are plans to add more data and introduce further refinements to the site’s search functions during this second phase. Users are encouraged to send feedback on the site to Defra.

Website: Open Website

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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.

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