Launch of Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme

George Eustice (Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), has today announced the launch of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant (CPSG) Scheme.
A Press Release can be found here.

  • The initial offer is for £15 million of small grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 for a range of equipment and technology to be used on farms
  • Applications are due in by 14th March 2018.
  • Applications will be scored after the closing date and applicants should be notified soon afterwards as to whether they have been successful.
  • Full details are on the Countryside Productivity page on
  • The page includes links to the Handbook and a portal to a very simple online application form.
  • Applying online takes just a few minutes.
  • Grants are available for a specified range of equipment.

The intention is that there will be further rounds of grants later in the year.

Keeping your birds safe

Following confirmed cases of Avian Influenza in wild birds in three separate locations, an avian influenza prevention zone has been declared across the whole of England.

It is a legal requirement for ALL bird keepers to:
• Feed poultry in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds.
• Regularly clean and disinfect hard areas the birds can access.
• Minimise the number of visitors in contact with birds.
• Cleanse and disinfect footwear, equipment and vehicles which have access to bird areas.
• Ensure food, bedding and water supplies are secure from contamination.
• Implement effective vermin control.

Landowner warning about Waste Scam

Landowner Warning – Waste Scam

Date: 25/01/2018
In the last week two new incidents involving scams against farmers have been reported to the Environment Agency’s environmental crime team. Farmers have been contacted and asked if they would be happy to store “tarmac road planings” on their land (material used for repairing roads and farmyards).  Some have also been asked to store wrapped bales of silage.

After accepting the offer and cash they instead found bales of landfill waste dumped on their property, landing them with both the environmental liability and a bill to transport and remove the waste to an authorised disposal site.

While this has so far only been reported in Lincolnshire it is important to be aware of rogue trading scams like this.

Advice from the Environment Agency includes:
• use reputable agents and brokers
• carry out suitable checks and due diligence
i.e. get the individuals details, vehicle registration, ask where the waste is coming from (address, permit number, waste carriers registration)
• inform them you’ll be contacting the Environment Agency or call us whilst they are there
• don’t agree to accept any waste until you have carried out some checks and had a cooling off period to fully consider the offer

If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it to West Mercia Police on 101 or the Independent Charity CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website at

You can also ask 101 to contact or put you through to the West Mercia Police, Rural & Business Officer (Crime Prevention) for HEREFORDSHIRE – Paul CrumptonDial 101 and ask for 4408


Confirmed case of Avian Influenza in Warwickshire leads to an England-wide Prevention Zone being declared.

An avian influenza prevention zone has been declared across the whole of England as a result of 13 dead wild birds being confirmed to have the virus in Warwickshire at Draycote Water, near Rugby. This follows on from the last week when 31 swans tested positive in Dorset for H5N6 which is the expected strain of the latest case in Warwickshire.

The prevention zone will be covering the whole of England and means it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures. Essentially not much should change as poultry keepers should be following good biosecurity practices anyway but the prevention zone requires all bird keepers in England to:

•Ensure the areas where birds kept are unattractive to wild birds. For example, by netting ponds and by removing wild bird food sources
•Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds
•Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures
•Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy
•Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.

Just to confirm at this point there is No housing order in place though this will be the next step should more cases be found across the country.

Green Futures Seminars in the West Midlands

There are nine Green Futures seminars in the West Midlands during January/February.

Full details here:-

GF 2018 flyer – West Mids

These events are likely to be heavily subscribed so to book a place please contact Herefordshire Rural Hub


or Tel: 01432 353465

When phoning or emailing, please tell us

  • the name(s) of those people wishing to attend,
  • the event you wish to attend,
  • and your contact telephone number & address

Keep Herefordshire Warm

The Keep Herefordshire Warm (KHW) energy advice line is open for calls today and the rest of this week:-  0800 677 1432 .  KHW are urging those who are fit and well to check in on neighbours who are not so fortunate if they can, particularly in areas hit by power cuts and within isolated rural communities.  Customers relying on power for electricity equipment or vulnerable in the event of a power cut can sign up to Western Power Distribution’s Priority Services Register through Keep Herefordshire Warm. Western Power Distribution (the electricity distributor) also operate a power cut helpline- 0800 6783 105. Those struggling to keep warm can also access free and impartial advice via the KHW helpline.