MP will launch new Herefordshire community housing project

A new project that’s boosting affordable community housing in Herefordshire will have its official launch this month.

Keynote speaker at the event will be local MP, The Rt Hon Jessie Norman.

Herefordshire Centre for Community-Led Housing (HCCLH) is a not for profit organisation supporting the development of affordable homes by local people.

The project will be launched at The Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford on Saturday 29th September 2018, 11.30am – 2pm.

Matt Dodd from Homes England and Ian Crawley from National Community Land Trust Network will also speak at the event.

Nancy Winfield, HCCLH Project Development Manager said, “If you are involved in or care about local housing, this event is for you. It will give attendees the opportunity to get more involved, talk to key people and have their say.

“National and local Government representatives, landlords, developers, housing associations and community groups will all be along.”

Anyone who would like an invitation is asked to call Nancy Winfield on 07999 925545 or email via hcclh.pm@gmail.com

HCCLH is supported by Herefordshire Council, Welcome to Our Future, Department for Communities and Local Government Community Housing Fund.

Exciting opportunity for family farm businesses!

Family farm businesses are invited to register for the third year of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme from Monday 3rd September 2018.

One area, covering West Worcestershire and North East Herefordshire is one of the chosen locations.

The programme in this area will be delivered by Herefordshire Rural Hub.

Up to 20 farming families can join the highly successful initiative.

Aimed at dairy, beef, and sheep farmers, it helps farming families to make changes to improve their business and ensure their viability.   83% of participating farmers said they have made greater efficiencies because of taking part, and 9 out of 10 say they feel more confident for the future of their business.

Patrick from Devon, who took part in year two said: “The programme is one of those things where you get out of it what you put in. It was a great way to get the ball rolling, getting the family farm to be more like a family business.”

Support is provided through one-to-one on farm advice, as well as a series of group workshops delivered by professional consultants, including Kite, The Andersons Centre, Promar, Savills, and Saviour Associates. This year sees a new selection of workshops based on feedback from participating farmers in year one and two.

This year’s workshops include:

  • The Business Health Check – a simple benchmarking exercise carried out on farm, after which the anonymised results are reviewed to show the importance of keeping and using records
  • Practical cost management – exploring ways of making efficiencies and practical cost-saving techniques
  • Getting to know your finances – how accounts are put together, and how they can advise your decision making on-farm
  • Business planning and managing change – encouraging families to look at their farm businesses, to identify short- and long-term aims, SWOT analysis, and how to manage change
  • Planning for your Future – this looks at how to engage the whole family in succession planning and future proofing your business
  • Managing your environment – looking at environmental recording and benchmarking, identifying your public goods, and opportunities and advice around farming in harmony with the environment

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “There has never been a more important time for farms to think about the future. The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme offers practical advice and support to help farm businesses flourish and by participating in this free programme, family farms ensure they are in the best possible position to maximise future opportunities.”

Applications are open until Monday 15th October 2018 and places are allocated on a first come first served basis, and subject to fulfilling the programme criteria.

Please contact Sarah Starkey on farming2020@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk or Tel: 07974 438517 or visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience for further details or to register.

 

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The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme

Launching next week ….

The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme will open for applications from family farming businesses in West Worcestershire and North East Herefordshire on 3rd September.

It will be delivered locally by Herefordshire Rural Hub.

The unique programme, now going into its third year, offers one to one on-farm support as well as a series of
group workshops, covering areas such as finance and business planning, as well as preparing for the future,
such as succession planning and change management post-Brexit.

The programme is completely free, and is aimed at beef, sheep, or dairy farming families. 9 out of 10 farmers who have participated in the scheme in other areas, said that it has made them feel more confident for the future of their business.

To find out more please contact Sarah Starkey
Email: farming2020@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk
Tel: 07974 438517

or visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience

Please be vigilant and inspect fields thoroughly before applying slurry

“The Environment Agency have urged farmers to be particularly vigilant and to inspect their fields thoroughly before applying slurry to their land. The prolonged hot weather has left many fields with extensive surface cracks.
If care isn’t taken significant pollution could be caused as these cracks can act as a rapid pathway for slurry to enter land drains. Slurry could pollute watercourses directly if application rates are too high or could remain in the land drains after spreading only to be flushed out during wet weather at a later date causing significant pollution.

The recently introduced Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018, more commonly referred to as the “Farming Rules for Water” specify that:
“a land manager must ensure that, for each application of organic manure or manufactured fertiliser to agricultural land, the application is planned so that it does not give rise to a significant risk of agricultural diffuse pollution, and that it takes into account the weather conditions and forecasts for that land at the time of the application”.

Russ Carrington retires as Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

Russ Carrington has retired as a director and long-term supporter of Herefordshire Rural Hub
We are very grateful to Russ for his support of the Hub over the past few years.

Russ continues to be active on the rural scene through his running of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) where farmers across the UK are supported to improve their pasture-management and sell meat and milk under the ‘Pasture for Life’ certification mark. One project Russ is now heading up is working with groups of farmers to improve profitability in upland areas as funded by the Princes Countryside Fund. Alongside this he is also chairman of Rural Youth Europe, a network of rural youth organisations across 19 countries, representing around 500,000 young people from the countryside, and sees Russ attending and chairing meetings and events right around the continent. He is keen to ensure that rural areas are equipped with the knowledge, skills and future leaders to help embrace the challenges ahead.

Help to Stop the Drop

Herefordshire Council’s  Stop the Drop litter campaign is going from strength to strength with almost 300 Herefordshire businesses signed up to the Litter Pledge.  This figure includes large farms such as Haygrove Ltd, Westons Cider, Oakchurch, Court Farm and Leisure and S & A Produce.

Haygrove Ltd were one of the first businesses to sign up to the Litter Pledge. They are committed to keeping their land clear of litter and Chris Millson, Sustainability Manager had this to say about their support for the campaign:-

“Haygrove is proud to have signed up to the Stop the Drop initiative. It resonates with our view that much needs to be done to solve a litter problem that has rapidly reached crisis levels, but also with our view that much can be done!

The campaign aligns well with our existing programmes. Haygrove has set an ambitious target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2023. Working towards this goal, we have managed to increase the proportion of waste that has been recycled every year, since 2014. Last year not only did our recycling rate reach 69%, but we also saw a reduction in the total amount of waste produced – a good demonstration of our belief  that waste management starts with reduce, reuse, then recycle. But we still have a long way to go.

Our fight against waste has been positive for the environment, good for the morale of our team, and good for business. Recycling pays in many ways, but you can’t recycle unless you first Stop the Drop!”

Jane Denny, Herefordshire Council said “It’s great to see so many businesses signing up and supporting the Stop the Drop campaign. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Herefordshire clear of litter including farmers in their role as guardians of the countryside. We’d like to encourage more farmers to sign up to the litter pledge to demonstrate their commitment to keeping the Herefordshire countryside litter free.”

The pledge can be signed online  at https://myaccount.herefordshire.gov.uk/business-litter-pledge . We’ll send you a certificate for displaying in your premises which as well as being featured on the Herefordshire Council website will collectively spread the message that litter is not acceptable. Please encourage others to do the same.

Farmers have to deal with a wide variety of waste products and this government website provides guidance on how to manage it. www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-waste-on-land-guidance-for-land-managers

Plastics form a large portion of farm waste and can be recycled via Farm Plastics Recycling http://www.farmplasticsrecycled.co.uk/i.php

More information about the Stop the Drop campaign can be found here www.herefordshire.gov.uk/stopthedrop

Impact of the Hot Weather on Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreements

The hot weather conditions are leading to hay crops being ready earlier than normal, or farmers wanting to alter grazing, cropping and supplementary feeding requirements due to the heatwave.

If you cannot meet agreement requirements due to adverse weather conditions, you can ask Natural England for either

  • a Derogation under Environmental Stewardship (ES) 
    Click here for ELS  Derogation form
    Click here for HLS  Derogation form

  • a Minor and Temporary Adjustment (MTA) under Countryside Stewardship (CS) – Mid/Higher Tier.
    Click  here for MTA form

Alternatively you can call Natural England CS Delivery Services 0300 060 3900

More information on MTAs is in the CS Mid Tier manual (section 6.20 on pages 64-65), and in the Higher Tier manual (section 6.21 on pages 70-71).

Agreement holders should get in contact with Natural England as soon as possible, explaining the issue and the actions they would like to take, as they need to obtain their derogation or MTA before they need to make changes to agreement management.

Where a derogation is given, such as for early cutting of hay, the agreement holder should ensure they avoid areas with ground nesting birds.

Reminder about Derogations for Cutting hedges in August

BPS claimants who wish to sow Oilseed Rape and/or Temporary Grassland in August, and who need to be able to cut hedges in those fields before 1st September, must apply for a derogation in order to avoid breaching cross compliance requirement GAEC 7a Boundaries.

Applications must be made on paper or by email to the RPA.  They have set a 15 working day response target, and you must have received your written confirmation before the work can commence. So please apply early!

The correspondence to the RPA should be clearly marked ‘Cross compliance derogation’, and should contain the following information:

Claimant name and address   /   SBI number   /   Field reference numbers

Confirmation that you wish to sow oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland on these parcels in August

If you wish to cut both sides of a hedge, you will need to list both the relevant field numbers

and be sowing oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland in both fields.

 

All paper derogation requests need to go to:  Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 352, Worksop, S80 9FG.

The letter must be clearly marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’.

 

Email requests must be sent to:  ruralpayments@defra.gsi.gov.uk and marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’

Ensure emails are only sent from email addresses which are registered with RPA on rural payments online

and the person sending the email is registered to the business and has permission to act for the business.

Full guidance can be found in the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2018