Paul Rice Archive

Rural funding beyond 2019

Recipients of EU funding agreements should have breathed a sigh of relief when a Treasury statement confirmed that all such agreements would continue to be fulfilled after the UK leaves the EU, having previously said that only those agreements signed before the 2016 Autumn Statement would be honoured.

A profile of Cotswolds Seeds

“The UK is one of best countries in the world for mixed, sustainable farming”, so declared Ian Wilkinson, MD of Cotswold Seeds, who in 2013 had the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is by buying Honeydale Farm at auction.

Agricultural news round up ...

Agricultural news round up covering CAP greening rules, continued use of glyphosate, stewardship grants, Better Broadband Scheme, driving without reasonable consideration and the 'Yellow Wellies’ campaign.

Fracking moves a step further to getting the green light

As widely anticipated, January’s debate on the Infrastructure Bill confirmed the government’s intention to press ahead with fracking as the only viable way to secure the UK’s energy supplies. In spite of widespread, external opposition, the Bill will legislate for fracking to proceed, including the removal of landowner consent to lateral drilling beneath their land. A proposal for a moratorium on fracking was overwhelmingly defeated but the opposition did succeed in introducing thirteen tests which have to be met before fracking can go ahead. In addition, the government agreed to introduce a complete ban on fracking in AONBs, National Parks and SSSIs.

Agri-Environment schemes in limbo

There will be a gap between the expiry of current agri-environment schemes and the start of the new environmental land management scheme (NELMS). This means that many farmers with standard ELS agreements ending in 2014 will find themselves in limbo while the detail of the NELMS structure is finalised. Even when it is finalised, the earliest start date for any new agreement will be 1 January 2016 as the new schemes will start once at the beginning of each year rather than monthly as at present.

CAP reform remains shrouded in uncertainty

Despite the best efforts of the Irish Presidency to secure a last minute agreement on CAP reform before handing over to Lithuania at the end of June, the result is anything but clear. Broad agreement has been reached on the direction of the reform but the detail is still being developed, in particular the financial aspects which are still to be decided in further budget talks.
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