Paul Rice Archive

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.

Farming business as usual with Brexit

Last Friday's referendum result has sent shock waves across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world and there are of course wide ranging implications for the rural community. However, as the dust starts to settle and reality kicks in, it must be business as usual for the rural community.

Poor record keeping responsible for rise in cross-compliance breaches

Last autumn, the RPA published their annual statistics for the number of cross-compliance breaches recorded in 2013. The total figure (which included additional inspections because of the number of breaches found in 2012) was 2,972. Even if the additional inspections are removed, the figure stands at 2,259, a rise of 16% from 2012 (and 10% more than 2011). The default sanction for breaching the regulations is 3% deduction from BPS payments but, depending on the nature of the breach, sanctions can be crippling so it is imperative that all farmers review their cross-compliance obligations so they understand what they need to do and by when.

Dog worrying and your rights

It is a criminal offence for the keeper or owner of a dog to allow it to worry livestock and they are liable for any damage caused. The two main pieces of legislation that govern worrying of livestock are the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 and the Animal Act 1971.

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.
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