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Wales: Amended Notification Requirements for Poultry and Other Captive Bird Keepers

Coming into force on 1 September 2024, The Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2024 require the keeper of any number of poultry or other captive birds to notify the Welsh Ministers. Previously, the Regulations only required notification of flocks of over 50 birds. The new Regulations require a person who keeps poultry or other captive birds at any premises must notify the Welsh Ministers in writing of, among others:The address and the holding number of the...

Jeremy's Blog 12th July 2024: A New Government Takes Over

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 10th July 2024 We have crossed a threshold, now no longer in an election campaign nor the long shadow cast ahead of it. A large majority is taking office and beginning to find the difficulties of government. We welcome Steve Reed and Daniel Zeichner to their new roles in DEFRA and wish them well. Although Labour won describing the last government in terms of chaos, it is a moment to note some of what was put in place that now...

Junior DEFRA Ministers

Two further junior ministers have been appointed to DEFRA to join the Secretary of State, Steve Reed, and Minister of State, Daniel Zeichner: Emma Hardy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and MP for Kingston on Hull West and Haltemprice Baroness Hayman of Ullock, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Lords

240709: Poole Harbour Catchment - Nutrient Mitigation Credits from Natural England

Natural England have published details on how to apply for Nutrient Mitigation Credits for any housing development in the Poole Harbour Catchment area. The details set out who it eligible, how to calculate how many credits are required, the allocation and prioritisation of credits and how to apply for the Nutrient Mitigation Credits from Natural England. The first round of applications opens at 10am on 31st July 2024 and closes at 11:55pm on 27th August 2024. Full details can be found on the...

New DEFRA Ministers

Steve Reed was appointed as Secretary of State on Friday and, as of this morning (Monday 8th July), has Daniel Zeichner as Minister of State in DEFRA. Both held the equivalent shadow posts in opposition. Further appointments are expected soon.

Jeremy's Blog 5th July 2024: Bigger Issues

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 4th July 2024 This last day of the 2024 general election allows a moment of wider reflection before the business of the new government takes attention. Speaking to the CAAV National Conference last Friday, Jack Bobo, Director of Nottingham University's Food Systems Institute, saw the next 25 years as the most important 25 years in the global history of agriculture, the period until the still growing world population starts...

240701: England - Laying Hen Housing for Health and Welfare Grant Round 1

The Laying Hen Housing for Health and Welfare grant is available to add a veranda onto, or to upgrade or replace existing laying hen or pullet housing (for units over 1,000 birds) to improve animal health and welfare. The grant is up to 40%, between £15,000 and £500,000 per applicant business. The online checker can be used to make an initial online application. The online checker will close at 11:59pm on 18th September 2024....

Jeremy's Blog 28th June 2024: Can Development be Unlocked

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 27th June 2024 We really have to be careful what laws we write if we are not to be surprised by their effects.Here (and indeed in the USA), a surprising judgment sees the courts get attention when they have merely pointed out what the law says. In Finch v Surrey County Council, the Supreme Court has upheld, by 3 to 2, a judicial review of a 2019 permission for an oil well in Surrey because it had read Regulation 4(2) of the...

Jeremy's Blog 21st June: Election Thoughts

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 20th June 2024 A governing party’s manifesto is taken more seriously than many might suppose. The civil service will be poring over it to establish the new policy directions, No 10 conventionally checks off the pledges as progress is made and the House of Lords defers to Bills for manifesto commitments. The political debate of an election campaign then dramatises points, advancing or avoiding proposals and being...

Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill

The Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill has completed its Stages in the Scottish Parliament on 18th June and now awaits Royal Assent. As framework legislation, the practical detail for schemes is to come at some point in the Rural Support Plan.

EWCO Grant Deadline for Next Planting Season: 30th June

Potential applicants are reminded that England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) grant applications, aiming to plant in 2024-25, must be submitted by 30 June. This deadline does not apply to Woodland Creation Fast Track projects as these will be processed and an agreement issued within 12 weeks (60 working days) regardless of the time of year, as long as fast track eligibility criteria are met. More information is available here: England Woodland Creation Offer - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)....

Jeremy's Blog 14th June 2024: Flooding Can Bring a Dark Legacy

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 13th June 2024 We can often overlook how much our landscape has been affected by mining. It is not just coal or Cornish copper and tin. Mining has left a history from the Neolithic flint mines at Grimes Graves and copper mines at Great Orme to today’s great underground granite aggregate quarry at Glensanda in the Highlands and the massive Woodsmith polyhalite mine being hewn under the North Yorkshire Moors. Our varied...

Scam Emails

We are aware that some members have been receiving scam emails purporting to be from the CAAV offering either: A list of over 1,500 adding the AGM or A members list. They appear to be using publicly available addresses and, with a style echoing marketing agencies circulars, these are not from the CAAV. If you receive one of these scam emails, please delete it.

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Northern Ireland: Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regulations 2024

The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Private Tenancies Regulations (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2024 have been made. They come into operation for all new private tenancies from 1 September 2024 and for other private tenancies from 1st December 2024. Minimum numbers and placing of alarms are specified in the Regulations, which permit both hard-wired and battery sealed types, provided they are compliant with BS 5839-6 and BS 50292. Further guidance from the Department for Communities...

CAAV Office Internet Service Resumed

UPDATE: Service now resumed The internet service and access to the server at the CAAV Office, Harts Barn, is temporarily down. We are hoping service will be resumed by the morning of 12th June. Whilst we wait for service to be resumed there will be no access to emails. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

SFI 2023 CLOSURE DATE - 10 JUNE

DEFRA has announced that SFI23 will close for new applications at midnight on Monday 10 June. Any application that has already been started must be submitted within 60 days of starting. Applications for the expanded SFI offer will open fully later in the summer. To apply early and access the new range of actions, those interested can complete an expression of interest survey. Applications are then to be invited to apply over the next few weeks....

Jeremy's Blog 7th June 2024: Statutory Powers and Business Agreements

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 6th June 2024 It may be an obvious point when it is put directly that statutory powers override contractual rights and obligations, even those under an agreement with the state, while actions under a contract can change the legal status of land. Equally, an Act of Parliament and legislation under it only creates the powers that it creates; the state cannot just assume it has powers. While it clearly does not feel as...

SFI 2023 Applications: Open Until Further Notice

Following earlier uncertainty (see this CAAV News Item), the RPA has now confirmed that the ability to generate and submit an application for the SFI 2023 offer will not be restricted on 6th June. Applications remain open until further notice.

SFI 2023 to Expanded SFI Transition (Updated)

It has been reported by some that agents on the RPA Helpline are advising that applications for the SFI 2023 offer are to close on 6th of June. The CAAV is working to clarify the position. The RPA stated in a blog earlier in the year that: While we’re implementing improvements to SFI and rolling out the new offer, we’ll temporarily manage access to the service from Thursday 6 June. SFI 2023 applications opened before that managed access starts might have established a place in the system...

Jeremy's Blog 31st May 2024: Innovation in Farming

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 30th May 2024 Last week’s annual Field Day in Scotland on a vegetable farm across the Tay from Dundee saw a demonstration driverless tractor. A 150hp Agxeed diesel/electric tracked tractor was directed out of the building from a console, as though it were a drone. It could then work, driverless, to a programme in a predefined field, a next step in precision farming. Such technology, developing for some time, is beginning to...

Transition from SFI 2023 to the Expanded SFI - Scheme Rules

Members will be aware that from summer 2024, the Expanded SFI Offer is to open to applicants. This is to bring together SFI 2023 and many of the Mid Tier Countryside Stewardship options, with 102 actions to be available in total. Full detail is in our webnote of 21st May. Many of the existing SFI 2023 actions will be available under the new offer. The requirements for some of these, however, will be different under the Expanded 2024 offer (see the full list of actions here). This includes...

Jeremy's Blog 24th May 2024: The General Election is Called

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 23rd May 2024 So, the election has been triggered, precipitately resetting the cycle of government at a time of much unfinished practical business. While a new Parliament can, with time, change decided law, all outstanding policy decisions, as for DEFRA’s Higher Tier Scheme, are now for the new government once in place and briefed – and capable of going down different roads. As Parliament rises by Thursday, almost all...

Expanded SFI - DEFRA Webinar - 29th May

DEFRA is hosting a webinar on Wednesday 29 May at 11am to go through the guidance, actions and detail for the expanded SFI offer. Those wishing to join can register here: Webinar Registration - Zoom.

Jeremy's Blog 17th May 2024: The No 10 Farm to Fork Summit

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 16th May 2024 The fruit and vegetable sector is a strong contributor to the value of UK agricultural output. It has been under severe economic pressure as costs, risks and necessary working capital have risen well ahead of produce returns. Weather and labour add to the challenges. Production volumes, areas and confidence have all fallen. It is clearly magical thinking to suggest that saying the British public ought to eat...

Expanded SFI: Expression of Interest

As many will be aware, the expanded Sustainable Farming Incentive in England will be opening this summer. The RPA will be offering a controlled rollout of the scheme to a limited number of people before the scheme opens to all applicants. This small number will be able to apply for the scheme early so that the RPA can open the service in a controlled way. They will also be asking these early applicants about their experience of submitting an application, so that they can improve the service in...

CS Claims - Rural Payments System Delays

Many will be aware that there are significant delays in the creation and submission of annual claims for Countryside Stewardship. The RPA is encouraging agreement holders to continue to with their claims. They have advised us that: 'We will make sure that those affected are not disadvantaged. We will keep a record that the system performance has affected their ability to claim and they won’t receive any late claim reductions if we receive their claim after 15 May because of this.' Those...

Jeremy's Blog 10th May 2024: Land Drainage - A Key Investment

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 9th May 2024 Land drainage and the management of water offer one of the ways to tell the story of our landscapes as millennia of hard work have made a wet land productive. Even now, for many soils having good field drainage is the precondition for land to give its potential – becoming more important with the spread of no-till practices. With 40 years since the last major wave of drainage investment, this winter has shown...

CS & ES Claims - Update Land Use

Those preparing to submit a claim for CS or ES in 2024 are reminded that the land use codes for the relevant parcels should be updated where there have been changes.

Government's Climate Change Plan: High Court Challenge

The Climate Change Act 2008 requires the Government to prepare a 'carbon budget delivery plan' setting out how the targets for reducing emissions will be met. The latest version, approved by the Minister in 2023, had been subject to a legal challenge by a collection of eNGOs and climate advocacy groups. On Friday 3rd May, the High Court ruled that the plan did not meet the requirements of the Act, and the Government must therefore revisit the document. We wait to see if the Government will...

Jeremy's Blog 3rd May 2024: Farming Incomes - Risk or Reward

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 2nd May 2024 The Agriculture Act 2020 gave powers for measures to promote “fair dealing obligations for business purchasers of agricultural products”. Three and half years later, the first fruits of that process are now coming through with the Fair Dealing (Milk) Obligations Regulations due to take effect from early July. These set standards that milk purchase contracts are to meet with both specific opportunities for...

240502: Wales - Infrastructure Investment Support for Slurry Storage Capacity and Welsh Water Regulations

Recognising the prolonged period of wet weather, an Extreme Weather Summit meeting was held resulting in Welsh Government highlighting the importance of investing in resilience. In response to concerns over slurry storage capacity the Welsh Government has announced there will be two schemes which specifically support investment in on farm infrastructure, these are: the Nutrient Management Investment Scheme andthe Small Grants – Yard Coverings scheme. Both schemes are to open shortly and £20m...

RPA Downtime Postponed

Following CAAV representations, the RPA has now postposed the planned downtime for the system from 13th May to 16th May. That planned for the evening of 15th May still appears to be going ahead.

Jeremy's Blog 26th April 2024: Targets - Gestures Real or Straightjacket

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 25th April 2024 Targets are everywhere in modern government. In principle, they can set a discipline to achieve results, measured and monitored for management. Sometimes, so many are set that they confuse or even counter each other; some are badly set with perverse results. Some targets seem set just as a gesture, with magical thinking that a target is an answer not then needing action, role playing in response to pressure...

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Bluetongue Virus: End of Seasonal Low Vector Period

DEFRA has warned that the seasonal low vector period has ended. The biting midge which carries the virus has become more active with the warmer Spring weather and there is an increased chance of infected midges being blown over from the Continent. While there is currently no evidence that the bluetongue virus is circulating, DEFRA is planning for an increase in cases. Farms close to the coast in counties along the east coast of England from Norfolk to Kent and along the south coast from Kent to...

Jeremy's Blog 19th April 2024: A Mindset for Resilience

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 18th April 2024 We are almost always in the middle of a story. The past is not over but rather a prologue. The future is yet to come, evolving from now but with surprises. There is rarely a conclusion, though sometimes hindsight suggests a move to the next Act. The present is simply a waystation, not an answer. More than for some time, we are living amid accelerated change and disruption, perhaps familiar with what we have...

Jeremy's Blog 12th April 2024: Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice for England

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 12th April 2024 The Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice for England was published on Monday. It is a voluntary Code for all parties to tenancies (that is, landlords and tenants) and their advisers, giving guidance as to approach, conduct and behaviour. It looks to support good relationships and help where difficulties arise. Intended to improve practice, it does not change the law or alter any contract and...

Jeremy's Blog 5th April 2024: Labour Says More About Planning

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 4th April 2024 Keir Starmer’s Labour Party (like the Conservatives in Canada) clearly feels it is working a rich electoral vein in positioning itself as the advocate for more housing, while other parties carve up the opponents between them. Following his references in the autumn to “bulldozing” the planning system for England, the document issued for the launch of its local election campaign suggest that...

Scotland: Council Tax on Second Homes

The Scottish Government has advised that with effect from Monday 1st April councils have the power to charge up to double the full rate of Council Tax on second homes. It goes on to state that 29 of the 32 Scottish local authorities have confirmed their intention to use the power. A second home is classed as any home that is not used as someone’s primary residence but that is occupied for at least 25 days in a year....

BNG Requirement for Small Sites

From 2nd April small sites are required to demonstrate biodiversity net gain as a condition of planning consent (unless exempt). Small sites are defined as: residential development where the number of dwellings is between 1 and 9 on a site of an area 1 hectare or less, or if the number of dwellings is unknown, the site area is less than 0.5 hectarescommercial development where floor space created is less than 1,000 square metres or total site area is less than 1 hectaredevelopment that is not...

Jeremy's Blog 28th March 2024: Farming and Nature; SFI and More

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 28th March 2024 Today’s developing agricultural policies have a twin-track character, embracing both farming and nature, albeit in different ways across the UK. As they develop, so the interactions become more complex. There are clear synergies with farming’s dependence on nature but, even with the well-advanced evolution of England’s new schemes, the tensions here saw this week’s swift decision limiting the use of...

Non-Production SFI Actions - 25% Holding Entry Cap

DEFRA has announced today (25th March) that there will be a cap of 25% of a holding able to be entered into 6 actions under the Sustainable Farming Incentive that take land out of direct food production. The actions are: IPM2: Flower-rich grass margins, blocks, or in-field stripsAHL1: Pollen and nectar flower mixAHL2: Winter bird food on arable and horticultural landAHL3: Grassy field corners or blocksIGL1: Take improved grassland field corners or blocks out of managementIGL2: Winter bird food...

Wales: New Welsh Rural Affairs Minister

The new Welsh First Minister. Vaughan Gething, has moved Lesley Griffiths to Culture, replacing her with Huw Irranca Davies in a new post for Climate Change and Rural Affairs. When an MP he had been a junior minister at DEFRA.

Jeremy's Blog 22nd March 2024: Scottish Land Reform - The Next Steps

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 21st March 2024 Scotland’s latest Land Reform Bill has now been published. Most of it concerns a series of agricultural tenancy changes and a revised and consolidated Small Landholders regime for perhaps less than 70 tenancies. However, its opening sections 1 to 6 would create a framework to regulate the management of over 400 of the largest rural ownerships and to control the disposal of land by many more with potential...

Jeremy's Blog 15th March 2024: New Issues for Farm Advice

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 14th March 2024 Pressures on clients’ choices as to the use of property continue to develop with new factors to be taken into account for advice. The Budget’s tax hit on holiday lets may see an appraisal of how cottages are used. Answers may range from keeping them, if integral to the holding in a tourist area and hoping to benefit from others going out, to switching to longer lettings or sale at the reduced rate for...

Jeremy's Blog 8th March 2024: The Budget - Positive APR Decisions

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 7th March 2024 Agricultural Property Relief (APR) from Inheritance Tax has again proved a very robust relief. In yesterday’s Budget with the financial constraints of poor growth, the Treasury issued the Government’s answers to last year’s major consultation: it will work with interested parties to understand what environmental transactions and assets really involve and develop a shared analysis of the issues and so how...

England, Wales and Scotland: Summary of CMA Market Study Report into Housebuilding

A summary of the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) market study final report into housebuilding. The study considers a range of matters including planning policy, supply of housing, quality and innovation and the private management of amenities on housing estates providing an overview of their issues as well as CMA recommendations on these.

Treasury Consultation on Environmental Taxation and APR – Government Response

Following last year’s consultation, the Government has just announced that: “After careful consideration of the responses, the Government’s response outlines it has decided to: establish a joint HM Treasury and HMRC working group with industry representatives to identify solutions that provide clarity on the taxation of ecosystem service markets where existing law or guidance may not provide sufficient clarity extend the existing scope of agricultural property relief from 6...

Jeremy's Blog 1st March 2024: Look for Housing Policies that Work

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 29th February 2024 Perhaps, as in T.S. Eliot’s words, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality” (Four Quartets). Much of our public discussion seems based on making gestures, that the wish is better than the deed, the protest more material than the answer, rather than facing the realities of our problems and tackling them, explaining the issues and applying the practical remedies. One of the greatest challenges of...

SFI Action Checker

The RPA has published an online SFI Action Checker: Check what SFI actions you can get paid to do on your land (defra.gov.uk). This tool can be used to assess which SFI Actions are compatible with the land types on a holding, and directs users to the relevant guidance. It does not assess eligibility for the SFI scheme, but rather is intended as an entry-level tool for those scoping out which actions may be suitable for them....

Scam Emails Regarding CAAV Overdue Membership Payments

It has been brought to our attention that some members have been receiving scam emails purporting to be from the CAAV and stating that their membership is overdue. If you receive one of these scam emails please delete it. Any genuine emails regarding membership would come from dorota@caav.org.uk or abby@caav.org.uk.

Jeremy's Blog 23rd February 2024: Support for Farming as a Business

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 22nd February 2024 The Government went in strength to this week’s NFU AGM: the first Prime Minister’s visit for 16 years as well as the new Secretary of State, Steve Barclay, and Farming Minister Mark Spencer. Always an occasion for announcements, more were made than usual, fleshing out policy development and schemes. Following Steve Barclay’s speech to the Oxford Farming Conference, the theme for England is now...

Jeremy Moody at the Oxford Farming Conference

Jeremy Moody, CAAV Secretary and Adviser, spoke to the CAAV-hosted meeting at this January’s Oxford Farming Conference with the theme of UK Farming Land Tenure at a Crossroads. The need for improved farming productivity together with the focus on environmental and net zero issues is putting great pressure of rural land, its use and occupation. Agricultural tenancies, business arrangements and, indeed, land ownership are all under stress. Jeremy reviewed some of both the new challenges to be...

Avian Influenza: Restrictions on Bird Gatherings in Wales Lifted

With effect from 16th February 2024, the Welsh Government has lifted restrictions on gatherings of galliforme birds (such as pheasants, chickens and turkeys). A general licence for captive birds or poultry, as the case may be, is required. Restrictions on gatherings of anseriforme birds (such as ducks, geese and swans) remain in place....

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Summary Statement of DEFRA Schemes for England

Following the Prime Minister’s speech today at the NFU AGM, DEFRA has published these two overviews of its schemes: the range of financial assistance schemes – see this link the Farming Investment Fund for productivity The Prime Minister's announcements are summarised in our note....

Jeremy's Blog 16th February 2024: SFI Complement or Alternative

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 15th February 2024 DEFRA’s Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is the element of England’s new regime that sits best with commercial farming. There are some non-production options but, generally, the actions offered can readily fit with or alongside commercial farming. Actions available or becoming available include improving soils, helping the adoption of precision farming and multi-species pastures with their benefits...

Forestry Commission Event: 22nd March 2024

The Forestry Commission are running a free event on 22nd March 2024 to provide an introduction to woodland creation opportunities, funding and support. The event will take place at the Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner, DL10 6NR. More detail and booking is available here: Woods Mean Business: tree and woodland event for land and forestry agents Tickets, Fri 22 Mar 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite....

12th February: Mandatory BNG for New Major Developments

From today (12 February), all new major housing developments in England are required to deliver at least a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain. A collection of related CAAV resources and external guidance is available on our website here: BNG - CAAV Collected Guidance - Version 1 - The Central Association for Agricultural Valuers.

Jeremy's Blog 9th February 2024: Lessons from European Farmers' Discontents

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 8th February 2024 It started in Holland but has now spread to most EU countries in the mainland of Europe, from Spain to Poland as farmers bring their tractors to town make their points. Each country’s protests though follow its national agenda, perhaps only unified by the EU’s pernickety farm-level auditing of the CAP and the growing force of the EU Green Deal. With a wider background of western malaise and ahead of...

Jeremy's Blog 2nd February 2024: Finding Farming's Answer to Land Use Changes

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 1st February 2024 Many very large things are being asked of us and our land. We are being asked to answer climate change and adapt to increasingly volatile weather, reducing emissions, sequestering carbon and managing water, improving nature and eco-systems, providing housing and other development including infrastructure – and still provide food. All that is to come from the finite area of our islands at a time of growing...

Bank of England has held its base rate at 5.25%

The Bank of England has held its base rate at 5.25% with the Governor noting that geopolitical risks had intensified. Six members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted for a standstill, two for an increase and one for a cut.

England: BPS Payment Query Deadline

On their blog, the RPA has reminded BPS claimants of the new deadlines for payment queries and appeals. The 60 day deadline starts on the ‘date of notification’. This is the date the RPA emails or writes to a claimant, giving notification of a payment decision. This can be:a payment remittancea payment querya response to a payment query, when the original payment query was received by the RPA within 60 days of sending a payment remittanceFor any BPS payment decisions notified before 1...

Jeremy's Blog 26th January 2024: Agricultural Protection is for Agricultural Use

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 25th January 2024 It can be worth remembering in today’s rapidly changing circumstances and new environmental offers that, where law or taxation make special provisions for farming, their benefit can be limited to where farming is being done. They are not entitlements, but conditional. Where agricultural activity ceases, the benefit of those special provisions can be lost. The provisions are to assist those who are farmers,...

Improving Farm Productivity Grant: Round 2 Opens

Applications have now opened for the 2nd round of the Improving Farm Productivity Grant. For more detail on the grant, see our website note of 14th December. Since the initial publication of the scheme guidance, DEFRA has increased the proportion of the costs that the grant will cover from 40% to 50% for robotic and automated equipment....

Energy DCOs - Sizewell C and Drax

Two major energy projects have reached milestones in their consenting. Sizewell C has announced that it has satisfied the commitments made in its Deed of Obligation. These were preliminary tasks required under the Development Consent Order (DCO) and preconditions for the start of the formal construction phase. The start of construction is not conditional on the final investment decision (FID) which is expected to be taken later in 2024. The Drax Bioenergy carbon capture and storage project was...

Jeremy's Blog 19th January 2024: Private Capital for Environmental Work

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 18th January 2024 The encouragement of private capital with and alongside public money has been a recurrent theme in government statements on environmental policy. DEFRA has set out very round figures as targets for this, calling for £500 million of private investment in “nature recovery” by 2027 and £1 billion by 2030 (perhaps 40 per cent of England’s legacy CAP money but not all necessarily agricultural or even...

BNG Start Dates: 12th February 2024

DEFRA has confirmed the start dates for biodiversity net gain in England:From 12 February 2024, BNG will be mandatory for new planning applications for major development made under the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990, subject to the confirmed exemptions.BNG for small sites will have an extended transition period and will apply from 2 April 2024....

DEFRA Webinars: The Farming Offer in 2024

Following the start-of-the-year announcement by the DEFRA Secretary on schemes and coming farming policy, DEFRA is hosting several webinars to brief advisers and farmers. The Farming and Countryside Programme (FCP) will be holding an adviser specific webinar on Monday 22nd January: Advisor Webinar - the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI24) Tickets, Mon 22 Jan 2024 at 15:00 | Eventbrite. DEFRA are hosting a webinar on 26th January. Janet Hughes and others from the RPA will be providing an...

Jeremy's Blog 12th January 2024: The Outlook for Interest Rates

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 11th January 2024 Recent weeks have seen a mood that interest rates may be on the way down. However, UK 10 year gilts are nudging back up to 4 per cent and there seems reason for rates to remain higher for longer and also be more volatile. The strange period was the 15 years of unprecedented ultra-low interest rates from 2008 to 2023, not the last few months in which we have returned to a world of significant interest rates....

CAFRE Soil Nutrient Health Scheme Training

DAERA has announced that the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is providing free, face-to-face Soil Nutrient Health Scheme (SNHS) training sessions for farmers in the County Down area.

Updated Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) Payment Rates

Defra has reviewed and updated Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) payment rates based on current costs. Where the 2024 rate has increased, the higher payment rate will be paid for: existing SFI Pilot and 2023 agreements, backdated to the start of their current agreement year.new applications received in 2024 SFI 22 payment rates are not changing as the scheme is closing....

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Scotland: Consultation on Management of Deer for Climate and Nature

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation with a view to updating the legislation on the management of wild deer. The consultation follows the report of the Deer Working Group in 2020. The proposed legislative changes seek to improve deer management taking into consideration climate change and biodiversity. Changes to legislation that were made in 2023 include to remove the close season for all male deer, to enable the wider use of non-toxic ammunition and to facilitate night...

Flooding – DEFRA Statement

Robbie Moore, Floods Minister, has made a statement in the Commons on the renewed flooding in England following Storm Henk, noting that: “Parts of the country had a month’s worth of rain in the first four days of January, and that rain fell on already saturated ground. Several of our biggest river systems—the Trent, Thames, Severn and Avon—saw record levels, or close to record levels …” He stressed the protection given by recent flood defence works and the 2022 planning guidance...

Jeremy's Blog 5th January 2024: Power Cables for the New Economy

As a striking achievement, the United Kingdom is now about halfway to its net zero target for 2050, the first G7 country to do so. With the lags in producing statistics, the headline territorial measure for UK-produced greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 has now been reported at 51 per cent of their level in 1990, lower than before the pandemic and expected to have fallen further in 2023. With much of this achieved by increased renewable energy reducing the share of fossil fuel in electricity...

CAAV News

Andrew Liddiment of near Leominster, Herefordshire referred himself to the CAAV’s disciplinary processes following a criminal conviction for sexual assault. The CAAV Executive, sitting as a Disciplinary Panel, reviewed all papers submitted and, as authorised for such a case under the Bylaws, determined that the seriousness of the matter for the reputation of a Fellow and of the Association warranted his expulsion from membership of the Association with immediate effect from 19th...

SFI Applications Re-Open

The end of year closure of the SFI Application Portal meant that all applications that had been started but not submitted by then are treated as withdrawn. The Application Portal has now re-opened. We understand that a number of applications have already been started using re-opened Portal and a small number of applications have now been submitted. This is seen to suggest that the system is again functional.

CAAV Christmas Closure

The CAAV office will close for Christmas at 1 p.m. on Friday 22nd December 2023 and re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2024. May we take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Jeremy's Blog 22nd December 2023: The Year Turns

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 21st December 2023 With the winter solstice in the dark of early tomorrow morning, the year turns to bring 2023 to an end and open 2024 and all it might offer. The great feasts of lights, Jewish Hannukah followed by Christmas, shine out in the mid-winter, lights against the dark. From this autumn’s grey and rain sodden farmland of Britain to the grim war-fronts of south and east Ukraine, this matters for the hope and...

Delinked Payments: Check Information Statements

As Members will be aware, BPS ends on 31st December 2023, succeeded by delinked payments managing the run-off funds of the scheme. For more background to the scheme, see our recent Podcast). Over the past month, farm businesses have received an Information Statement, setting out the basis on which their delinked payments would be calculated. A business’ reference data – the gross payment received across 2020, 2021 and 2022 – will be able to be transferred to another party in early 2024....

Jeremy's Blog 15th December 2023: 30 by 30 - The Challenge for Land Use

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 14th December 2023 Forget England’s Agricultural Transition and the coming end of Basic Payment in the other parts of the United Kingdom. While those dominate conversation and thinking, the most striking policy change for much rural land across the UK goes far beyond where the environmental parts of the new policies might seem to go. The international “30by30” commitment means that 30 per cent of land and 30 per cent of...

England: Improving Farm Productivity Grant Round 2

The RPA has published guidance on the second round of the Improving Farm Productivity grant. Budgets of £15 million for each have been allocated for solar equipment and for automation and robotics. Grants of between £15,000 and £100,000 will be available for farmers to fund a range of solar equipment, at an intervention rate of 25%. The grant will therefore be able to fund solar projects which have a total cost of between £60,000 and £400,000. For robotic and automated equipment, grants of...

Transition CS to EWCO

The Forestry Commission has updated the grant manual for the England Woodland Creation Offer, providing more detail for when applicants can move land from Countryside Stewardship into the EWCO scheme. See section 3.3.2 here: England Woodland Creation Offer application form - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

SFI Applications - System Updates & Application Changes

At the end of December, the RPA will be closing the SFI application portal, to allow for annual updates to be undertaken. Any unsubmitted SFI applications will need to be restarted when the system re-opens in January. The key points are: SFI 2023 applications should be submitted by 31 December In order for applicants to apply in 2024, RPA will close the service for new applications for a few days, between 27 December and 1 January Customers with an SFI application they have started but...

Jeremy's Blog 8th December 2023: Farming Agreements Beyond Basic Payment

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 7th December 2023 The area-based Basic Payment Scheme ends this month for England. The RPA has just made the overwhelming majority of the second balancing payments for 2023, so that English farmers have now had almost two thirds of the direct payments possible under the Agricultural Transition. The statutory instrument revoking the Scheme and ending cross compliance has been published together with another one setting 60 day...

Jeremy's Blog 1st December 2023: A New Course for the Profession

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 30th November 2023 While having more Fellows and Probationers than ever, the CAAV is conscious that rural practices feel an acute shortage of staff for the growing range and volume of work coming in. With work growing faster than we are, this feels more than the general shortage of staff in the wider economy. The CAAV has been tackling this with a round of meetings with some employers and the universities to see how we can...

England: BNG Draft Regulations and Guidance

The Government has published a range of documents in preparation for the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain in England in January 2024: Draft statutory instruments, amending existing legislation and making provision for the Biodiversity Gain Site Register, excepted sites and irreplaceable habitatsUpdate guidance for BNG, collected here: Biodiversity net gain - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)A revised Biodiversity MetricDraft planning practice guidance on BNG We will follow the announcements with a...

Jeremy's Blog 24th November 2023: DEFRA Call for Evidence on Conduct in the Let Sector

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 23rd November 2023 The let sector covers a third of England’s farmland, still with many 1986 Act tenancies but more than half on FBTs, and still large areas of Wales and Scotland. In addition to that scale, it provides a critical means of flexibility in farm structures, entry, expansion and exit from farming, relieving owners of the need to farm and enabling farmers to have the use of land without having to buy it. Its...

Jeremy Moody bestowed Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural University

On Tuesday night Jeremy Moody was formally bestowed Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), its highest honour, in a ceremony at the RAU attended by Chair of the Governing Council, Dame Fiona Reynolds, as well as the Vice Chancellor, Earl Bathurst as Vice President and many of the senior leadership team at the RAU. Jeremy Moody was commended to the meeting by William Leschallas. The event was also attended by friends, family and alumni – including the current CAAV...

Jeremy's Blog 17th November 2023: Farming Consequences of Weather

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 16th November 2023 At least the UK does not have volcanoes. Iceland, a land still being forged in fire, is watching in awe at the risk of an eruption 25 miles from its capital, evacuating a town before its destruction. In Europe’s other volcanic area, the Phlegraean Fields near Naples and Vesuvius have just had a 4.2 earthquake. Here, we are only following Iceland in the more benign search for geothermal energy prospects in...

DEFRA SFI Webinars

DEFRA is holding two upcoming SFI Webinars:20th November, for Livestock and Grassland Farmers4th December, for Arable and Horticultural Farmers...

Thérèse Coffey Resigns

During the Reshuffle of 13th November, Thérèse Coffey has resigned as Environment Secretary. More updates to come on the replacement for her role and other relevant Government positions, as details are know.

Jeremy's Blog 10th November 2023: Housing Development and Labour

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 9th November 2023 Speaking to the North East Chamber of Commerce, Keir Starmer returned strongly to his party conference theme of the vigour that a Labour Government would bring to secure new housing and infrastructure as part of encouraging economic growth (see webnote). It chimes quite closely with the legislation that the Conservative Government is putting in place and, even while repeating the intention to “bulldoze”...

Jeremy's Blog 3rd November 2023: Water, Wind and Fire

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 2nd November 2023 The variability of British weather has long been a topic of conversation but our extreme weather events now come “not single spies but in battalions”. Hundreds of acres of Lincolnshire farmland are still flooded and Angus had at least 11½” of rain in October, the wettest since its records started in 1891. As rain falls on saturated land, we see surface water flooding as well as river flooding –...

Levelling Up and Regeneration Act Becomes Law

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act received Royal Assent on the 26th of October. It would ordinarily take effect 2 months later, though most items will take much more work and will not commence for some time. The CAAV will brief members on the ongoing impacts of the Act.

Farming Connect Wales: Free Workshops

Farming Connect Wales is offering fully funded workshops looking at improving herd and flock health, performance and productivity. These workshops are to support farmers in preparing for the coming Sustainable Farming Scheme and in working toward the net zero target. More detail is available online....

Rural Payments Service: Offline (Updated 02/11/2023)

The RPA have informed use that they have identified an issue with the Rural Payments Service (RPS). In order to investigate the problem, they have taken the RPS offline. We will update members when more is known about restoring the service. Update: 2nd November, 3:45pm - The RPS is now back online.

Jeremy's Blog 27th October 2023: Climate Change Risk Resilience Adaptation

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 26th October 2023 It is only October and we already have our second “named” storm. Storm Babet has repeatedly battered and saturated Angus, Aberdeenshire and neighbouring counties with still more rain falling after silage bales had been washed out to sea. Flooding has gone wider, whether Framlingham, Derby, Retford, parts of the Welsh border and now the central south coast. This is the present taste of the more volatile,...

Members Only

Energy Act 2023

The government has announced that the Energy Act 2023 has received Royal Assent, the final version is now available. Since the Bill entered the Commons it has undergone several amendments.

England, Scotland and Wales: Green Gas Support Scheme Extended to 31 March 2028

The Government has announced that the closing date for new applications to the Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) is to be extended to 31st March 2028. The extension is in response to difficulties experienced by project sponsors in commissioning anaerobic digestion plant and in securing feedstock. The extension is part of the Government's response to the mid-scheme review. Further details of the response will follow in due course. The policy framework for biomethane following the closure of the...

CS Facilitation Fund 2024: Applications Open

Applications open on the 23th October for the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund 2024. More information is available here: Facilitation Fund 2024: Countryside Stewardship - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Jeremy's Blog 20th October 2023: Inheritance Tax - the Recurrent Itch over APR

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 19th October 2023 For at least 30 years, the rural rumour mill over the future of APR periodically goes into overdrive. The chatter then reverberates as others pick it up and repeat the echoes, making the speculation appear real – all told, a masochistic part of rural debate. We seem to be on the edge of one such moment as people try to join up the few dots about future Labour tax policies in this area. Use of APR was on...

Extreme Weather and Schemes: RPA Guidance

With Storm Babet passing through the UK, the RPA has published guidance for scheme holders affected by severe weather events. The guidance is available here: Extreme weather guidance for farmers and land managers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

SFI: End of Expression of Interest Requirement

Members will be aware of the recent requirement to submit an Expression of Interest ahead of applying for the Sustainable Farming Incentive in England. That requirement is to be lifted this week, and applications invited through the Rural Payments Service. Those farming on commons, however, should continue to express their interest with the Rural Payments Agency.

Magic Map: User Survey

Natural England and DEFRA are carrying out user research in the Magic Map application. They are looking for feedback on the service from users and non-users alike. The short survey can be found here. Update: 18th October A common issue identified by users of the Magic Map is the printing of maps from the application. This is a known problem for the Chrome and Edge browsers (which has been on-running since at least August last year). Using Firefox or Internet Explorer may enable maps...

BASIS Environmental Advisers Register - Acquired Rights - 31st December Deadline

BASIS, the agricultural and environmental qualifying and training body, has developed a register for environmental advisers. With the growing focus on environmental delivery through Government schemes and private initiatives, the intention is to provide an industry platform for those who plan to offer farm environmental advice to businesses in the UK. More detail on the register can be found here: BASIS | Environmental Advisers Register (basis-reg.co.uk). In the future, entry to the register...

Jeremy's Blog 13th October 2023: Labour Party Development Policy

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 12th October 2023 This week’s Labour Party Conference has brought its pro-development policies to the fore, driven by answering the housing shortage. Keir Starmer has crystallised the policy with his phrase about “bulldozing” an over-localised planning system. He has been supported in this by both Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, and Angela Rayner, deputy leader, carrying forward the work done by Lisa Nandy, her...

SFI: Farming for the Future Website

DEFRA have published a new website for collected information and guidance about the Sustainable Farming Scheme. The Farming for the Future site can be found here: Sustainable Farming Incentive - Farming for the future.

England: Rural Payments Service Downtime

The RPA has published a webpage dedicated to listing periods when the Rural Payments Service (RPS) will be offline for updates and maintenance. The page is available here: Rural Payments service: check for maintenance and downtime - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Members who use the RPS frequently can sign up for email updates by clicking this button on the relevant webpage:...

Jeremy's Blog 6th October 2023: After HS2

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 5th October 2023 HS2 has now been identified as the cuckoo in the nest with its ever-escalating costs and extending timescales, seen as an unmanageable project with its benefits now less than its vast and perhaps unquantifiable costs. It had grown to take a third of the Department for Transport’s capital budget, more money than either Highways England’s roads renewals programme or Network Rail’s capital programme. With...

DEFRA: SFI and Organic Webinar

DEFRA, with the English Organic Forum, is holding a webinar on SFI and organic on Friday 13th October at 12-1.15pm. Please see this Eventbrite link for registering.

Anglian Water Farm Innovation Grant

Anglian Water's Farm Innovation Grant - which pays farmers in targeted catchments in that company's region to adopt practices that improve water quality - is to open for applications from 2nd October 2023 until Sunday 12th November. There is a maximum value of £7,500/holding available. For more information, see here: Anglian Water Farming Innovation Grant | Campaigns | News and insights | Ricardo....

DEFRA FARM FUNDING WEBINAR

DEFRA is hosting a Grants and Funding for Farmers webinar on 10th October at 14:05PM. This webinar for advisors provides an overview of the latest and upcoming grants available to farmers through the Farming Investment Fund, the Farming Innovation Programme and the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway. The agenda will cover: An overview of the three schemes and information on the following grants in particular: Farming Investment Funds for Slurry Infrastructure and Improving Farm...

SFI: IPM4 (No Insecticide) and Buffer Strips

This note looks at a technical issue related to the Sustainable Farming Incentive. For context and general guidance on the scheme, see the SFI Handbook 2023. Several members have contacted us about issues applying the SFI Action IPM4 (No use of insecticide on arable crops and permanent crops) to a land parcel where they also intend to carry out a compatible part-parcel action (IPM2; AHL1; AHL4). IPM4 with a whole-parcel action. Those applying IPM4 to the parcel first will find that they are...

Harper Adams University Experience Day - 1st November

Harper Adams University Experience Day – 1st November 2023 As part of work to inform and encourage prospective recruits to the profession, Harper Adams is holding a day for 14 to 19 year olds to understand something of its land and property management courses and so professional work. Any member who knows someone who could be interested in this is asked to pass these details on so that they can book a place in good time. The Experience Day, free of charge, includes: Introductions...

England: Nutrient Mitigation Scheme - Application Window & Credit Pricing

The next round of Natural England's Nutrient Mitigation Scheme is to open at 10am on 2 October 2023. More information about the scheme, which is available to housing developers in the Tees Catchment Area, is available in a website note from July 2022. Credits for this round are priced at £2,300....

Jeremy's Blog 29th September 2023: Permitted Development Rights

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 28th September 2023 Permitted development rights can be seen as one means to save the over-stretched and under resourced planning system from itself, a safety valve allowing investment in and change for the future. A member has recently had to make a full planning application for two environmental ponds, one 3m by 3m and the other 5m by 8m, in an AONB that, among other things, required a dark skies assessment, a relative...

Wales: Habitat Scheme Payment Rates

The Welsh Government has now announced the payment rates for the Habitat Wales Scheme: Habitat Wales Scheme: outline [HTML] | GOV.WALES. For more background on the scheme, see our website note of 31st August.

Homes England - Housing Information Hub

Homes England has published a Housing Information Hub, collecting up a series of guidance pages into one place. The Hub can be found here: Housing Information Hub - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

England and Wales: Boiler Upgrade Scheme - Grant Increased

In his speech on 20th September setting out changes to net zero targets, the Prime Minister announced that grants made for the installation of heat pumps would be increased. The Secretary of State has issued a notice under Regulation 13 of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (England and Wales) Regulations 2022 that the grant will be increased from £5,000 for air source heat pumps and £6,000 for ground source heat pumps to £7,500 for both types of heat pump. The increase will become effective from 23rd...

Eligibility Criteria Expanded: Animal Health and Welfare Review

The Government has broadened the eligibility criteria for the Animal Health and Welfare Review (for background, see our website note of 7th February). Farmers who have not receive BPS in the past - as well as those who have or expect to receive the Lump Sum Exit Scheme payment - are now also able to apply for funding for a vet visit and welfare report. More information on applying is available on GOV.UK: Guidance for farmers - Annual health and welfare review of livestock (defra.gov.uk)....

Jeremy's Blog 22nd September 2023: Recalibrating to Meet Environmental Policies

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 22nd September 2023What a moment to be starting on a professional career as an agricultural valuer. Having spoken this week to the new entry at the RAU and soon to speak at Harper Adams, students are starting their courses leading to the profession. Across the country, people are starting their first employment and their practical training. Both groups start at this fascinating time when so much is now open for change and all...

Feasibility Studies: Applications Open

Applications are now open for the Farm Innovations Programme Feasibility Studies. Applications for this competition should be at an early stage of research and development, with the grants to support projects through testing to see if a research idea works in practice and if it is worth further investment. The total cost of the project must be between £200,000 and £500,000 and last up to 24 months. More information is available in our website note of 2nd August....

SFI: Applications and Updates

The Sustainable Farming Incentive opened for applications on the 18th September. DEFRA are undertaking a 'controlled' roll-out of the SFI, with the scheme gradually opened to more land managers. For more detail, see the SFI Handbook, our website notes of 21st June and 29th August, as well as a recent CAAV podcast. In conjunction with the opening of the SFI applications, DEFRA has updated some of the relevant guidance pages on the GOV.UK website. This includes the publication of a range of...

CS Mid Tier Application Deadline: Open Applications

In an announcement today (Friday 15th September), DEFRA has confirmed that those with an open CS Mid Tier application, or those who have submitted an RLE1 form with the intention to apply, will have additional time to complete their application beyond the 15th September deadline. Some may be aware of ongoing tech issues with the CS application portal, meaning that some have been unable to complete and submit open applications. Those in this position should contact the RPA by email, including...

Jeremy's Blog 15th September 2023: The Purpose of Dispute Resolution

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 15th September 2023 The end of September brings Michaelmas, for perhaps half the tenancies in England and Wales a key point, whether for rent review or termination. Its longstanding place in the agricultural calendar is shown by the persistence of the old Michaelmas date of 10th October with continuity from before the UK changed its calendar in 1752, alongside new Michaelmas on 29th September. Tenancies will start and...

Northern Ireland: Consultation on Regulations for Smoke and Other Alarms and Electrical Safety under Private Tenancies Act 2022

The Department for Communities has announced consultations on two sets of technical regulations that are proposed to be made under the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Act 2022. One set of regulations would introduce requirements for the provision of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms in private rented properties in Northern Ireland, including draft regulations and how to respond are provided. A second set of regulations would introduce five-yearly electrical safety inspections in...

Wales: New National Park

Natural Resources Wales has published the dates for engagement events about the creation of a new National Park, based on the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB. More background to the designation is available in our website note of 6th June. Those working within the identified area are encouraged to participate in the designation process. More information is available on the NRW website....

SFI: Accelerated Payments for 2023

Many will be aware that the roll-out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2023 was delayed; the scheme now opens on a staged basis from 18th September (for more information, see our website note of 29th August). Responding to concerns about cash-flow due to the delayed roll-out, on 13th September DEFRA committed to distributing accelerated payments for those who enter into the scheme this year. Those with a live SFI agreement before the end of 2023 will receive their first quarterly payment...

CS Mid Tier Applications: Moorland Line

The CAAV has been made aware that some Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier applicants have seen land misidentified within the Rural Payments Service portal as being above the moorland line, therefore restricting which CS options are available for their application. Those who believe that this is the case should first check the extent of the moorland line on the Magic Map, as this is amended from time to time. Where there is a mismatch between what is shown on the Magic map and what is available...

Jeremy's Blog 8th September 2023: Making the Best of Water

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 7th September 2023 Water supply is steadily becoming a critical issue in the United Kingdom with agriculture needing to look ahead and ensure both access to water and making the best use of it. Only last year, four Sussex councils were proposing water neutrality policies for housing development – that no more use should be made of water once houses are built than before – while, earlier this year, South East Water...

Using the CAAV’s Dispute Resolution Appointment Service

We have published this guidance to using the CAAV’s Facilitating Dispute Resolution service, supported by this podcast. The CAAV President has statutory status for the appointment of arbitrators to agricultural tenancy disputes under the 1986 and 1995 Acts on unilateral request. However, the CAAV service goes much wider than that, appointing arbitrators, experts and mediators for all rural disputes across the United Kingdom. We start by urging good and effective negotiation to avoid the...

CS Mid Tier: Land Updates

We have received the following update from the RPA: Customers intending to apply for CS Mid-Tier online (closing date 15 September 2023) will need to submit land changes no later than 5 Sep 2023. Please advise your members that we can prioritise emails if they include the subject heading ‘CS application RLE1 land change’ and their SBI.

Jeremy's Blog 1st September 2023: Nutrient Neutrality - Meaning of the New Regime

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 31st August 2023 We have yet to see what the true effect of the Government’s proposed changes to nutrient neutrality might be. The combined package of legislative amendments (yet to pass the House of Lords), measures and funding is intended to achieve both the unlocking of house building and improved quality of water courses. That package represents a move from a single tool, requiring nutrient neutrality only from...

SFI 2023: Expression of Interest in Early Application

Members will be aware that farmers and land managers have been invited to register their interest in applying early for the SFI 2023 as part of the controlled rollout of the scheme. Submitting the Expression of Interest form when invited to do so will enable eligible applicants to access the scheme as it is opened. The speed of the controlled rollout will then be assessed to prevent backlogs and delays. Once applicants have registered their interest, they are advised to review the scheme...

Jeremy's Blog 25th August 2023: CAAV's Autumn Programme - Preparing for Change

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 24th August 2023 Harvest can be a time for taking stock – perhaps especially with this year returning to a more catchy form after last year, with better weather grabbed when possible but with challenges in drying costs, quality and prices. More have had old crop in store and any national surplus faces export markets. For many, tax payments on the 2022 harvest year will be due in January. But it marks the completion of a...

England: Partial Lifting of Ban on Poultry Gatherings

DEFRA has announced that from 23rd August, the ban on gatherings of Galliforme poultry and birds has been lifted. Galliforme birds include chickens, turkeys, pheasants, partridge and quail. The ban has only been lifted in England and Galliforme birds and poultry from Wales and Scotland are not allowed to attend bird gatherings in England. Gatherings are subject to the APHA poultry gathering general licence and giving APHA seven days notice of the event. They are not permitted in disease control...

Review of Impact of Solar PV Sites on Soils and Land Quality

The Welsh Government has published a study by consultants ADAS reviewing the impact of solar PV sites on soils and land quality. The study reports includes a literature review and background material. It finds that the main impact is from soil compaction during construction and, implicitly, decommissioning, measured in terms of potential changes to the Agricultural Land Classification. It also finds that there remain many gaps in the evidence, knowledge and experience....

Farm Funding Webinar: 6th September

The Farming & Countryside Programme team at DEFRA is holding a webinar for farmers to find out about the payments available in England. The webinar will take place on 6th September, between 11:30am and 12:30pm. More detail, and booking, is available here: Defra funding for farmers webinar Tickets, Wed 6 Sep 2023 at 11:30 | Eventbrite....

Recruiting New Members of the Independent Agricultural Appeal Panel

DEFRA has recently launched a campaign to recruit a new cohort of members for the Independent Agricultural Appeal Panel. As you know, the panel is an important part of the process in considering cases of dissatisfaction relating to policy. Details of the application process can be found via the link below: Role details – Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel members – Apply for a public appointment – GOV.UK (apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk)...

Jeremy's Blog 18th August 2023: High Investment Farming

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 17th August 2023 News of planning permission for a prawn farm in Crowland, Lincolnshire draws attention to high investment agricultural projects in a number of UK farming sectors where the business, rather than the property, will be the driver of value. This is still agriculture, further testing farming’s spectrum from food production to land management. According to the proposition, agricultural planning rights may be...

Rural Payments Service Downtime: 5pm Wednesday 16th August to 9am Thursday 17th August

The Rural Payments Service will be unavailable due to maintenance between 5pm on Wednesday (16th) and 9am on Thursday. We have been informed by the RPA that this 'is a full system release with critical items in it, including urgent fixes for MT Online'. Members will be aware of some ongoing issues with CS Mid-Tier applications. The CAAV has been told by the RPA that no one will be disadvantaged by a technical error. Those experiencing issues are advised to: Read through the CS application...

Stacking Payments for Biodiversity Net Gain & Nutrient Mitigation

Natural England have updated their guidance on stacking payments for Biodiversity Net Gain, Nutrient Neutrality in England. The update provides more information on using the same land for BNG and/or NN and government agri-environment schemes. The guidance can be found here: Combining environmental payments: biodiversity net gain (BNG) and nutrient mitigation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)....

Small R&D Partnership Projects

DEFRA opened Round 3 of the Small Research and Development (R&D) Partnerships on 14th August. Our website note of 2nd August contains more detail....

Jeremy's Blog 11th August 2023: Preparing for Future Needs

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 11th August 2023 A recent international survey by the insurance broker, Gallaher, found UK businesses curiously passive in preparing for climate change. 48 per cent said it had already harmed them, with a mix of the direct impact of extreme weather, higher operating costs and disrupted supply chains. However, 53 per cent had then taken no action, thinking it the government’s task to ensure that businesses prepared –...

DEFRA guidance for SFI 2023 offer

DEFRA has today (10th August) published the following in relation to the SFI 2023 offer: the voluntary ‘How to do the SFI actions’ guidance some minor updates to the SFI handbook, and a summary of what’s been updated

DEFRA Webinar on SFI 2023 for Advisers - Thursday 10th August

Janet Hughes, Farming and Countryside Programme Director, and Jonathan Marsden, Head of Standards for SFI, are holding a webinar on SFI 2023 on this Thursday afternoon, 10th August at 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm. Their aim is to provide an opportunity for advisers to ask questions about the actions and guidance in the SFI 2023 Handbook before applications open. This is the registration link for this Advisers webinar. Intended for advisers only, this event precedes possible later, more sector specific...

Jeremy's Blog 4th August 2023: Magic or Hard Work

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 3rd August 2023 “Wish upon a star.” It might work in Disney films but it is no basis for engaging with reality to answer the many large challenges we face. These require focused thought, effective mechanisms, planning and logistics and sustained attention with leadership giving explanation, not magical thinking. An immediate illustration of grand aspiration meeting reality lies in HS2. The Infrastructure and Projects...

Bank Rate Increased to 5.25%

The Bank of England has announced that the Bank Rate has been increased to 5.25%, an increase by 0.25% from 5%. The vote was 6–3 in favour of the increase to 5.25%. One member preferred to maintain Bank Rate at 5% and two preferred an increase to 5.5%.

RPA Make Over 80,000 Advance BPS Payments

RPA MAKE OVER 80,000 ADVANCE BPS PAYMENTS The RPA yesterday (1st August) made the first part payment of Basic Payment for 2023 to 81,090 applicants (97 per cent of applicants) of which 80,554 have received the money with the balance subject to “banking holds” and the money should be released shortly. Where a payment has not yet been released, the RPA is working to pay where possible in two further payment slots in August. The payment should represent half the currently assessed sum due...

Jeremy's Blog 28th July 2023: The Politics of Planning

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 27th July 2023 With an election next year and the problems of a seriously under-supplied housing market, the political parties are on manoeuvres over planning policies in England. Labour has been setting out an apparently pro-development stall for some months, with local housing targets, development corporations to take and develop land, breaking the “taboo” of the green belt and favouring onshore wind. The Conservative...

DEFRA Land Use Blog

DEFRA has started a new blog, called Land Use: Policies and Framework. The blog is to publish updates on the work of the DEFRA Land Use team, including the Land Use Framework, Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS), Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), nutrient neutrality, and wider enhancement of the environment through the planning system. Sign up details are available on the Government website....

Jeremy's Blog - Special Edition: Adapting Rural Land Use for Climate Change

Last week’s CAAV E-Briefing leader ended by pointing to the opportunities for members to apply skills in advising clients on adapting to the climate change that is here and to come: “It seems sensible for property-based, resource and weather-dependent small businesses with longer term outlooks, like farms and estates, also to look ahead, especially when undertaking new projects or reviewing strategy. As trusted advisers, both bringing a wider view and knowing the property and business,...

Northern Ireland: New Way of Reporting Dead Wild Birds

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has launched an online tool for reporting dead wild birds. The tool is compatible with desktop and mobile applications and allows accurate reporting of the location of the find. Further information is available on the DAERA website at Wild Birds and Advice for the Public....

Jeremy's Blog 21st July 2023: Climate Change - Adaptation and Professional Work

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 20th July 2023 Setting records, Mediterranean Europe is for some days nudging 50oC (122oF) while that has been broken in parts of the USA and China. While Italian dairy farmers install fans and sprinklers for their cows, this is only two months after seven months’ rain fell on Italy’s Emilia Romagna in two days, flooding 43 towns, with over 400 landslides and displacing 50,000 people. As that shows, climate change is...

DEFRA BNG Webinars

DEFRA has announced two webinars on Biodiversity Net Gain to help those looking to enter the off-site market. 2nd August, 3:30 – 4:30pm: Biodiversity Net Gain for landowners: how to get involved – suitable if you’re new to BNG, or want to understand the off-site process step by step. 7th August, 2 – 3pm: Biodiversity metric demonstration for landowners – also relevant to ecologists, learn how to use the biodiversity metric to calculate how many off-site units you can produce on...

CS Mid Tier Application Portal - Technical Issues Update

Members working on Countryside Stewardship using the Mid Tier On-Line system will be aware that there have been technical issues with the application portal on the Rural Payments Service: see our note of 12th July. The CAAV has been engaging with DEFRA and the RPA, providing examples of the problems encountered and pressing for a swift resolution. A series of system updates to the Rural Payments Service was made on Monday evening (17th July), now found to have enabled a number of applications to...

Animal Health and Welfare Pathway - FETF

Animal Health and Welfare Pathway - FETF The RPA has today started issuing decisions on Animal Health and Welfare grant funding agreements. Successful applicants will have until Monday 11th September to accept the agreement offered. There is a small number of applications for which further clarification is needed. We understand the the RPA is seeking to resolve outstanding points with those applicants....

Jeremy's Blog 14th July 2023: The Challenge of Development

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 13th July 2023 Our development control system was created in 1947 in an economy depressed in the wake of war and when it was thought that “the man in Whitehall knows best”. Distinctive around the globe for its site-specific micro-management, it has been under growing strain for decades. What was intended as a technocratic process became more open and then overtaken by the popular resistance to development seen in many...

COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP MID-TIER ON-LINE PROBLEMS

Having raised a number of members’ problems with the Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier On-Line application system with the RPA, it has now recognised that there are issues which it is tackling with its IT suppliers so that they are resolved for affected applicants. The CAAV has been told: “We are putting support in place for those affected, including measures to ensure those who experience issues are not excluded from applying.”...

Jeremy's Blog 7th July 2023: Utilities Infrastructure - The Scale of Change

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 6th July 2023 The re-electrification of Britain is a key part of the net zero agenda. The broad, high level policy aims are to double the amount of electricity we use by 2050 and so to double the amount generated, all as renewable energy, powering most heat and transport. That means doubling the amount to be transmitted and distributed across the country between generation and use, across clients’ land to give the capacity...

England: Tees Valley Nutrient Mitigation Scheme - Round 2

Natural England has opened the second round of the Tees Valley Nutrient Mitigation Scheme for applications. The application window closes at 11:55pm on 28 July 2023. For more background on the scheme, which is open to those undertaking residential development in the Tees Valley catchment area, see our website note from July 2022....

Jeremy's Blog 30th June 2023: Winds of Change

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 29th June 2023 The gathering winds of change for farming not only see England now well advanced in its agricultural transition but each of the three devolved areas have their new post-Basic Payment regimes come into place from 2025. Within some 32 months, DEFRA has now put in place the largest part of the key architecture for its agricultural transition: farming will now have no more direct payments, put more clearly...

HS2 impact on Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship Agreements: Deadline to Notify

DEFRA has updated the guidance on the impact of the HS2 Scheme on existing agreements under Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship. On 28th June, the window for claiming force majeure – that the agreement holder will no longer be able to complete the actions of the agreement through no fault of their own – has been extended. Those affected should write to Rural Payments Agency within 8 weeks of HS2 Ltd entering their land....

New SSSI Confirmed: West Penwith

Natural England has confirmed the designation of 3,044 hectares of land in West Cornwall as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The area, known as West Penwith, includes lowland heathland, fens and dry acid grassland, lichens, wetland valley mires, as well as some surrounding 'clean' agricultural land. For more background, see our website note of 6th June....

Jeremy's Blog 23rd June 2023: Improving Farming Productivity - Change not Protection

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 22nd June 2023 Something needs to wake us up about the extent of economic stagnation in the UK (and the EU) since 2008, resulting in our current crisis with low incomes in the face of costs. Not only has our flat-lining since 2008 broken from our growth trend since the eighteenth century but the USA gives a current comparison – as ever with issues - showing a strikingly different story over the last 15 years: in 2008,...

Landowner and Contractor Fined for Illegally Felling Protected Trees

A landowner and contractor have been ordered by a judge to pay costs in excess of £255,000 for illegally felling more than 270 protected trees. The charges included fines, confiscation monies and the Council's costs. The charges related to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, with the trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order and sitting within the Clay Hill Conservation Area. The Council has served a Tree Replacement Notice for 284 trees under the Town and Country Planning (Tree...

Dean Organic Fund: Loan Applications

From June 2023 onward, the Dean Organic Fund will be accepting applications for new loans from its £450,000 revolving fund.Applicants must be UK-based companies, partnerships or individuals, active in organic-certified and/or ecologically sound farming and food businessesLoan amounts will be between £5,000 and £25,000Loans will be interest-free and unsecuredLoans will be repayable over periods of no more 5 years. Repayments will normally be in monthly installments starting after the first...

Jeremy's Blog 16th June 2023: Managing Climate Risks

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 15th June 2023 We have yet really to see the scale of what is involved in the climate change already to come, in mitigating and in adapting to it with the substantial trade-offs that will be needed. With El Niño changes now in the Pacific, the expectations are of above trend world temperatures for 2024 – a taste of the future – with the potential for the UK to have a harsher winter and a hotter summer. At what point will...

Members Only

Scotland: New Build Heat Standard – Building Regulations Amendment

The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 have been amended to prohibit the installation of direct emission heating systems in new buildings effective from 1st April 2024. The prohibition follows a consultation launched in August 2022 and reported in our note at the time. A zero direct emissions heating system is defined as one by which the building is heated or cooled or by which hot water is made available using thermal energy located within the building or its curtilage and which emits more...

Jeremy's Blog 9th June 2023: The Kakhovka Dam Breach

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 8th June 2023 It is hard this week not to dwell on Ukraine. The CAAV’s National Conference at Oxford on 7th July is to receive a presentation, The Impact of the War on Agricultural Valuation in Ukraine, from Victor Zayats, an agricultural specialist member of the Ukrainian Society of Appraisers. I was discussing this with him and other Ukrainian valuers on Tuesday morning just after the news of the blowing of the Kakhovka...

England: FETF Funding Announced

Funding agreements have started to be sent out to successful applicants for the Productivity and Slurry Grant 2023, which is part of the wider Farming Equipment Technology Fund (FETF) (for some background, see our website note of 9th February). DEFRA has today announced that, having received over 3,000 applications, the total level of funding for this round of the FETF has been increased from £17 million to £31 million. The Animal Health and Welfare strand of FETF 2023 remains open for...

Northern Ireland Broadband Coverage Review

As part of Project Gigabit, the UK Government programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access gigabit-capable broadband, the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland conducted an open market review (OMR) of current broadband access, which closed in early 2023. DfE have now opened a Public Review of the conclusions of the OMR, allowing members of the public to check if they have been identified for subsidy. and to comment where they believe the conclusions are incorrect. More...

England: Spreading Manure in NVZs

DEFRA has published the dates of the application window to apply for a derogation for spreading livestock manure on grasslands in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. Those seeking a derogation must apply between 6 June and 4 July 2023. More information is available here: Grassland derogations for livestock manure in nitrate vulnerable zones - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)....

Jeremy's Blog 2nd June 2023: Valuation for Compulsory Purchase

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 1st June 2023 On Tuesday, the press carried the story that the Labour Party is proposing a change to the basis of valuation for compulsory purchase, removing hope value. Only reported in outline form, the proposal appears to be that compensation in England would be on existing use value, not market value, at least for local authorities purchasing land for house building. This comes after Keir Starmer’s speech arguing for...

Avian Influenza: Northern Ireland AIPZ Lifted

Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has announced that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been lifted with effect from 2nd June 2023. The AIPZ, introduced on 17th October 2022, mandated biosecurity measures on poultry keepers. With the lifting of the AIPZ, poultry and bird gatherings are permitted. DAERA continues to encourage following the biosecurity measures set out in the AIPZ as good practice, and reminds keepers to be vigilant for signs...

Members Only

Scottish Government Consultation on Permitted Development Rights - Phase 3

The Scottish Government has opened consultations on the third phase of its review of permitted development rights (PDRs). The review of PDRs is part of a wider programme of planning reform. The consultation proposes to widen PDR for household level solar, heat pumps and wind turbines, including in some cases on listed buildings and in conservation areas. PDRs for solar and heat pumps on non-domestic buildings and on solar canopies in car parks would also be extended. Consideration is being...

Jeremy's Blog 26th May 2023: The Important Future of the Let Sector

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 25th May 2023 The tenanted sector of agriculture is important. Around a third of England’s farmland is let while a larger fraction of land is farmed by those with some let land. As with other lines of business, it is a way to farm without carrying the capital cost of premises in the balance sheet, releasing funds for active business. It is a means of entry and equally important, for flexibility, progression and exit as a...

DEFRA Consultation: Wine Regulation Reform

With increasing awareness and knowledge, and a changing climate, winemaking is a growing sector in England and Wales. Land suitable for vines in England is known to command upward of £25,00 per acre. Following Brexit, DEFRA is to review the regulation of the wine industry, proposing changes to better fit the UK context. A consultation on the new regulations was opened on 24th May, and runs until 21st July. More detail is available here: Smarter Regulation: Wine Reforms Consultation - Defra...

CAAV Review of 2022

Yesterday’s CAAV Council approved this Report on the Association’s activities in 2022, alongside the financial accounts.

Jeremy's Blog 19th May 2023: A Change of Farming Era for England

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 18th May 2023 The bells striking for midnight on Monday marked the end of an era for farming in England. For 31 years, May 15th has been a key date in the farming calendar for a succession of area-based payment regimes, since the MacSharry reforms were implemented for 1993. The frantic scramble then to have the required mapping done in time foreshadowed later crises, as applications were prepared and made each year, despite...

England: Managing Oak Processionary Moth

New guidance on the management of Oak Processionary Moth in England will come into force from 24th May 2023. This includes changes to the rules for the sale and movement of trees. Full details can be found on the government website: Oak Processionary Moth management policy changes guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Northern Ireland: EFS Application Window

The application window for the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS), Higher Level, in Northern Ireland closes on 19th May. Farmers that currently hold an active Tranche 2 Higher Agreement which will end on 31 December 2023 are also eligible to reapply to Tranche 7. More detail is available on the DAERA website: Application window for EFS Higher opens | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)....

Jeremy's Blog 12th May 2023: A Coronation for a Challenging Future

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 11th May 2023 1,050 years ago on 11th May 973 but without Handel or a gospel choir, Edgar was crowned king of all England in Bath Abbey. Edgar made commitments with essentially the same oaths as Charles III amid the ceremonial on Saturday: to uphold our laws and customs and govern with law, justice and in mercy, doubtless echoing earlier coronations. They frame the later, more specific commitments of Magna Carta, the Bill of...

Bank Rate increased to 4.5%

The Bank of England has announced that the Bank Rate has been increased to 4.5%, an increase by 0.25% from 4.25%. The vote was 7–2 in favour of the increase to 4.5%. Two members preferred to maintain Bank Rate at 4.25%.

BPS Deadline

Reminder: The deadline for applications to the Basic Payment Scheme in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is the close of Monday 15th May 2023. In England, a valid claim in 2023 is a key criteria to be eligible to receive the Delinked Payments in the coming years. For more information, see our website note of 2nd May....

Jeremy's Blog 5th May 2023: Competition for Land Use

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 4th May 2023 Competition between a growing number of different uses of land is an increasing part of many of our major policy debates and poses as many challenges for environmentalists as anyone else. While there are synergies between overall goals there are also conflicts. Making progress on managing climate change, restoring nature, ensuring food and recovering control of energy involves significant, potentially rapid,...

EIA (Agriculture) Regulations: Updated Guidance

The Government has updated the guidance to the EIA (Agriculture) Regulations. The update relates to the section that details when a screening decision - approving or preventing an action - is required from Natural England ahead of an intensification of agricultural use. Previously, item seven in the given list of proposed activities that required a screening decision stated:'increasing stock density that will result in improved vegetation from grazing' The edited guidance now...

Jeremy's Blog 28th April 2023: The Life of the Profession

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 28th April 2023 Last Friday, the Suffolk Association of Agricultural Valuers marked its 175th anniversary with a breakfast at the Suffolk Food Hall hosting solicitors, accountants, tax advisers and other professionals for an event of both networking and briefing. The celebration was delayed by a year following the pandemic as the actual anniversary was last year. Suffolk is recorded as the oldest of the CAAV’s local...

RPA Helpline Opening Hours: May Bank Holidays

The Rural Payments Agency will be opening the Customer Service Centre helpline between 8:30am and 5pm on the two weekends before the BPS scheme deadline of 15 May. Saturday 6 May / Sunday 7 May Saturday 13 May / Sunday 14 May In addition to this, they will also keep the helplines open until 7pm on Monday 15 May.

SFI Guidance Update: Application Process

On 21st April, the guidance for the Sustainable Farming Incentive was updated, to reflect a change in the processing of applications. The update states: From now, any SFI applications which have been created/started by customers on the Rural Payments service but not finished and submitted within 60 days will be automatically cancelled and the customer will be required to start a new application if they wish to return to the service and proceed with applying for SFI. The full guidance is...

Submitting a CS Revenue Claim: Video Guide

The RPA has released a short video guide for those submitting a Countryside Stewardship Revenue Claim: How to submit a revenue claim using the Rural Payments portal - YouTube.

Jeremy's Blog 21st April 2023: Making Decisions

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 20th April 2023 So many conversations now revolve on the difficulty, effort and time in getting things done, appearing simply to be a feature of modern life but frustrating progress and achievement. In part, we do not notice what works well but do feel the frustration as a piece of work moves from being glutinous to appearing impossible. More fundamentally, this denies our ability to make our future better. Some of this is...

Avian Influenza Housing Measures Lifted in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has announced that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) housing measures for poultry and captive birds in Northern Ireland have been lifted from 00:01 on Tuesday 18 April 2023. The AIPZ mandatory biosecurity measures will remain in force. The announcement includes a link to a biosecurity checklist....

Jeremy's Blog 14th April 2023: Planning for Change or Hiding From It

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 13th April 2023 England may be demonstrating that one thing worse and less effective than having national panning targets is not having them. The August 2020 Planning White Paper proposed a new approach looking afresh at where people want to live as revealed by the ratio between prices and wages. The early retreat from that turned into a Parliamentary rout before Christmas on the Levelling up and Urban Regeneration Bill, such...

Avian Influenza Housing Measures To Be Lifted in England and Wales

The Animal Plant and Health Agency has announced that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) housing measures for poultry and captive birds in England and Wales will be lifted from 00:01 on Tuesday 18 April 2023. The AIPZ mandatory biosecurity measures will remain in force. More information on Wales is available on the Welsh Government website. At this time the Scottish government has not lifted the housing measures....

Jeremy's Blog 6th April 2023: Carbon - Missing Ambitions

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 6th April 2023 In the last week we have seen a step and been shown parts of a map for the long road to net zero. Both illustrate the sheer scale of the journey still to be travelled, once grandly referred to by a minister as "the biggest transition in human history". We should not underestimate what that requires for the target to be met in the next 27 years - and still have to adapt to much climate change. The step is that,...

Jeremy's Blog 31st March 2023: Change and its Tensions

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 30th March 2023 2023 is the pivot year for English agricultural policy, when its gathering momentum becomes real for farmers on the journey to a business sector without direct payments in 2028: Basic Payment rates are cut by 35 per cent from 2020; 50 per cent in 2024 now paid half yearly, the payment this July/August 2023 will see farmers paid more half the total payments due between 2021 and 2027 de-linking for 2024...

England: Farming Equipment and Technology Fund Updates

Farm Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) – The present application round for productivity and slurry management closes on 4th April. The round for Animal Health and Welfare has just opened, capable of funding items such as solar panels for electric fencing, cow brushes, sheep handling, and cameras for monitoring animals. The opportunity for larger grants for cattle housing may be available later this year....

Rules for Farmers and Land Managers: Collected Guidance

Recently, DEFRA sought feedback from a group of farmers, land managers and advisers in England to improve the presentation and accessibility of information related to farming legislation and regulation. The research group reported difficulty in finding relevant rules and understanding their implications due to the number of rules, their grouping, and complex wording. To address these issues, a single page called "Rules for Farmers and Land Managers" has been created on GOV.UK, which groups...

Jeremy's Blog 24th March 2023: Climate Change, Agriculture and Land Use Decisions

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 23rd March 2023 Next week may give a glimpse of the scale of change ahead and what it might mean for rural land management if carbon imperatives begin to catch up with scheme design while we get closer to deadlines for targets. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has just produced a synthesis report, summarising its work with the views that: it may now be harder to limit warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees without earlier...

Slurry Infrastructure Grant: Full Application Guidance

DEFRA has published guidance for those who have been invited to submit a full application to the Slurry Infrastructure Grant: Invited applicants: how to fill in a Slurry Infrastructure grant full application - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Foundation for Common Land: SFI Internal Agreement

As part of the Foundation for Common Land's Defra funded Test and Trial, they are developing resources to reduce barriers to commons entering the SFI Moorland standard and to maximise outcomes. They have made available the resources on Internal Agreements the FCL Website. The Precedent and accompanying documents can be found here: Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) Moorland — Foundation for Common Land....

RPA Maps: Issues on iPads

Members have been in contact to tell us that they are having trouble accessing RPA maps on an iPad. A recent update to the Rural Payments Service means that the maps now open in a new tab - this is to allow the user to continue to review and update information on the system while also using the maps. However, the default setting of the Safari browser on an iPad is to block pop-ups, preventing the new tab with the maps from opening. To changes this, iPad users should open Settings, scroll down...

Jeremy's Blog 17th March 2023: Budget 2023 Environmental and APR Tax Consultation

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 16th March 2023 We see growing competition for the use of land with agriculture, itself likely to be on the Missing from the Budget Speech but buried in the accompanying papers, the Treasury has issued an important consultation and call for evidence on major taxation issues for farming, environmental matters and the management and use of rural land. Opening up important questions, the paper covers: the taxation...

House of Commons Library: Changes to Farm Payments in the UK

The House of Commons Library, which, among other things, provides 'politically impartial analysis and statistics' to Members of Parliament and their staff, has published an overview of the changes to farm payments in the UK: CBP-9431.pdf (parliament.uk). This briefing includes extracts from policy announcements, enabling legislation and stakeholder views.

Woodland Grants Overview

The Forestry Commission has updated its overview chart of the grants available for woodland planning, planting and management in England. The document can be found here: Woodland grants and incentives overview table - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Application Window for BPS, CS and ES Opens

The applications window for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue payments and Environmental Stewardship (ES) opened on 14th March. The claim window for BPS closes on 15th May 2023. Payments submitted after that date, but before midnight on 9th June 2023 will be considered late payments and a penalty will be applied. Claims, and the accompanying supporting evidence, for CS revenue payments should be submitted by 11:59pm on 15th May 2023. Claims submitted after this...

RPA Key Dates - 9th March Update

The RPA has released an updated version of their Key Dates chart. The latest version is available here: Rural Payments Agency key dates 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Jeremy's Blog 10th March 2023: Competition for Water

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 9th March 2023 Shortage of water is an increasingly serious concern, even for the UK. Far from the traditional “February Fill-dyke”, we have just had the driest February in 30 years with 45 per cent of the usual rainfall. For East Anglia, it was the driest since 1959 with just 14 per cent of usual rainfall and 3.5mm in Essex. The shortage was generally significant across much of England, Wales and Ireland. Carrying...

HS2 Phase 2a Construction Delayed

The Government has announced the route between Birmingham and Crewe will see construction delayed by 2 years, with re-phasing of works to deal with "significant inflationary pressure and increased project costs". The CAAV will continue to liaise with HS2 to understand how this may impact land acquisition and will endeavour to provide an update for members at the next claimant agent meeting on 27th March 2023 (please email rebecca@caav.org.uk if you act for claimants and are not yet on the...

CS Capital Grant Limits Lifted

Following engagement from the CAAV and others, DEFRA has published updated guidance lifting the funding limits for Countryside Stewardship Capital Grant agreements. Previously, there was a cap of £20,000 for each of the 4 action groups. Published on 8th March, the new guidance states: There is no limit on either the maximum amount for any application or the amount you can apply for in each of the 4 groups (boundaries, trees and orchards, water quality air quality and natural flood...

Jeremy's Blog 3rd March 2023: The Lessons of Tomatoes

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 2nd March 2023 Eggs and then tomatoes have long been features of the rougher end of political debate but the new shortage of tomatoes might now make a sharper political point than the travails of the egg sector. In the shifting debates over food security, supplies have continued to reach shop shelves. The supply chain was seen to perform well in managing and adapting to the early days of the pandemic. However, rising food...

DEFRA Grants for 2023

DEFRA has today published on its blog a run-through of the one-off grants available to farmers in 2023. The does not include capital grants under the Countryside Stewardship scheme. The post can be found here: Grants available in 2023 - Farming (blog.gov.uk). A wider look at payments available to farmers and land managers, including agri-environment schemes, can be found in this DEFRA brochure: Farming is Changing (blog.gov.uk)....

Jeremy's Blog 24th February 2023: Early Signs of the Election

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 24th February 2023 With the Government now apparently stabilised after the events of 2022, decisions are coming steadily. Following January’s news on the English schemes for 2023 and 2024 with payment rates and the Environmental Improvement Plan, more news on productivity grants was given at the NFU AGM and then the long awaited policy development on biodiversity net gain was issued. We await much else including detail for...

HLS Extensions on Common Land - FCL Advice

The Foundation for Common Land have published on their website guidance - checked by the Rural Payments Agency - on Higher Level Stewardship agreement extensions on common land. The note is available here: https://foundationforcommonlan....

Jeremy's Blog 17th February 2023: Government, Farming and Water Quality

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 16th February 2023 Aid and regulation, stick and carrot, are Government’s main tools for achieving its statutory and demanding environmental targets, confirmed in December and affirmed by the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023. DEFRA January prospectus for the schemes offered in 2023 and 2024 shows us the aid and the carrot. We should not forget that role of regulations and the stick, becoming more potent as we near the...

Jeremy's Blog 10th February 2023: Government Direction

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 9th February 2023 While it seems conventional to criticise a lack of policy development, that cannot be said of the areas with which we work. The policies of the Agricultural Transition Plan were further fleshed out last month. The Environment Act, last week’s Environmental Improvement Plan and the current Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill all lay out major programmes of work. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has finally...

Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier: Open for Applications

DEFRA has today (7th February) opened the application window for Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier agreements. The full guidance and more detail can be found online: Higher Tier grants 2023: Countryside Stewardship - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). For more background detail on government schemes for 2023 and 2024, see our website note of 26th January....

Jeremy's Blog 3rd February 2023: Environmental Policies and Climate Change Adaptation

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 2nd February 2023 The momentum of environmental policy development is now gathering substantial pace with recent key building blocks increasing its potential coherence: the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 issued this week replaces 2018’s 25 Year Environment Plan demanding environmental targets were set in December, several bearing directly on farming and rural land management and now with more detail on the basis of...

DEFRA Website Updates

The majority of minor updates to DEFRA's schemes and guidance are made to the existing webpages, with the update then noted at the foot of the page. To check what has been updated, users of the guidance should click 'See all updates' in publication details at the head of the relevant webpage. For example: Where members have printed guidance for a particular scheme, then they should be sure to check if anything has subsequently changed when they are preparing new applications. This will be...

RPA Key Dates: BPS, CS & ES

The RPA has published a chart of key dates for 2023 for: Basic PaymentThe Lump Sum Exit SchemeCountryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship The chart can be accessed here: Key dates to look out for in 2023 - Rural payments (blog.gov.uk).

Environmental Improvement Plan 2023: Impacts and Opportunities

DEFRA have published on their Future Farming Blog a summary of the impacts and opportunities for land managers of the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023: What the Environmental Improvement Plan means for you - Future Farming (blog.gov.uk). A summary of the EIP is provided in a note on our website. We will be publishing a detailed review in due course....

Landscape Recovery Round 2: Webinars

Landscape Recovery is DEFRA's scheme for radical, landscape scale and long-term nature restoration and creation. For more background detail, see our website note of 6th January 2022. Round 2 of the Scheme is to open in Spring 2023. In preparation, DEFRA are inviting those interested to join a series of webinars, where they will be providing information and seeking feedback from potential applicants. The webinars can be accessed at the following links: Thursday 23 February 8:00 – 9.30...

Jeremy's Blog 27th January 2023: DEFRA Lays Out Environmental Schemes

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 26th January 2023 DEFRA has today set out in over a hundred pages its approach, schemes and options in England for this year and 2024. It offers six new SFI standards for 2023, each now with options, not in separate levels, and their payment rates, some now moved from Countryside Stewardship and developed. The picture is given for Countryside Stewardship, now enhanced to carry the load that had been intended for Local Nature...

Slurry Infrastructure Grant - Apply by 31st January

DEFRA has reminded farmers to apply before the 31st January for the first round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant. More information on eligibility and the funding available can be found in our website note of 23rd November 2023.

Jeremy's Blog 20th January 2023: From Area Payments to Debating Land Use

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 19th January 2023 Twenty years ago this week the EU Commission, then a power in Britain, published the draft legislation for the Single Payment Scheme. It being immediately clear that access to land would be the key to securing entitlements and then give access to future payments, this draft froze the agricultural land sales market. That required work and ingenuity by the CAAV and lawyers to develop the arrangements for...

Jeremy's Blog 13th January 2023: Countryside Stewardship Capital Payments Uncertainty

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 12th January 2023 DEFRA’s policy and operational decisions are now coming in fits and starts, not yet catching up with what many are seeking. December saw the announcement that Countryside Stewardship, already with some 35,000 agreement holders, would be developed to meet the larger land use objectives and local priorities previously set for the Local Nature Recovery scheme, which was not going to be seen at all until...

Avian Influenza: Catching Up of Wild Game Birds

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) covering the whole of England, Wales and Scotland has been amended to forbid the movement of game birds that have been caught up for 21 days. The Game Act 1831 permits the catching up of wild game birds during the open season for the purposes of breeding. The prohibition came into effect at midday on 9 January 2023. Birds may not be moved from the premises where they are caught for 21 days after the last bird was caught, unless a licence is first...

OFC 2023: Jeremy Moody's Presentation - Focus on What You Can Control

The CAAV hosted a successful breakfast meeting at the 2023 Oxford Farming Conference. Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser, gave a presentation to attendees, with the title 'Focus on What You Can Control'. Jeremy Moody drew attention to what might matter to farm businesses – and what might be a distraction – as we move further into this new era of change, risk and uncertainty. The slides are available here: Jeremy Moody' Presentation 06/01/2023....

Jeremy's Blog 6th January 2023: Policy Certainty - Farming as a Business

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 5th January 2023 While a commonplace point in much end of year commentary has been uncertainty over agricultural policy, this is an area of relative certainty. Area payments are being phased out in England, are to be removed in Wales and made much more conditional in Scotland with strong climate change objectives. Only Northern Ireland, with no Ministers, Executive or Assembly, is not taking a new policy forward though the...

Northern Ireland: Avian Influenza Surveillance Zone Lifted

Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr. Robert Huey, has announced that the Avian Influenza Surveillance Zones in County Fermanagh have now been lifted and movement restrictions removed. The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) remains in place across the whole of Northern Ireland and that includes the need to adhere to those strict biosecurity measures and the mandatory housing order introduced in November for all kept and captive birds....

CAAV Christmas Closure

The CAAV office will close for Christmas at 1 p.m. on Thursday 22nd December 2022 and re-open on Tuesday 3rd January 2023. May we take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Jeremy's Blog 21st December 2022: Christmas Light for the Future

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 21st December 2022 Christmas is a fixed point each year in the calendar of turbulent centuries, important for the faith of many and, with older roots close to the darkest day of the winter solstice, long-embedded in the customs of our people, as it is in the customs of others. That continuity over the ages brings comfort in a time of uncertainty as the world, juddering with shocks, enters a new age of risk. The power of...

Great Britain: Green Gas Support Scheme Open for Applications

The Green Gas Support Scheme provides tariff support for plants producing biomethane via anaerobic digestion which is injected into the gas grid. It opened for applications on 30 November 2021 and is funded by the Green Gas Levy. It replaces the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive which closed on 31 March 2021. Tariff support is available to cover the cost of new biomethane production equipment and the cost of operating it. Tariff support payments are made for 15 years....

Jeremy's Blog 16th December 2022: CAAV at Oxford - Focus on What You Can Control

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 15th December 2022 The CAAV is presenting an event for those attending the Oxford Farming Conference, meeting in-person for the first time since 2020. This Conference has been meeting for many decades at the start of the year, bringing together farmers, advisers, policy makers and others from across the UK and further afield, looking ahead at policy and practice critical in these challenging times. Last year, we used a...

RPA Contact Details

The RPA increasingly corresponds with registered land manages and their agents via email, updating them about individual business but also general changes and actions. We have been informed by a member of a potential issue with recorded contact details. Where the member has submitted a grant application or claim on behalf of a client and has then subsequently updated their contact details, it appears that the RPA may on occasion retain and use the contact details from the submission. In the...

Avian Influenza: Online Reporting System

To support its avian influenza mitigation strategy, DEFRA has launched a new online reporting system for dead wild birds in Great Britain. The system is available for use 24/7, making it simpler and quicker to make a report. Any member of the public who finds:One or more dead wild bird of prey such as an owl, hawk or buzzardThree or more dead birds that include at least one gull, swan, goose or duckFive or more dead birds of any sort Is encouraged to make a report and to provide contact...

Energy Efficiency: Consultation on Support for the Private Rented Sector

The government has announced a consultation on the ECO+, an extension of the Energy Company Obligation. Much of the consultation is about general design, including eligibility (mostly low income households living in the least efficient property), costs and targets but there are also specific issues relating to the private rented sector. Eligibility for the private rented sector is considered in two areas: EPC D and E but not F and G on the grounds that landlords should have spent up to £3,500...

Jeremy's Blog 9th December 2022: Decisions on the Back Foot

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 8th December 2022 We are now getting decisions again from the Government but they are often decisions made on the back foot, not as a fresh government with a mandate and programme but one navigating while pummelled by circumstances and firefighting successive shocks. The November Financial Statement was driven by a need to bring order and confidence in markets with the £100 billion reversal in fiscal position, just 55...

Guidance: Woodland Grant Schemes and BPS

The Forestry Commission has updated 'operations note 42', their guidance on the interaction of woodland grant schemes and BPS. The note can be found here: Guidance on woodland grant schemes and BPS: operations note 42 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

England: RPA Payments

With the payment window having opened on December 1st, the Rural Payments Agency has today advised that 95.3 per cent of farmers have already received their full balancing payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), topping up the first payments made to most claimants in July and August. Over 102,000 payments have been made, bringing the total paid to farmers to £1.528 billion under BPS, Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes.

Slurry Infrastructure Grant: Now Open

The Slurry Infrastructure Grant has now opened for applications. Members can find more information on the Grant in our webnote of 23rd November. DEFRA, RPA, Environment Agency and Catchment Sensitive Farming are running a joint information webinar on Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 14:30. Those interested can register to attend here: Slurry Infrastructure Grant Webinar Tickets, Wed 7 Dec 2022 at 14:30 | Eventbrite....

Heat Pumps and Energy Efficiency Measures: Grants from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has announced grant support of up to £7,500 for installation of heat pumps in private houses. It is also offering similar levels of grant for households wishing to install other energy efficiency measures. The grants are increased by £1,500 for houses in rural areas. The previous obligation to take an interest-free loan alongside the grant has been removed. Private sector tenants are eligible for grants under some circumstances but landlords appear not to be. Further...

CAAV Examinations Results

With the results of the CAAV’s practical, written and oral professional examinations now sent to candidates, the CAAV is very pleased to welcome 72 new Fellows from all parts of the United Kingdom.

Jeremy's Blog 2nd December 2022: DEFRA Policies Reaffirmed

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 1st December 2022 Two striking points about DEFRA’s agricultural and environmental policies, with their twin themes of improving farming productivity and the environment, are that: they are the principal area of post-Brexit policy development, with the Agriculture Act 2020 as the first major post-Brexit statute even with all the political turbulence, never minding the normal uncertainties of political life, the goals have...

Resilient Woodlands and Treescapes

Royal Forestry Society (RFS) and the Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS), in connection with Trainhugger UK and GreenTheUK, have announced a new grant scheme for RFS and RSFC Members. Grants are for this planting season and beyond, at a rate of 50p per tree. Full terms and conditions, and applications details, can be found here....

STRIKES AT THE RPA IN DECEMBER 2022 AND JANUARY 2023

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has announced 18 days of strikes in the next two months by its members at the RPA. The RPA has advised the CAAV and other that: “You may have seen dates for upcoming RPA strikes and we wanted to provide assurance on our level of service during this period. “We’ve been working hard over the summer and autumn to ensure that we get as many farmers paid when the payment window for BPS, CS and ES opens this week and we’ve made good progress....

Avian Influenza: Wales Housing Order

The Welsh Government has announced that a housing order for all poultry and captive birds will come into effect on Friday 2nd December 2022. In addition, it will be mandatory to complete a biosecurity self-assessment. Three of the four nations of the UK now have mandatory housing orders in place, the exception being Scotland....

Jeremy's Blog 25th November 2022: Government is now Moving

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 24th November 2022 Government in London is now beginning to take decisions again. Civil servants have briefed their fourth set of ministers since the end of June and markets have been calmed after the fallout from the September Financial Statement. The backlog is large, the time left to this government even more limited and many of our issues laid out more starkly than before. From DEFRA, we have the good news of the...

Slurry Infrastructure Grant: Webinar

DEFRA will host a webinar on the Slurry Infrastructure Grant on Wednesday 7th December. Participants will be able to put questions to the policy leads during the session.

Environmental Farming Scheme Claim Confirmation

DAERA is asking EFS agreement holders who started their agreement on 1 January 2022 to ensure they complete a Claim Confirmation this December. Farmers who accepted a Tranche 5 agreement in 2022 and submitted a year 1 claim using the Single Application Service this year, must submit a Claim Confirmation online between 1 December 2022 and midnight 3 January 2023. Failure to submit a Claim Confirmation will mean you will not be paid and your EFS Tranche 5 agreement will be cancelled. Claim...

Jeremy's Blog 18th November 2022: What Best Delivers Environmental Objectives

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 17th November 2022 There is a dreary and repetitive pattern to some public discussion of environmental schemes, one that appears to fail to understand, ignore or hide the realities of policies but seems to make good copy. Too often, it defaults to see not only backsliding but betrayal, alleging that at each turn the Government is about to hold a bonfire of the environment. Looking back, lobby groups were raising this concern...

Jeremy's Blog 11th November 2022: We Must Learn to Mitigate

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 10th November 2022 As COP26 slides into COP27 with COP28 doubtless to follow, the language of climate change and the high level commitments become ever more familiar but the scale of its impact, what might be required to mitigate it and what we might have to do to adapt to it have yet to impress themselves on the public mind. At one level, it is evident that the real heavy lifting has to be done by the major corporate...

Magic Map - Printing Issue

A member has flagged with us a technical issue printing from the Magic Maps application. This is a known fault, which is being caused by a 'security issue with newer versions of Chrome and Edge.' Natural England are advising people to use the Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers. Updates on the operation of the Magic Map can be found on their 'Latest News' page.

Energy Prices Act 2022

The Energy Prices Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 25th October 2022. The Act empowers the Secretary of State to establish schemes to reduce the price of domestic electricity in gas in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also empowers the Secretary of State to reduce the energy bills of non-domestic energy consumers. The arrangements stand from 1st October 2022 for two years, though the Secretary of State may extend this for six months at a time by regulation....

Jeremy's Blog 4th November 2022: The Government has Work to Do

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 3rd November 2022 We have seen that our system can remove Prime Ministers in whom it has lost confidence. Doing this twice in four months means that the Government’s in-tray is now bulging. After some years of welcome continuity, DEFRA civil servants are briefing their second Secretary of State in two months with many unmade decisions now urgent. Some departments now have their fourth team in four months. Yet, existing...

Landowner Fined for Failure to Comply with EA Notice Regarding Waste

The Environment Agency have published a report of a landowner being fined in excess of £5,000 for failure to comply with a statutory notice. Although the landowner arranged removal of excess waste from her land, she was unable to provide Waste Transfer Notes when these were requested by the Environment Agency.

Jeremy's Blog 28th October 2022: Growth Remains the Challenge

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 27th October 2022 The change of Prime Minister and the coming Medium Term Fiscal Plan gives a moment to take some lessons from the last few weeks. With interest rates across much of the world returning to historically normal levels while energy prices and inflation rise, the Financial Statement of 23rd September and the way it was presented provoked a fast and sharp market reaction. While now abated, that showed all...

Farming Resilience Fund: List of Adviser Organisations

DEFRA has released the final list of organisations funded to provide free advice under the Farming Resilience Fund. The list is available online. For more information on the Farming Resilience Fund, see our website note of 14th July....

Ministerial Appointments

Thérèse Coffey has been appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.Michael Gove has been appointed Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

New Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak

After becoming the only candidate to secure sufficient nominations from MPs, Rishi Sunak is to be the leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister. We now await the formation of the Cabinet and the announcement of new or continuing ministers.

Jeremy's Blog 21st October 2022: Get the Farm Business Right

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 20th October 2022 Although many now say that the new policies being developed across the United Kingdom will not be substitutes for Basic Payment income, the conversations then slip all too easily to looking to them to make income good, seeking the answer again from government. If not the new schemes, then the talk is of possible income from the as yet largely unformed and fledgling markets in carbon, biodiversity, nutrient...

Avian Influenza: GB Prevention Zone

DEFRA has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain. From midday on Monday 17 October, it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow biosecurity measures. More detail can be found online. Among other measures, keepers with more than 500 birds should restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned...

Jeremy's Blog 14th October 2022: Bringing Order in Compulsory Purchase

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 13th October 2022 It is a privilege to be granted compulsory purchase powers, to be given the power of the law to take property, homes and businesses from unwilling sellers at a time they did not choose. It often embroils those owners and occupiers in protracted and blighting conditions for years from the first mention of a scheme to the point of losing property and livelihood. Arguments about compensation then run on and...

Livestock Systems Downtime: 7pm Friday 4th November to 7am Monday 7th November

The following livestock systems will be unavailable from 7pm on Friday 4 November to 7am on Monday 7 November 2022 due to essential maintenance work: CTS Online;CTS Web Services;CTS Self Service Line;CTS SIS;ETAS;Animal Movement Licensing System. Users should try to submit notifications to these systems before or after this downtime. If however users believe that this downtime will result in late movement notifications or late passport applications, they should notify BCMS to make...

Prime Minister Confirms Commitment to Ban No Fault Evictions

Following recent speculation that the Government may scrap proposals to end no fault evictions for residential tenants in England, the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, confirmed during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday (12th October 2022) the commitment to ban s.21 notices. There is, as yet, no timetable for this legislative change. The CAAV Note 16th June 2022 outlines the proposals in more detail....

National Farm Management Conference returns for its 57th year

The QE II Centre in London will see the return of the National Farm Management Conference this November. The event, titled ‘Agriculture’s defining decade: Balancing food and environmental security’ will address the big questions in the industry when it comes to the security of our food and environment. There is a stellar line-up of industry speakers who will discuss and debate how the UK can continue to protect the environment while keeping up with the demand to produce food sustainably....

Jeremy's Blog 7th September 2022: Property Valuation in Uncertainty

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 6th October 2022 Substantial areas of the property market are moving into increasingly uncertain waters, taking valuers with them. Factors such as rising interest rates, cost challenges, potential recession and changing market demands combine with the usual economic dynamics of activity moving between sectors and regions make valuation more challenging. A retrospective review for non-domestic property will soon come from...

Jeremy's Blog 30th September 2022: The Need for Narrative

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 29th September 2022 Nature abhors a vacuum. Governments that do not tell their story lose control of its telling as others seize the moment to fill the void. DEFRA let it be known that there was a “rapid review” of the present policies. Little was then said and so, while reasonable for new ministers and perhaps no more than a routine “kicking of tyres”, the void was filled by third party speculation becoming a...

Avian Influenza Protection Zone Declared in East Anglia

The government has declared Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex to be an Avian Influenza Protection Zone (AIPZ) from midday on Tuesday 27th September 2022. All bird keepers, including those with backyard flocks or who keep chickens, ducks or geese as pets, falling within the AIPZ are obliged to follow strict biosecurity measures to protect their flocks and contain the spread of the disease, per DEFRA and APHA guidance. East Anglia joins Cornwall, Devon and parts of Somerset, declared to be an...

THE NEW GOVERNMENT’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY – A “RAPID REVIEW”?

Today’s Press Reports The press (Observer, Financial Times, the Times and others) and the BBC (website and the Today programme at 6.39 and 7.50) are carrying the story that the new DEFRA ministerial team, silent so far, are undertaking a “rapid review” of the policies they have inherited. The energy in the reporting seems to come from environmental organisations, concerned to link any possible change in DEFRA environmental re-orientation of payments to the Financial Statement’s plans...

Jeremy's Blog 23rd September 2022: Government - A Change in the Wind

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 22nd September 2022 As normal business resumes after the powerful commemoration and funeral of the late Queen, the Liz Truss Government brings a strong sense of a change in the wind. While all Conservative, each new Prime Minister since 2010 has set a very different tone infusing the operation of government This Government swiftly signalled a new course set by the stars of lower taxes (and in that tolerant of increased...

DEFRA Ministers

Scott Mann MP has been appointed today as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Lord Benyon has bene re-appointed to the same role in the Lords. Confirmation of the allocation of roles to ministers is awaited. The DEFRA ministers will now be: Ranil Jayawardena – Secretary of State Mark Spencer – Minister of State Trudy Harrison – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Commons Scott Man – Parliamentary...

MICHAELMAS TENANCY ISSUES – CAAV ARBITRATION APPOINTMENTS

Whether an unresolved rent review or other issues from end of tenancy compensation to game damage, where an arbitrator is needed the CAAV President is ready to appoint on receiving an application. For an outstanding rent review under either the 1986 or 1995 Acts, the CAAV must receive the application before the term date. The CAAV appointment can be made afterwards, with the same statutory powers as the RICS. Applications can be made on this form on the CAAV website....

Jeremy's Blog 16th September 2022: Crown and Continuity

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 15th September 2022 There are occasions when the sinews of a country are laid bare, when the veil of daily life and concerns are swept back to reveal deeper things that we rarely see. The combined death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of His Majesty King Charles III is such a moment. We commemorate, with shared and individual memories, and we look ahead. We see the value of a life of service, duty and...

Jeremy's Blog 9th September 2022: Competing Uses for Rural Land

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 8th September 2022 Location, location, location. That has been the received mantra for the housing and we now have to thing more about what might be the better uses for the very different kinds of rural land that we work with. We see a wider, more varied and complex range than simply that from silt fen to acid heath, with factors from location to geology and the opportunities and issues in the marketplace. At the same time,...

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The President, officers, members and Secretariat of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) send deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s devotion and service to her country, people and the Commonwealth for the seventy years of Her reign as monarch and the years before that, through war, peace and change, bore out a dedication and a sense of duty that is an example to us all. In particular, we appreciate and honour Her...

Jeremy’s Blog 2nd September 2022: Facing the Challenges

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 1st September 2022 We said for some years that the 2020s would be decade of change and challenge for rural work, partly as we make our own future outside the EU and partly with the major changes in world markets, public tastes, technologies and climate change. That was before the pandemic, global supply chain disruption and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Just as the mechanics of the global supply chains might be easing, the...

Avian Influenza: New Government Guidance on Mitigation in England and Wales

DEFRA and the Welsh Government have set out their policies and approach towards avian influenza in wild birds in their joint publication of 31 August 2022. Guidance to landowners, managers and organisations responsible for areas to which the public have access includes: preparing contingency plans in the event of an outbreak; communication and signage warning of the hazards of avian influenza and how people can protect themselves, kept and wild birds; and improved biosecurity. In a separate...

Jeremy's Blog 26th August 2022: Subsidy and Stasis

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 25th August 2022 There are some significant misperceptions about agricultural subsidies. An English landowner and farmer, explaining why he had now “re-wilded” a substantial area of very low yielding land, said it was a response to the coming withdrawal of subsidy for his crops. The mystery is that he has not had a subsidy for even general arable cropping since 2004; even the quirks of the Single Payment over set-aside...

Unauthorised Encampment: Amended Police Powers

Part 4 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amended the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to strengthen police powers over unauthorised encampments. The amendments create the offence of residing on land without consent in or with a vehicle (Section 60C), provided that: There is at least one vehicle (a caravan counts as a vehicle) on the land.The landowner, his representative or the police have asked that either the trespasser leaves the land or that he removes his...

Scotland: Neighbour Mediation Project

Scottish Mediation has announced a project to support mediation in 20 disputes between neighbours over the next 12 months. To be eligible for the free service, all parties must live in Scotland and be willing to participate in mediation. At least one party must be in private rented accommodation. More details are available on the Scottish Association of Landlords and Scottish Mediation websites....

Forestry Grant Schemes: Force Majeure Guidance

Following recent hot and dry weather, the Forestry Commission has published guidance on the force majeure provisions of grant agreements for tree planting. The guidance will be of interest to those who feel that they will struggle to meet the obligations of a tree planting scheme due to the weather. More information is available here: Advice On Hot And Dry Weather Conditions In England....

Jeremy's Blog 19th August 2022: More Precarious People

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 18th August 2022 International comparisons are difficult but a stark figure is that the UK’s GDP per person at $47,000 (including London) is less than 49 of the 50 US states; only Mississippi ($42,000) is poorer. Unless we answer our problem with improved productivity, in agriculture as much as in the rest of the economy, we shall be a poor rich country with expectations of lifestyles and public services, from health to...

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone Lifted at Midday on 16 August 2022

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) covering England, Wales and Scotland was lifted at midday on 16 August 2022. Separate declarations have been made for each administration and are available on the web for England and Wales. Declarations for Scotland and Northern Ireland are not yet available. For further information and guidance see the DEFRA, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, and DAERA websites; guidance varies between the different administrations....

Arbitration - CAAV Appointment of Arbitrators

The coming Michaelmas term dates see rent reviews and terminations for many agricultural tenancies in England and Wales. The CAAV has a role in appointment of arbitrators and other alternative dispute resolution methods across the UK (listen to Podcast #40 - 'CAAV’s Facilitating Dispute Resolution Service' for more information). Appointments can be made via the application form....

England: Hare Coursing Legislation

The provisions in the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 relating to hare coursing came into effect from 1st August. These include:Increasing the maximum penalty for trespassing in pursuit of game under the Game Acts (the Game Act 1831 and the Night Poaching Act 1828) to an unlimited fine and introducing the possibility of up to six months’ imprisonment.Two new criminal offences: trespass with the intention of using a dog to search for or pursue a hare; and being equipped to trespass...

Jeremy's Blog 12th August 2022: Interest Rates - Time and Risk

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 11th August 2022 After more than decade of unprecedentedly low figures, interest rates with their relevance to valuation are again at the centre of economic and political debate, bearing on valuations both in the market place and informing choices of discount and capitalisation rates. Like trade and despite utopians, a price for using someone else’s money, making their credit available, seems innate human behaviour. The...

Environment Agency has confirmed Drought status in eight of its 14 areas

At The National Drought Group's meeting today, 12th August 2022, the Environment Agency said that the drought trigger threshold had been met to move parts of the South West, parts of Southern and Central England, and the East of England into Drought. The Environment Agency has confirmed Drought status in eight of its 14 areas: Devon and CornwallSolent and South DownsKent and South LondonHerts and North LondonEast AngliaThamesLincolnshire and NorthamptonshireEast Midlands...

Guidance on transporting animals in extreme weather

DEFRA has updated its guidance on Keeping farm animals and horses in extreme weather to include further guidance on how to transport animals in extreme weather. Welsh Government has also published its own guidance on keeping and transporting animals in hot weather as well as requirements on water provisions and conditions in markets....

Jeremy's Blog 5th August 2022: Supply Issues and Future Proofing

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 4th August 2022 While it seems that weather records can always be broken, East Anglia, the south east and south central England have, with 5mm of rain, had the driest July since the Met Office was founded in 1836, after England’s driest 8 months since 1976. Temperatures above 40oC broke UK records. In a pattern consistent with but ahead of climate change forecasts, much of the west and north were wetter with Scotland having...