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JUNE 2017


7 PRESIDENT’S BRIEFING 8 LETTERS Hear from other members



CLA ADVICE CLASS Q CONVERSIONS When you can change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling, according to recent case law


With less than a year until new regulations are introduced, the CLA explains why there is so much confusion and what it means in practise for landlords

A look at some of the best products and opportunities on the market


40 BUSINESS BUZZ SNAPPING UP A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Farmer Andy Johnson’s menagerie of animals, including crocodiles and ostriches, shows how educating the public and running a thriving business can go hand in hand

Changes after the general election will affect new applications to both the domestic and non-domestic RHI. Find out how



Tips to stay safe and comfortable on holiday

The CLA’s five key priorities to ensure that candidates across England and Wales are committed to the issues that matter to rural business



33 BOTTLING THE SPIRIT Yorkshire might not be famous for its malt whiskies, but that could be about to change

Vectis Ventures boss Alec Dabell talks to the CLA about tackling the challenges of a seasonal operation

The CLA’s Rural Business Conference 2017



A breakthrough in controlling grey squirrels could be just around the corner, but funding is needed



The Countryside Matters campaign is aimed at winning the hearts and minds of everybody who loves the countryside. Here’s why you should sign up


Developments in digitisation, precision farming and big data are providing a host of new opportunities to produce food, fibre and fuel more efficiently, profitably and sustainably



Productivity and technology were top of the agenda at the CLA’s Buckinghamshire Debate on the Future for Farming in the South East



With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment’s measures are more important than ever

54 THE GAME FAIR A look ahead to the Game Fair 2017, taking place at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire

58 REGIONAL NEWS What’s happening where you are

82 COUNTRY VIEW Brian Martin looks at the decline of our butterfly population



FIND OUT MORE Follow us online at or on Twitter and Linkedin



MPs backed the CLA’s call to reintroduce a scheme for migrants to continue working in roles vital to the rural economy. A report, called ‘Feeding the nation: labour constraints’, from an influential group of MPs backed the comments made by the CLA into how labour constraints would affect the ability of farmers to feed the nation after Brexit. CLA Senior Rural Business and Economics Adviser Dr Charles Trotman said: “The rural economy is already under pressure from labour shortages and the committee has recognised our concerns. They are entirely right to say that the UK agricultural sector will fail to feed the nation successfully without access to migrant workers.”

DIGITAL TAX PLAN DELAYED The Government has delayed its Making Tax Digital plan following a decision to remove proposals from the Finance Bill. The CLA has consistently said that the proposals were being rushed through without proper consideration for how they would work in practice. CLA Chief Tax adviser Louise Speke said: “While the delay in implementing the proposals is welcome, particularly to the selfemployed, it is likely to be temporary. It is vitally important that rural businesses are not left in limbo and unable to plan ahead. We will be seeking clarity from the new government as soon as it is elected.”


Compulsory purchase danger Meanwhile the Conservatives’ manifesto also promises to reform compulsory purchase orders to make them “easier and less expensive” for councils to use and to make it “easier to determine the true market value of sites”. CLA Chief Surveyor Andrew Shirley said: “Compulsory purchase should always be a last resort, and as a minimum, be based on market value. This kind of reform could reduce the ability of landowners to object, reduce the value paid for the land and make compulsory purchase a first not last resort. “We have already briefed the Conservative Party on our opposition to these proposals.”

CLA HOUSING SUMMIT There is still time to buy your tickets for the CLA Housing Summit taking place on 5 July at the Cavendish Centre in central London. Speakers include Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey MP, housing expert Lord Best and Government’s chief planner Steve Quartermain. For the full programme and to book tickets go to NOTE: to obtain tickets at the CLA member price, you must log in to the CLA website with your membership details first before clicking on the ‘buy tickets’ button.



The Conservative Party has committed to guarantee the same level of funds for farm support until the end of the parliament, if it forms the next government. In its election manifesto the party also promised to work with farmers, food producers and environmental experts to devise a new agri-environment system, to be introduced in the following parliament. CLA Chief Land Use Policy Adviser Susan Twining said: “This is much welcomed reassurance from the Conservatives that if they are returned to power they will provide farmers and rural businesses with the certainty they need to plan for the future as the UK exits the EU. Guaranteeing the budget until 2022 will ensure farmers can continue to both provide home grown food and support the environment.” The CLA has been at the forefront of the debate around the future of farm payments since the EU referendum through its New Opportunities campaign.



Rural landlords have called on the Government to urgently provide clarity on its plans to review the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) set to be introduced next year. In the letter to BEIS Permanent Secretary Alex Chisholm, the CLA said time is running out to make crucial amendments to the rules set to come into force in the private rented sector. From 1 April 2018 it will be illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating lower than E to a new tenant and to an existing tenant from April 2020.  But the Government is yet to confirm how it will amend the MEES regulations, which are still drafted as if supported by the Green Deal despite it having been scrapped in 2015, leaving them unenforceable. CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The industry has repeatedly called on the Government to revise the MEES regulations and its failure to make any progress in two years since the Green Deal was scrapped is not good enough. With less than a year to go and the further delay of the general election, time looks to be running out.” See page 15 for analysis.

FINAL CALL FOR AWARD ENTRIES The deadline the enter the Rural Business Awards 2017 is 30 June. For full information on award categories and to enter go to www.ruralbusiness

RISE IN ABANDONED PETS Reports have increased of stray dogs abandoned on farmland since the rollout of dog microchipping across the country, according to an animal charity. Carers Anonymous Animal Refuge Sanctuary (CAARS) rescue has received an increasing number of enquiries from farmers reporting stray dogs and litters of unwanted puppies being abandoned on secluded areas of farmland, says chair Anne King. CAARS is a voluntary refuge sanctuary based in South Staffordshire, which provides a rescue and shelter facility for homeless, abandoned and unwanted pets in as wide an area as possible. For more information or to make a donation go to or call 01922 476208.

NUFFIELD SCHOLAR ON LEARNING TOUR CLA Senior Land Use Policy Adviser Jonathan Baker is set to embark on a study trip to find out how farmers across three continents are incentivised to enhance the environment as part of his Nuffield Farming Scholarship. Jonathan, 32, works at the CLA’s head office in London to improve and inform land use policy with a focus on conservation. He won the 2017 scholarship after applying to research the topic of how developed countries outside the EU support their farmers to deliver for the environment. He will visit Switzerland, Norway, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand to meet with politicians, academics, policy makers and farmers to explore the state of land use policy across the developed world. The research trip will culminate in a 10,000-word report and presentation to the Annual Nuffield Farming Conference in November next year. Jonathan said: “I am excited to look beyond the EU to understand why and how other developed countries support, or don’t support, their farmers and how this relates to environmental performance. “I hope to expand the horizons of our sector by bringing back lessons, ideas and experiences from around the world to inform the ongoing debates about post-Brexit land use policy.” Follow Jonathan’s travels on Twitter @jojabaker

FARMERS MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENT Almost 90% of farmers managed their land voluntarily in 2015/16 to benefit the environment while farming productively, according to a survey by the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE). More than 370 farmers, growers and land managers responded to the online survey. Collectively they had nearly 10 thousand hectares under CFE voluntary measures. The most popular measures on farms were grass buffer strips next to watercourses, fertiliser-free permanent pasture, pollen and nectar mixes, and leaving field corners as wildlife habitat. By area, winter cover crops and over-wintered stubbles were the most common. When making decisions about their farm, 90% of farmers thought protecting soil and water and using inputs efficiently were very important, and 99% said protecting wildlife was either very or fairly important.




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Land & Business

BRIEFING with CLA President Ross Murray




s I write, little more than a week before the general election, all parties are seeking a mandate for the Brexit negotiations ahead, which will set the course for life after we leave the EU. This is a crucial juncture for the future of the countryside. It is for us to make the positive case for a new settlement that meets the needs of the next generation of farmers, businessmen, and the wider rural community. We need to ensure the countryside’s voice is heard at a time when the Government is faced with a range of competing priorities. This is why the CLA is launching The Countryside Matters campaign. We will be mobilising those who live and work in the countryside to broadcast this message at this pivotal moment. Above all we will be reaching out to everyone, both town and country, making the case for continued investment. Brexit brings us to a fork in the road. For the last 43 years most of the oversight, regulation and support for the countryside has come not from our own government but via the European Union. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), has been just that: common to a diverse range of countries, peoples and climates. Its budgets, rules and environmental laws have been shaped elsewhere. The CAP has been the master of so many, but insensitive at times to national and local needs. It is heartening to see parties considering these issues in their manifestos. The Conservatives have committed to continue funding for farm support at current levels to the next parliament. But all are asking searching questions about how we ensure our land and landscapes are managed in the best interests of future generations, or how to ensure we have safe, secure, high quality and affordable food. I am optimistic that the next government, of whatever colour, will continue to invest in the countryside. But I am not complacent about this. We have to show that a public and private co-investment in our countryside is a shared priority. We have to do this, not just now

during the election but throughout the crucial months ahead. A future countryside policy will emerge in various forms throughout the UK and we need to shape it. A strong farming industry is the heartbeat of a successful countryside. Given the right conditions and investment, and government leadership, it can thrive. We must inspire a new generation of farmers to seize the challenge to improve their industry in every respect – its profitability, output, levels of investment and skill sets, as well as the natural environment in which it sits. We must help them to work together and in new

parties as in any contract. One that pays a fair return for the services provided such as managing the land to store and clean water, to create and maintain wildlife habitats and by meeting the right standards in production of food. Meeting these objectives is what the CLA’s ‘The Countryside Matters’ campaign is all about. It is about giving everyone a chance to show that they believe the countryside should be a priority, that it is a worthy public investment, and that the return on that investment benefits us all. Throughout 2017 we will be out

‘We will be reaching out to everyone, both town and country, making the case for continued investment’

ways, for the better performance of their own businesses and the wider economy. The countryside can benefit from the changing and growing economy, providing people with a home to live, and a place to work and run enterprises with confidence. Above all giving long term confidence to invest, carrying out activities previously unthought of through greater diversification without in any way spoiling this great treasure. A step change in conservation can be based on a new contract between the farmer and the state – a true partnership that clearly sets out goals, rewards and penalties for both

mobilising those who live and work in the countryside to ensure their voice is heard loud and clear. Above all we will be reaching out to those people who live and work in our towns and cities, whose love for our countryside is no less strong. We need your help, so please sign up to the campaign when you see us at events around the country, or visit the website at: We can leave our political leaders in no doubt that the countryside matters, that supporting it is the right thing to do, and that a living, working countryside benefits us all. ■



SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS & OPINIONS Tan Parsons, Managing Editor, Land & Business, CLA, 16 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PQ

A USEFUL PRINCIPLE In response to ‘A case to extend business property relief’ – Land & Business March 2017






LAND&BUSINESS Editorial enquiries: Tan Parsons 020 7460 7979 Cover image: View over Buttermere and Crummock Water from the Haystacks path, Lake District National Park, Cumbria. Anna Stowe Landscapes UK / Alamy Stock Photo

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IMPOUND FLYTIPPERS’ VEHICLES There is increasing concern being expressed in this magazine and in the national press about fly-tipping. Even when people are caught, fines of a few hundred pounds are no deterrent, particularly when compared to the cost to landowners, the council and others who suffer the cost of clearing up. A more severe punishment must be activated. Our courts have the right to impound vehicles involved in this crime for a specific period – whether cars, vans or HGVs. If this action were automatic and the courts were not swayed by pathetic mitigation, after a few well publicised instances I’m sure this would be the ideal deterrent. JOE HARRIS Cumbria

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The CLA is the premier organisation safeguarding the interests of those responsible for land, property and business throughout rural England and Wales. All enquiries regarding membership or CLA matters should be addressed to:  16 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PQ. Tel: 020 7235 0511 Fax: 020 7235 4696




nstead of large housing developments within adjoining towns (e.g. Kendal) as currently planned, what our villages need are single or small housing developments for the use of local families, especially farming ones, where some of us need to move to smaller houses, leaving the main house to the next generation(s), but do not want to leave our farm, our community, our friends, or our church. Locally there is much discussion about affordable housing, and rightly so. However, this disregards those who would convert or self-build on their own land but are not permitted to do so, particularly by the national park. What about those of us who do not want to be obliged to emigrate from our farms because we have become physically less able?

Certainly, in the Pawson case the Upper Tribunal found that business property relief was not available on the facts. While that decision seems to have been accepted as of general application, it is always possible that the particular circumstances and the activities of the landlord might be enough to tip the balance from investment to (broadly speaking) trade, so as to grant relief. However, more generally, where there is an existing trading agricultural estate, it remains the case that under the Farmer decision (which HMRC accepts) business property relief is in effect given to houses let, whether on a holiday basis or on an assured shorthold or other long-term basis. This is on the grounds that there is a single business which is wholly or mainly of a trading character. The principle is extraordinarily useful.




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When is a conversion not a conversion? This article examines Class Q development regulations – the change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling, and recent case law



he CLA undertook a great deal of long-term lobbying to persuade the Government of the merits of introducing permitted development rights for the change of use of farm buildings to commercial uses, and subsequently to dwellings. When the Government first introduced permitted development rights that allow the change of use of farm buildings to dwellings, their intention was, and remains, to allow that change of use through the conversion of an existing building, subject to a range of conditions and limitations. The regulations granting this deemed permission are contained in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Schedule 2, as amended (GPDO 2015), Part 3 Changes of use, Class Q – agricultural buildings to dwellinghouses. The development permitted under Class Q is: “Development consisting of: • A change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from a use as an agricultural building to a use falling within C3 (dwellinghouses) of the Schedule to the Use Classes order, and • Building operations reasonably necessary to convert the building referred to in paragraph (a) to a use falling within C3 (dwellinghouses) of that Schedule.”

The Government has supported Class Q with guidance set out in the online National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) – paragraphs 101 to109.

Agricultural buildings with four walls and a roof should in theory be easier to achieve a Class Q permission So Class Q(a) permits the change of use of a building, and any land in its (very restricted) curtilage, and Class Q(b) permits some limited building operations that are considered reasonably necessary to “convert” the building to a dwellinghouse. It is particularly important to note the word “convert” in Class Q(b) which, in the CLA’s opinion, presupposes that there is in existence a building that can be converted in the first place. This assumption is supported by the Government’s guidance, set out in the NPPG paragraph 105 which states “the permitted development right under Class MB (now Q) assumes that the agricultural building is capable of functioning as dwelling”. Of course, any building could be capable of functioning as a dwelling. It just depends how much building work needs to be undertaken to it to achieve that dwelling.

The CLA has interpreted the Government’s regulations and guidance as meaning that the building proposed to be converted should have, before conversion, four walls and a roof. In this way the building is able to benefit from the ability to replace or install windows, roofs, exterior walls, water, drainage, electricity, gas or other services deemed necessary to allow the building to function as a dwelling.

A lesson from case law In February 2017, a High Court decision in Hibbitt and ano v. Secretary of State Communities and Local Government and Rushcliffe Borough Council [2017] CO/3360/2016 was published. It suggests the CLA is correct in its interpretation of the regulations and guidance. The Hibbitt decision related to a steel framed cattle building with corrugated sheeting over a metal frame. According to the judgement, the building has a roof





EXCLUSIONS Class Q permitted development rights do not apply to farm buildings located in national parks, AONBs, conservation areas, the Broads and World Heritage Sites, nor do they apply to listed buildings.




extensive yet that does involves a degree of not thereby disqualify re-build and thus cannot be considered to be a The rate of refusal for a development from automatic permission.” conversion. Class Q applications So the extent of the The decision goes on to discuss the words since introduction in works is a relevant consideration but may “capable of functioning April 2014 not be the determining as a dwelling” in NPPG factor. paragraph 105. If a building The Hibbitt judgement is is not capable of functioning as useful in clarifying the difference between a dwelling without the proposed works “conversion” and “rebuild”. Most then an assessment must take place of usefully it clarifies that Class Q is about the extent of the proposed works. If that “conversion” and not about “rebuilding”. assessment concludes that the extent of the works goes way beyond what could be described as conversion, it is likely the Being alert to the risk prior approval application will be refused. In the CLA’s opinion, Class Q (and Class But the judge in Hibbitt does state that MB beforehand) was not intended to he finds the wording of NPPG paragraph authorise the substantial demolition or 105 difficult to construe. Indeed, he reconstruction of the pre-existing building. prefers to bring the discussion about Nor, in the CLA’s opinion, does Class Q the difference between “conversion” enable the extensive rebuilding of an and “rebuild” back to the reference insubstantial structure so as to create what to “convert” in Class Q(b), rather than would, in fact, be a new building. to rely on the guidance in paragraph There is no doubt the Class Q 105 of NPPG. It is to be hoped that the regulations, and associated guidance, Government will indeed issue revised are complicated. It is important to follow guidance in due course, as stated in the regulations and guidance as much as the Government’s response to the Rural possible if you are to achieve a successful Planning Review (para 10.18) and the CLA outcome. will continue to remind the Government There are planning authorities who are about this action item. giving the benefit of the doubt to some However, it is important to note that buildings, but equally there are many who the judgement also made clear that the are following Class Q, its conditions and distinction between a conversion and a limitations and government guidance as re-build is a matter of fact and degree near to the letter as possible. and thus reserved to planning judgement. In light of this judgement, members will The judgement says: “In many permitted need to be alert to the risk of spending developments the work might be significant amounts of time and money on applications that have only a These barns could be difficult to remote chance of success. Not all members’ buildings achieve success with as a converwill fit with the Class Q sion under Class Q permission regulations and guidance, and thus may require full planning permission, especially in the case of substantial rebuilding. Meanwhile, the CLA will continue to push for the promised revised government guidance, and to improve Class Q whenever and wherever possible. ■ and one wall, and is largely open (there was some limited cladding in places) on three sides. The prior approval plans included constructing four new walls and a ceiling within the current frame. The plans retained the original foundations as they were capable of supporting the additional construction loading. The High Court was, effectively, being asked to decide whether what was proposed amounted to a “conversion” or to a “re-build” by reference to the Class Q regulations and government guidance. The judgement confirmed that where a structure, such as the one that figured in the Hibbitt decision, was so insubstantial, or “minimalist or skeletal” as the judge called it, the proposed works would constitute a rebuild rather than a conversion. The reasoning behind this opinion was that the building operations would be so extensive (i.e. the rebuilding of four exterior walls) as to go well beyond the scope of the operations permitted by Class Q and would amount either to substantial rebuilding of the pre-existing structure, or, in effect the creation of a new building. The judgement went on to say that the distinction between conversion and rebuild is implicit in paragraph 105 of the NPPF which states, in relation to Class Q, that it is not the “…intention of the permitted development right to include the construction of new structural elements for a building”. The conclusion one draws from this section of paragraph 105 is that a development that includes “new structural elements” is one that

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With less than a year until new energy efficiency regulations are introduced in the private rented sector, and with an estimated 350,000 properties affected, the UK Government is yet to make it clear how the regulations are going to work. In this article CLA Housing Adviser Matthew O’Connell explains why there is so much confusion and what it means in practise for landlords What are the MEES regulations? The energy efficiency regulations, known as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will make it illegal to let a private rented property to a new tenant from 1 April 2018 if the property has an Energy Performance Certificate rating (EPC) of F or G. The regulations will also make it illegal to let to an existing tenant from April 2020 if the property has an EPC of F or G. (EPCs are rated from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient).


What’s the problem? To best give an update, a bit of context is needed. When the MEES regulations were originally drafted in 2015 they were designed to work with the Government’s energy efficiency scheme, the Green Deal. The Green Deal (in theory) allowed landlords to take out loans that would have funded any energy efficiency improvements, with the Green Deal loan being paid off via savings on the properties’ energy bills. The allure of the Green Deal was it supposedly provided a way for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes without facing upfront costs, tenants to get more efficient homes and the savings to be recouped in a secure and efficient way. The Green Deal was scrapped in July 2015, but as things stand, the MEES regulations haven’t been updated to reflect this. Given the two policies were designed to work hand in glove, this is a huge issue. As will be explained, this is the reason it is impossible currently to advise members on the most economically sensible way to comply. The MEES regulations state landlords will only have to install energy efficiency measures when they can be financed

without incurring upfront costs. The rationale was that landlords would use the Green Deal to fund any improvements, as being a loan, it satisfied this requirement. The termination of the Green Deal means there is currently no way for a landlord to improve the energy efficiency of their property without incurring upfront costs. As things stand, from 1 April 2018 if a landlord has a property with an F or G rating and wishes to let it to a new tenant, they would be able to do so. The regulations provide an exemption for situations in which landlords cannot install ‘relevant measures’ – defined by the regulations as those as which can be funded at no upfront cost.

Provided the landlord correctly registers the property on the Government’s exemption register (a website is being set up which will host the exemptions register) as being exempt by virtue of the landlord not being able to fund the improvements without incurring upfront costs, it can continue to be let. The property would be exempt from having to reach the minimum standard for five years, starting from the date on which the exemption was registered. This has been the case since the Green Deal collapsed in 2015. Since then we have been calling on Government to take action to clarify how it intended to amend the regulations, as while the temporary reprieve is a good thing, the failure of the Green

‘It is impossible currently to advise members on the most economically sensible way to comply’





Current state of play It’s less than a year until April 2018 and there is no sign that the Government is pushing forward to make any of the necessary changes. With time running out, there are a number of steps it still needs to take to make the necessary changes to the MEES regulations. The general election eats in to the time remaining, both by reducing the amount of time the Government is actually governing but also by potentially introducing new ministers who will have to get to grips with, and agree any change to the MEES regulations. Even once that has happened, the process of reviewing the regulations is not simple or quick. Before a Government department can publish a consultation, it needs to do what is referred to as a ‘write round’. A write round is similar to a public consultation, taking views from other departments affected by the policy change being proposed. The difference between a write round and a public consultation is that smaller departments such as the government department in charge of the MEES regulations – the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), can have its proposals held up, changed or scuppered by larger, more powerful Whitehall departments, such as the Treasury. Our understanding is that before the election, a proposal to revise the MEES regulations had been circulated to various Government departments but there were disagreements about the direction being taken. Unfortunately we do not know what the proposals were or why there was disagreement.



Deal also removed a vital mechanism for protecting landlords against excessive costs, known as the ‘Golden Rule’. The Golden Rule ensured the energy savings generated by installing an energy efficiency measure would be greater than the cost of installing the measure. This was important as it protected landlords against excessive costs and counter-productive energy efficiency improvements. With the Green Deal gone, this no longer exists, potentially exposing landlords to excessive costs or installing measures that are not cost effective. There has been talk of introducing a cost cap that will limit the amount of money a landlord will be required to spend per property, but Government has not yet formally stated whether this is its intention or not.

‘The vital missing piece of the puzzle is how the Government intends to ensure landlords do not face enormous bills when improving their properties’ When Government finally gets about to it, there will need to be a six week public consultation, with a similar period following that where officials will compile and review responses. Following this, Government will publish a response to the consultation outlining its intentions. BEIS will then have to fight for what will be precious parliamentary time to get both the House of Commons and the House of Lords to approve the changes. Only once that has been done will BEIS publish guidance to landlords on how to comply with the regulations. The amount of work required to review the MEES regulations, the limited timeframe and the potential for disagreement within Whitehall leave us very doubtful the Government has enough time between now and 1 April 2018 to get it all done.

Consequences and conclusions We want to get accurate advice out to members as clearly and quickly as possible, but without Government clarifying how the regulations will work we are unable to do this. The vital missing piece of the puzzle is how the Government intends to ensure landlords do not face enormous bills when improving their properties. We do not want to advise members to spend huge amounts trying to meet the minimum standard only for Government to later say this is unnecessary. Based on our assessment of the

Government’s timeframes we think it is unlikely that we will have answers to these questions in the near future. In the midst of this, there is good news on the horizon for some landlords. Important changes to the EPC we have campaigned for are set to automatically improve the EPC ratings of around 100,000 properties with solid brick walls – the second page of your EPC will tell you what type of wall you have if you are unsure. When this important update is made (we are being told this should be done by the end of this year) we will be making members aware, and they should have new EPCs commissioned for those buildings. In the coming year we will have more to say on our lobbying campaign to exempt listed buildings and properties in conservation areas from the MEES regulations. We will also continue to promote our report ‘The Retro-Fit Up’ on how Government energy efficiency is failing rural property and work with other like minded organisations to push this issue as far up the political agenda as we can. The CLA has briefing notes available for members on the MEES regulations as well as things to consider when making energy efficiency improvements which we strongly encourage members to acquaint themselves with. We will be communicating all changes and progress on this important issue regularly in Land & Business and through other communications over the coming year. ■







28-30 JULY 2017

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Reduce Your Fencing Costs If you have the labour, we’ll take care of the rest. Call James on 01242 222878 for all the advice you need.





BENEFITS OF A FRANCHISE Currently 82% of McDonald’s restaurants are owned by franchisees. Not my favourite restaurant but the model works for the very reasons Fencing Britain can work for a franchisee. Reputation, awareness, consistency of service and product, customer reassurance and cost efficiencies. We are providing: • License of national brand specific to territory • Training (new products / systems etc. or indeed full ground up training) • National referrals to your region • Your own Fencing Britain website, maintained, with all referrals • Equipment hire at preferential rates and kit loans where needed • Full quote and supply management and credit control • Proven procedures and processes • Social media management • Call reception and management • Stationery • Site visit and questionnaires, quality control • Customer and lead communications and resources • Post tags • Clothing • Site boards • Full insurances • Free loans of mobile exhibition equipment and marquee • Local PR • Health and safety policy and procedures manual • Risk assessments • Development of new products and services to sell in • Employment help / contracts



loucester Tall Ships Festival, which took place at the end of May, purported to bring some £10m into the local economy, but how much of this is actually retained by the local economy? Almost all the outlets at Gloucester Docks are operated by national or international commercial concerns. The increasing challenge to small fencing operations is to be able to invest in technology, plant machinery and knowledge without the buying power of the nationals. As with any industry, not least agriculture, this is critical to providing a sustainable future for independent businesses. Fencing and ground works present landowners a great opportunity for employing local talent, or otherwise redundant seasonal labour, and helping to sustain a local economy. This is why we are now franchising out Fencing Britain across the UK to create a national standard with a local service. We are looking to empower a local fencing operation in each county by providing the support and resources they need to grow a successful business. This way, we believe we can help sustain the local independence of rural economies by working together – independently but with all the advantages of working collectively and under a brand representing a national high standard.

A LOCALLY TAILORED SERVICE To take their business to the next level, fencers recognise they need the marketing, the back

office support, product training and access to plant machinery and buying power that we can offer. We are now seeking the right individuals or businesses to work with us in all other counties across the UK, with the exception of our home base in Gloucestershire. We are also developing a database of available yard space these individuals or businesses can let, if required. So, if you have a secure spare corner of a yard, please contact our office. Our plan is to roll out a new standard in fencing works that extends beyond the agricultural sector, across commercial and residential, by helping rural businesses to grow and flourish. Into this framework we will be launching Planting Britain, Pruning Britain and Digging Britain in 2018.

Daniella Heseltine Fencing Britain

FIND OUT MORE If you are interested in working with us, please call or email me, Daniella, on T 01242 222878 E


AquaServe UK


Aquaserve specialise in auditing and maintaining ponds, lakes, rivers, canals, streams and other inland waterways. We provide a bespoke service that visits your watercourse and undertakes a thorough inspection before sending a report indicating the condition of the water and its immediate area. Other services include routine contract maintenance and emergency attendance to blocked culverts, sluices, etc. De-silting under road bridges can also be commissioned. Individual Risk Assessments available.



AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS Surveys & consultancy • De-silting & pond cleaning • Rivers, streams & ditches • Water & environmental testing • Erosion control & remediation • Fisheries services • Fish rescue • Fish stocking • Weed & Algae control



AES Europe has a small team of experienced staff that plan and carry out major works including erosion, remediation and de-silting works - or creating new lakes and ponds to enhance estates. With emphasis placed on providing bespoke, high quality solutions to prestige sites, our team can provide expertise, dedication and commitment to improving and maintaining excellent water and aquatic habitat quality, and are passionate about our work.

01536 204335 | | 20 LAND&BUSINESS JUNE2017





Changes expected after the general election will affect new applications to both the domestic and non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Here’s how


ollowing last year’s review of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) the Government announced in December 2016 that significant changes to the scheme would be made in spring 2017. However, delays in drafting new legislation and the announcement of the general election have meant these changes have been delayed and are likely to be implemented at some point after 8 June although it is not yet clear when the changes will be fully implemented. The changes will affect new applications to both the domestic and non-domestic RHI. For the domestic RHI the two main changes are slight increases in the tariffs available across each technology and new limits on the quantity of heat for which RHI payments are made. Table 1 shows the new tariffs and heat limits for each technology. The restriction on heat payments means that installations into larger properties with heat demand in excess of the new limits will see their payments capped and may be less attractive. See table 1 below. There have been several significant changes to the non-domestic version of the scheme which covers non-dwellings and installations heating more than one property. One positive change will be the introduction of a tariff guarantee system to give larger projects such as large biomass boilers, biomass CHP and AD plants more certainty over the income they will receive ahead of project completion. This should reduce project risk and make it easier to undertake these larger, more costly

TABLE 2 Current non-domestic biomass tariff 1 April 2017 (p/kWh) Tier 1

Tier 2



>200kW- <1MW




2.08 (No tiering currently)


projects which can take several months to finalise and construct. The main changes in support for new solid biomass boilers is the consolidation of the current system of three different tariffs based on boiler capacity into a single tariff for all scales of boiler. The tariff changes are shown in Table 2 above. This change is aimed at re-targeting the RHI at larger sizes of boiler in excess of 1 MW capacity where the government sees potential for more cost effect carbon reduction in large heat users. These will typically be industrial and commercial heat users in off gas grid locations although large district heating could also be possible. This reduction in tariff is to some degree balanced by increases in the amount of heat paid the tier 1 tariff which rises from the equivalent of 1,314 hours (15% of the year) to 3066 hours (35% of the year). As a result although the tariff levels will decrease for some sizes of boiler, the number of kWh for which the tier 1 payment is made will increase.

Anaerobic digestion plants Elsewhere in the RHI support for anaerobic

TABLE 1 Tariff at 1 December 2016 (p/kWh)

Tariff (p/kWh) available to new applications post 14/12/16

Maximum heat load for which RHI is paid (kWh)













Solar thermal




New biomass tariff available when changes take effect (p/kWh) (see effective dates for more info) Tier 1

Tier 2



digestion plant has been maintained, with the tariffs for biomethane injection being reset to the level of support available in June 2016. Biomethane injection (inputting cleaned biogas into the gas grid) represents one of the few means of reducing the carbon intensity of the UK’s mains gas supply. This resetting of tariffs should help to encourage further deployment of grid injection AD plants and could provide landowners with access to gas mains with new opportunities. The biggest change for the biogas sector, however, comes with restrictions on the use of crop feedstocks being applied to any new plant developed after the changes are implemented. The new crop feedstock rules will restrict RHI payments for new plants where more than 50% of the feedstock used throughout the year is crop based and follows government concerns about the impact of maize grown to feed energy plants. While the change does not prevent the use of crop feedstocks in AD, new plants using high proportions of crop feedstock will see reduced levels of support and may be less economically viable. Finding suitable sources of consistently available, non-crop feedstock to supplement crop use is not straightforward, however. Those already receiving RHI payments are reminded to ensure they are complying with the ongoing requirements of the RHI as Ofgem can and does undertake audits. Where non-compliance is identified RHI payments can be withheld or withdrawn depending on how serious the breach of the rules is considered to be. ■



General election

RURAL PRIORITIES Securing resilience in farming while protecting the environment and ending the digital divide are the challenges that the next government must address if it is to deliver for the countryside. The CLA has promoted this message to all candidates seeking election in rural seats, outlined with five key priorities for the rural economy


he CLA is encouraging its members to get out and raise key rural priorities with candidates ahead of the general election on 8 June and beyond. Delivering a Brexit that works for the countryside, creating the homes that rural areas need, implementing a simpler, more cost-effective planning system, ending the digital divide and applying a tax regime which encourages rural business are all crucial to help shape the future of the rural economy and its communities, the CLA has said. CLA President Ross Murray said: “Every candidate seeking

election to a rural constituency should be able to demonstrate how they will stand up for farming and the countryside. They must understand why the countryside matters and that rural communities expect the next government to face up to the big challenges, like how to support farming and the environment once the UK is no longer part of the Common Agricultural Policy. “We have been out throughout the campaign speaking up for rural businesses, but it is also vital that our members challenge candidates to demonstrate their commitment to standing up for farming and the countryside in Parliament and how they intend to make a difference.”

DELIVER A BREXIT THAT WORKS FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE ■ Commit to a fully funded policy that promotes productive and resilient agriculture and improves our environment, economy, communities and landscapes ■ Secure a trade deal that provides access to markets for our produce, without compromising our high safety and welfare standards ■ Commit to a comprehensive review of all EU regulations to ensure they remain fit for purpose once they have been safely transferred into domestic law ■ Ensure farmers and other rural businesses have access to the labour force they need

■ Encourage more small scale housing development, particularly by making better use of existing buildings ■ Provide incentives and opportunities for landowners to deliver more affordable housing for rent. Make property improvements more affordable through reduced VAT rates for the renovation and repair of private dwellings and zero rate conversion costs ■ Sort out energy efficiency rules to ensure they are clear, proportionate and encourage property owners to make the right investments 22 LAND & BUSINESS JUNE 2017



IMPLEMENT A SIMPLER, MORE COST EFFECTIVE PLANNING SYSTEM IN RURAL AREAS ■ Require all rural local planning authorities to have local plans in place by 2018 ■ Allow applicants to apply directly to the Planning Inspectorate in areas where there is no local plan in place ■ Increase availability of permitted development rights ■ Prevent outward encroachment of green belt designations into rural areas and promote effective use of land within it

END THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES ■ Deliver universal 4G mobile coverage ■ Commit to regular increases in the minimum broadband speed set out in the universal service obligation ■ Provide more homes with fibre to the premises in rural areas

DESIGN A TAX REGIME THAT ENCOURAGES AND DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST RURAL BUSINESSES ■ Allow diversified rural businesses to register as a single business for tax purposes ■ Extend tax relief for research and development investment to unincorporated business ■ Introduce new capital allowances to encourage investment in rural businesses ■ Review business rates to deliver a fairer, more accurate rating system, for rural businesses


What the CLA is doing ■ The day after the general election, the CLA will be engaging with the new government as a matter of urgency ■ Arranging meetings with the ministers who will make the decisions that affect the rural economy ■ Contacting all new and returning rural MPs and asking them to support The Countryside Matters campaign (see page 24) ■ Updating CLA members on the outcome of the general election and what it means for rural seats

HOW TO ENGAGE With the general election taking place on 8 June there is still time to engage with those seeking your vote. But it’s also vital to connect with your new or returning MP once they have been elected. Here are some tips from the CLA External Affairs team on how to engage over the next week and beyond the election: ■ Attend meetings: Keep an eye out on candidates’ websites for any public meetings that you could attend to ask questions ■ Find out who your candidates are: Information on who is standing in each constituency is available online. Enter your postcode on a “who is standing” search engine will show you who is standing in your constituency ■ Challenge: If there is something in a party’s manifesto you disagree with, ask your local candidate for their view. Who knows – they might disagree with their own manifesto ■ Write: If you can’t or don’t get the opportunity to speak to candidates in your constituency in person, send a letter asking for their views on a particular topic (although you may get a quicker reply if you send an email)


Follow the general election news and analysis: visit and go to ‘campaigns’ 2017 JUNE LAND & BUSINESS 23




The CLA has launched The Countryside Matters campaign to unite people who love the countryside, who believe it is worth investing in and that it should remain a vital national priority, writes Tom Harlow


s well as garnering public support, The Countryside Matters campaign also aims to educate people about the important benefits delivered by a working countryside. This includes everything from supplying affordable and nutritious food through to helping prevent flooding, natural cleaning of water and maintaining habitats for wildlife. CLA President Ross Murray said: “There is risk once the UK leaves the EU. It is vital for the Government to treat farming, the rural economy and our landscapes as a public investment priority. Money can be spent in new ways to deliver better outcomes for the economy and environment.” If you believe in a vibrant, living and working countryside then you believe the countryside matters. This is why the CLA is launching The Countryside Matters campaign – to highlight why it should be a government priority, that it is worth investing in and that the return on that investment benefits everyone.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT ■ Sign up to the campaign – go to: ■ Follow the campaign on social media @clatweets ■ Tweet why the countryside matters to you using the hashtag #thecountrysidematters For more information about the campaign or for help in contacting your MP contact CLA Public Affairs Manager Tom Harlow by phone on 020 7201 9589 or by email at


The CLA is making the case for continued investment in the countryside 24 LAND & BUSINESS JUNE 2017


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FARMING FOR THE FUTURE Productivity and technology were top of the agenda at the CLA’s 2017 Buckinghamshire Debate on the Future for Farming in the South East. Helen Symes reports Introducing the debate, CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said that good bilateral trade agreements and the shape of future agricultural policy are the most critical issues. He said: “If we get it right, we will have higher productivity and vibrant rural communities, but we need to be aware of the challenges of climate change, new trends in consumer behaviour, public interest in land and other pressures.” Agricultural productivity in the UK is showing a steady upward trend, but lags behind that of other key competitors, said speaker Richard King, editor of the ABC Book. “There will be less support for farming in the future, so we need to focus on achieving better profits from the business of farming and invest more in research and development, which has been allowed to atrophy over recent years.” Harper Adams lecturer and researcher into future farming systems, Kit Franklin, said small robotic technology is the way ahead for improving yields and quality, without the damage to soils and lack of accuracy created by large agricultural machinery. He said: “Using precision farming techniques can achieve significant reductions in chemical inputs for example. The future is about treating each plant individually and selecting the right technologies and farming practices which are good for your profit and the environment.” (For more on farming technology turn to page 34). It was encouraging to hear about the growth in consumer support for the local farmer producer community from the Southern Co-Operative’s Kate Hibbert. She said: “We have seen double digit like-for-like growth in our ‘local flavours’ range. There is a huge appetite for buying from within the UK and as a country we need to be more self sufficient.” It was a theme echoed by Dr Alastair

SUMMARY To receive a copy of a summary of the debate contact the CLA South East office on 01264 313434.

‘We need to show what is required to drive the industry forward’ Leake of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. He said: “In the mid-1980s, we were over 90% self sufficient, but now less than 60% of our food is produced here, so if we have three meals a day, the food for one of those will have come from outside the UK.” Alastair Leake also highlighted the importance of a resilient and healthy soil, which can deal with droughts and flooding, and of continuing to reverse the decline in the UK’s farmland birds. He said: “Changes to the current system of farming support would affect many farming businesses, but the Government has the opportunity to pay land managers for public benefits like protecting the environment.”

New ways of farming CLA Policy and Advice Director Christopher Price said the industry needs to be more profitable and more productive: “This will partly be through robotics, but also new ways of farming and new business structures. We need to encourage poorer performing farmers to step up, we need to invest more in

R&D and skills training and encourage more younger farmers into the sector through initiatives like share farming.” Summarising the debate, chair Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher said the South East has the advantages of good climate, affluent areas where premium foods are in demand and a strong culture of diversification, but also challenges caused by pressures on land and high land prices. With Brexit on the horizon, he closed the debate with an audience poll on the future for farm support in this country. While there was no great enthusiasm at the debate for keeping farm support in its current form, it was felt to be important the funding stays in the industry for schemes which bring public benefit. Christopher Price said: “It is not reasonable to expect farmers to provide all the public benefits we want from the countryside, such as those we see with agrienvironment schemes, for nothing. While almost every developed country supports its farmers in one way or another, we still need to make the case to our government. We need to show what is required to drive the industry forward and help it achieve its full environmental potential and to demonstrate that what we propose is the most cost effective way of achieving those objectives.” ■



Grey squirrels – the fight back A breakthrough in controlling grey squirrels could be just around the corner, but funding is needed to complete this important research



henever three or more foresters are gathered together it is certain that grey squirrels will come up in conversation. At CLA Forestry and Woodland Committee meetings even if not on the agenda, they are always raised at some point. Grey squirrels cause serious damage to trees. Their bark stripping not only reduces the potential timber quality but also the rate at which the tree grows. They cost woodland owners tens of millions of pounds each year. Grey squirrels also carry and spread squirrel pox which is fatal for red squirrels. Grey squirrels and squirrel pox have lead to the rapid decline of our native red squirrel to the extent that in England and Wales it now only found in a few small areas. With so many diseases and insect pests attacking our trees, most of which we can do nothing about, it is incumbent upon all of us to do everything we can to protect our trees from those pests that we can control. Grey squirrels (and deer) fit firmly into that category. As an organisation we proudly boast that CLA members own or manage half the rural land in England and Wales. Many CLA members already attempt to control their squirrels, and while it is always tempting to blame the neighbour for the problem, if all CLA members made a concerted effort to control grey squirrels then together we could have a real impact upon this pernicious pest. It’s true we have lost the use of Warfarin, arguably one of the most effective tools we had for control, but the reality is that so few people were using it there was no commercial imperative for manufacturers to undertake the costly relicensing process. But we do still have shooting, and an assortment of lethal and live capture traps – tools that in the right hands are more than effective at keeping predator populations of stoats and weasels under control and which with the right motivation could be



drug without it being digested in the stomach. Unbelievable as it may seem the scientists at the Animal and Plant Health Agency in York have solved that problem by inserting a proven contraceptive drug from the USA into pollen spores which can then be mixed with a bait and safely delivered through modified squirrel warfarin hoppers.

APPEAL FOR FUNDING equally effective on grey squirrels. If all owners with a gamekeeper made squirrel control a priority, and if all owners with shooting tenants wrote a requirement for squirrel control into their tenancy agreements, then collectively you could deliver a vast decrease in the squirrel population.

New tools for control New tools for squirrel control are developing. The much vaunted Good Nature (possum) trap has not yet proved effective on squirrels but hopefully additional modifications will solve the problems. The absence of an effective predator has allowed the explosion of the grey squirrel population. Pine martens seem to offer a real long-term solution and while the full impact of the return of this native species has yet to be fully understood, a native species that controls an invasive non-native species to the benefit of another threatened native species can only be welcomed. However, it will be several decades before pine martens are having a significant impact upon UK squirrel populations. In the medium term the most exciting development in grey squirrel control is in the area of oral contraception. Until now the major barrier to the development of an oral contraceptive has been how to deliver a long lasting contraceptive

To support important research by the Animal and Plant Health Agency which could help secure not only the future of our iconic red squirrel but also our native broadleaved trees, you can make a charitable donations either by cheque or by BACS to: RSST Ltd UK Squirrel Accord Sort code: 40-51-62 Account number: 61899237 Cheques should be made payable to ‘RSST Ltd UK Squirrel Accord’ and sent to: RSST, 17 Cumberland Street, London, SW1V 4LS. For further information contact

This breakthrough has shown real promise in laboratory trials. The challenge now is to take it forward through field trials to a cost-effective product that can be taken up by woodland owners in the battle with grey squirrels. Defra has funded the initial research that has demonstrated proof of concept but a further £1m pounds is required to fund the work required over the next five years to make this a useable product. Defra has allocated money towards this but the private sector is being asked to make a contribution. The Red Squirrel Survival Trust is hosting this appeal for funding and CLA members who wish to contribute can make charitable donations (see box above). ■

Electricity Network Connection Surgeries FOR WPD CUSTOMERS AND INDEPENDENT CONNECTION PROVIDERS Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the electricity distribution network operator (DNO) for South Wales, South West England and the Midlands. We operate the regional electricity network and provide new connections to homes, businesses and generation sites at voltages from 230 volts to 132,000 volts. Ahead of applying to us for a new connection and particularly for Generation Connections, our customers and Independent Connection Providers (ICPs) often have questions and want to understand more about the process, timescales, technical matters, consents/legal requirements and possible constraints of making a connection to the network in a particular area. The surgeries will run on the dates listed below and enable interested parties (like landowners, ICPs, developers and community groups) to make a 45 minute appointment with an engineer to discuss their requirements and the connection process, ahead of making an actual application for a connection to the network.

Connection surgery dates Our connection surgeries will be held at various WPD offices and will be as close as possible to where most participants live.

30th March 2017 15th June 2017

7th September 2017 7th December 2017

If you are unable to attend one of our Connection Surgeries, on the dates listed above, we can accommodate an individual consultation with one of our engineers. For details of our operational area please visit our website

Midlands: South West & Wales:

0800 121 4909 0800 028 6229 Please mention that your enquiry is for connection surgeries when you call.

Typical Tramper circ.1998 Made in Great Britain by Beamer Ltd

Robin and his Tramper after 7 years

Robin and his Tramper after 17 years

Disabled rambler Robin Helby was one of our first purchasers 17 years ago. Since then, he has trudged across hill, dale and muddy field to his heart’s content. This is because the all-terrain Tramper is engineered to be as robust off road as on. It will take you comfortably and safely up and down kerbs in town, across rough, uneven country tracks, and through mud, streams and snow. And as you can see, it’ll do it for years (even allowing for unusual wear and tear).

Today’s Tramper MK 2. Refinements have been introduced over the years but you’ll find it’s still the all-terrain scooter that’s built to last.


Call 01794 884766 or visit




The CLA Charitable Trust was founded in 1980 to encourage landowners to provide access opportunities in England and Wales for disabled and disadvantaged people. It is supported by a subscription from CLA members. Since its foundation, the charity has given more than £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects, and it maintains a scholarship programme at

Harper Adams University College for students studying rural enterprise and land management. Since 2011 the CLA Charitable Trust has supported Farms for City Children, an organisation that provides residential weeks on working farms for children from urban environments and special needs schools.

HOW YOU CAN HELP DONATION your contribution will help the Trust to continue making a difference to people’s lives LEGACY you can also remember the Trust in your will by way of a legacy EVENT holding an event in aid of the Trust can be an excellent way to raise funds and increase awareness of the Trust’s work To make a donation or for more information about getting involved call 020 7460 7928 or email

“I have seen at firsthand how the CLA Charitable Trust is making a genuine difference to people’s lives. Donations are crucial in making this work possible and helping us continue these projects into the future.” SIR HENRY AUBREY-FLETCHER Chairman of the CLA Charitable Trust

CLA L&B FEB Book 1.indb 60

20/01/2017 15:51





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W/M space























3' BED




EST. 1981







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Bottling the spirit Yorkshire might not be famous for its malt whiskies, but that may be about to change, writes Henk Geertsema


LA member Tom Mellor and his business partner David Thompson are in the process of crafting Yorkshire’s first ever single malt whisky, the ‘Spirit of Yorkshire’ at their distillery just outside Hunmanby, North Yorkshire. Easter this year saw the launch of their distiller-led tours and Pot Still Coffee Shop, as well as a distillery shop where visitors can discover ‘whiskies of the world’ along with Spirit of Yorkshire merchandise. It takes diversification to a new level, drawing on the experience of running a successful brewery, Wold Top Brewery, founded by Tom and his wife Gill in 2003. Tom had always toyed with the idea of setting up a distillery, especially since the same key ingredients are used as in beer brewing – locally grown barley and spring water sourced from the local chalk aquifers below the farm. Plans for the distillery started in 2012 when Tom and David, who incidentally met on the rugby field, joined forces as directors to combine Tom’s barley growing and brewing background, with David’s marketing and commercial experience. Dr Jim Swan, who passed away earlier this year, a renowned whisky expert, came on board to advise the pair in achieving their vision. Dr Swan, considered ‘the Einstein of whisky’, guided the design and set-up of their still to get the best from their ingredients, and to create a unique and distinctive whisky. The costs associated with setting up the still

DISTILLERY TOURS Hourly tours are led by the people who do the distilling. In addition, visitors can sample some of their New Make Spirit (it takes a minimum of three years for the spirit to age into whisky). Hour-long tours start at 10am every day, with the last at 4pm.

THE DISTILLERY SHOP The shop offers a choice of the best blended and single malt whiskies from around the world to buy.

COFFEE SHOP The Pot Still coffee shop offers coffee and tea and a range of snacks.

were far higher than the initial estimates, and Tom is grateful for the support received from Yorkshire Bank. He says: “We were fortunate to have had their backing as they took a real interest in both our vision and business, reflecting their commitment to the rural sector in the region. “Making a whisky from scratch requires curiosity, commitment and, most of all, time. We’ve invested heavily in all three, taking the best of tradition and following our instincts to produce what promises to be a unique, noteworthy whisky.”


Advising on anyone embarking on similar ventures, Tom says that four words come to mind – patience, passion, perseverance, pragmatism, with an over-riding focus on achieving quality. “There’s something deeply satisfying about creating a whisky instilled with the spirit of the people and the place we live,” says David Thompson, co-founder and distiller. “From sowing the barley to distilling the New Make Spirit and finally laying the casks down to mature, it’s exciting to think that people will enjoy the fruits of our labours in 10, 20 or even 30 years’ time.” The Spirit of Yorkshire branding depicts a gannet, giving a local nod to Europe’s largest gannet colony which resides on the nearby Bempton Cliffs. David says: “Like the gannets, we have a homing instinct, so wherever we roam to explore new ideas, we always return to this special place, hence choosing it as our mascot.” On Brexit, Tom is bullish: “We will continue to maintain good relationships with our export markets in Italy, France and further afield. Our focus for the moment is to create and establish our brand with a view to launch our first bottled whisky on Yorkshire Day (1 August) in just over three years time.” ■

FACTFILE @SpiritYorkshire



In tune with

TECHNOLOGY Developments in digitisation, precision farming and big data are providing a host of new opportunities to produce food, fibre and fuel more efficiently, profitably and sustainably. CLA Land Use Adviser Fraser McAuley reports



High sugar grasses have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of meat by up to

The digitisation of agriculture is allowing farmers to make better decisions based on more accurate and real time data. Arable farmers are using the latest global positioning system (GPS) technology to drill, fertilise and harvest their crops more efficiently. Soils are mapped to determine low fertility areas which in turn means the fertiliser spreader is automatically adjusted to target lower fertility areas, maximising plant growth and minimising fertiliser wastage. Some tractors are ‘auto-steered’ so that crop wastage and soil compaction is minimal by strictly following controlled traffic principles to the nearest millimetre. All this data can be fed back to farm management software in real time allowing farmers to make better management decisions. CLA member David Blacker, who runs an Agriculture and

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Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) monitor farm near York, has been using cutting edge mapping and monitoring technology for more than a decade. He says: “The most recent advances we’ve been using are in monitoring the canopy in order to more efficiently target lower yielding areas of the crop. “Using an N-sensor to variably apply our nitrogen, alongside our N-tester which can measure individual crop nitrogen levels, I’d estimate nitrogen efficiency has been improved by around 20%. “By using a combination of crop, soil and yield mapping I can determine the margin on each meter of my land if I so wish. I think


he scope of agricultural technology ranges across new developments in precision agriculture, digitisation, ‘big data’ and robotics. When applied to plant and animal genetics and nutrition, these advances have the potential to significantly increase profitability. Farmers have been adopting cutting edge technologies to improve their productivity and environmental sustainability for many years. Today, many technologies are moving into the mainstream and there are yet more new developments on the horizon. Keeping pace with new ways of working is essential to remain competitive. Here we take a look at the technology farmers are currently using and outline the forefront of technological developments that may become readily available in the future.



acidity levels which in turn may require diet reformulation or adjustment. There are now cow facial recognition cameras being developed that can measure the same parameters as collars or bands, doing away with the need for devices for each animal in the herd. Grass measuring devices, known as rising plate meters, have allowed farmers to precisely measure the amount of dry matter per hectare in a paddock. When TECHNOLOGY CAN this is combined with farm management CAPTURE INFORMATION ON software it gives grass-based dairy farmers EACH COW IN THE HERD the opportunity to precisely budget feed allocation, increasing the milking efficiency of their herds. More recent advances in this technology include all terrain vehicle (ATV) mounted meters which relay grass cover information back to the farm office in real time, allowing greater monitoring and adjustment of a herd’s daily feed requirements. Other developments in the dairy sector include a new in-line system that records the data from each cow in the herd. In real time, it analyses the components of milk including fat, protein and lactose levels as well as detecting blood and somatic cell count levels. This allows the herd manager to identify and act on any feeding or health issues to increase milk production, milk quality and herd health.



other farmers who are considering investing in new agri-tech should be inquisitive and be sure to do their sums before investing.”

Livestock The livestock sector has also capitalised on advances in digitisation, precision farming and ‘big data’. Dairy farming has made use of collars, electronic ear tags and microchips to identify and measure bovine health and production parameters for a number of years. Auto-ID technology can regulate in-parlour feeding based upon milk yield as well as heat and lameness detection. By sensing individual foot pressure, cows can be identified as cycling or going lame and automatically separated from the herd after milking. Some devices can determine the length of time before a cow is due to calf and send a SMS or email to the farmer, warning of an imminent birth and allowing them to intervene if difficulty is expected. Recent developments include in-rumen sensors that relay information back to the farmer’s computer, phone or tablet that measure the rumen

Improvements in robotic technology have the potential to improve efficiency and reduce labour requirements in a number of sectors. Automatic weed detectors can locate and recognise weeds in a large field of crops, targeting herbicide use only where it is needed. These can reduce the need for tractors and sprayers to traverse whole fields spraying the whole crop. The autonomous working capability of some of these robots allows for continuous weed control and are suitable for a variety of crops. Lely, a company based in the Netherlands, has a fleet of more than 20,000 milking robots installed throughout the world. The Lely Astronaut A4 box allows cows to be milked when they choose, instead of when the farmer needs it to be done. The robot attaches incoming cows to the teat cups, reattaches them if required, and detaches them after milking. In addition, data about the cows is collected, which can help the farmer monitor the herd and take action should a problem arise, or to improve yield. Milking robots can also be combined with recent developments in data capture and recording to adjust feed intakes and manage health plans for individual animals. Other agri-technology in development includes new crop-picking robots that have the ability to carry out fruit harvesting that can currently only be done with human labour. This could help address the issues related to availability of seasonal labour post-Brexit and help





‘Both ground-based and aerial drones can aid farmers in increasing their efficiency and productivity’ secure the long-term resilience of the sector amid the uncertainty. Soft and hard fruits are notoriously difficult to design machines for, which means there is an ever-growing reliance on labour from the EU. Although the technology already exists, further developments are required to make it practical and affordable.

Agricultural drones Drone technology has the potential to make a big impact across many agricultural sectors, from planning and monitoring to planting and pesticide application. Both ground-based and aerial drones can aid farmers in increasing their efficiency and productivity. Soil and field analyses are already being used by some farmers through sensors on tractors and harvesters which map their soils and plan seed planting, fertiliser usage and irrigation. In the future this may go further, with drone-mounted sensors providing real-time updates as crops use nutrients and consume water, allowing better targeting of inputs. New drones are in development that can plant crops, improve germination and decrease planting costs, ultimately saving the farmer money. Drones may be used to monitor crops throughout their growth cycle. Drones also allow mounted cameras to measure crop canopy quickly and accurately at regular intervals enabling farmers to ascertain the disease and pest burdens on their crops which in turn allows them to be dealt with efficiently and quickly. Drones also have the potential to monitor the humidity levels above a crop to identify wet or dry areas on the ground and target irrigation to these areas. This is vital in a world of increasing water scarcity. Crop spraying may also be revolutionised by drone use with ultrasound and infrared technology allowing greater accuracy of product delivery and more uniform coverage. This allows less product to be used, saving on input costs and reducing environmental impacts. Faster application rates may improve timeliness of operations by allowing farmers to use good weather windows more effectively. Looking further into the future, there may be fleets of autonomous drones that could tackle agricultural monitoring tasks collectively, as well as hybrid aerial-ground drones that could collect data and perform


I would estimate that nitrogen efficiency has been improved by around



a variety of other tasks like planting, spraying, weeding and harvesting. CLA member Jonathan Carter is part of the Aerial Academy, a company that trains individuals and companies in safe and legal drone use and has extensive personal operating experience. He says: “Drones have the capabilities to carry out numerous tasks beneficial to the farmers and as the technology and regulations develop more uses will become possible. Monitoring crops and livestock allows farmers to gain panoramic views of their farms allowing more accurate management decisions to be made. The use of thermal imagery equipment allows more specific inspections of irrigation equipment as well as spotting livestock in low light conditions. “In the future photogrammetry has the potential to aid land managers in the mapping and surveying of the land with drones being integral to this process.” Mr Carter also advised farmers who are considering using drones to aid their farm and forestry management to consult experts to make sure they are safe and comply with the law.

Plant and animal breeding Although not garnering as much of the spotlight as robotic and machinery developments, breakthroughs in genetics have great potential to improve productivity. Some forage seed mixes have high sugar grass varieties which have greater digestibility and energy levels than traditional mixes. This allows farmers to make greater live-weight gains per hectare. CLA member Keri Davies farms on a 330 acre diversified hill farm in the Brecon Beacons, and he has benefited from using high sugar grasses in his rotation. He says: “High sugar grasses have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of meat by up to 20% per kilo. The use of new varieties of red clover have allowed me to drastically reduce imported protein use on the farm improving the sustainability of my system.” Mr Davies also discussed livestock genetics, saying that sexed semen has reduced the number of bull calves in the dairy industry which are often seen as a by-product. “Genotyping has also been used to increase the number of ewes with twins, improving productivity,” he says. Genomic evaluation has enabled livestock breeders to make quicker gains in selective breeding. By knowing and testing for specific genetic traits farmers can then select genetics most suited for their herd, flock or production system without the need for progeny testing. ■

Battery Storage Barns:

The Positives and the Negatives As battery technology becomes cheaper, the opportunities for commercial exploitation of battery storage available to landowners are likely to increase. But what is battery storage and how does a landowner go about setting up such an arrangement? Battery storage takes place in a battery storage barn which is usually a steel-framed building with a concrete foundation used to house rows of batteries. The batteries store electricity which is fed back to the grid as and when required. Battery storage developers will usually approach the landowners of sites which they think are commercially viable. The financial incentives put forward by the developers are often very attractive to landowners. However, a landowner still needs to move with caution and should always ensure he obtains full professional advice before signing any documents. A landowner is likely to be presented with heads of terms to sign and he should instruct his agent and solicitor to help with the negotiations. Often the developer will agree to pay the landownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional costs for the entire project. When presented with heads of terms, a landowner needs to be particularly careful to ensure they do not contain terms which prevent him from dealing with any other potential developer save for a short initial period in the event that the initial developer does not have the resources or desire to proceed. Once heads of terms are agreed, the developer will usually require an option, so that he has the opportunity to obtain planning permission, grid connection and ensure the project is commercially viable. The option will attach the form of lease which will be

entered into once the option is exercised. The landowner needs to consider what the rent will be. Will it be at the open market rent? Will it be a fixed amount but increased with inflation, or will it be linked to the capacity of the project? The permitted use of the development needs to be considered. Will it be storage only, or is the scope for the project to include other uses such as generation from the site? Lease terms will typically be for at least 25 years (possibly with the right for the developer to extend the term). The landowner needs to see how this impacts on any of his adjoining land especially if there is possibility for developing that land. Whilst 25 years may seem a long time away, the landowner needs to think what will happen in terms of removing the barn and the batteries. The developer will often use a special purpose vehicle with no assets, thus a landowner may want the developer to put in place a security bond which can be used to decommission the site if the tenant developer does not. Whilst battery storage is clearly a lucrative financial opportunity for some landowners, such arrangements are not without their pitfalls and any landowner considering battery storage should consult his professional advisers from the outset. Paul Hazeldine, Partner at Clarke Willmott LLP, 0345 209 1830,

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Primarily used for butchery waste disposal, Andy’s crocodiles operate at an efficiency above


‘You sometimes need to hear it from someone else before being brave enough to take the step when it comes to diversification’ 40 LAND & BUSINESS JUNE 2017


Farmer Andy Johnson’s menagerie of exotic and traditional animals attracts plenty of visitors. His bold approach shows that educating the public and running a thriving business can go hand in hand Words: Lee Murphy


LA member Andy Johnson is a determined and ambitious man. When authorities told him he would have to pay for an incinerator to be installed at his quail farm near Peterborough he didn’t agree. To demonstrate his opposition he told them he’d rather keep crocodiles on the farm instead. So he did. Nile crocodiles to be exact – that can grow up to five metres long and weigh up to 750 kilograms. His quail business is now a distant memory, described by Andy as a “young man’s game”. It has been replaced with a large butchery, cafe, shop and the most recent addition, a steakhouse that opened in August last year. All of which come under the umbrella name of Johnsons of Old Hurst. It has also become home to more than 20 species of animal – both exotic and traditional – and is a thriving business and a diversification success. The four Nile

crocodiles remain a distinctive feature and the ostriches, deer and pigs are among the favourites with visiting families. The diverse range of animals could easily distract the eye from the impressive business that has now been built. The site has 60 part-time, full-time and job share contracted staff. The majority of farm buildings have been renovated to a high specification, yet retain a traditional feel. Not a bad effort for someone who left school at the age of 15 and says he studied at the university of life. “I’m a good listener,” explains Andy. “I’ve been very lucky to have met some good people who are willing to throw ideas at you as to how the business could grow. You sometimes need to hear it from someone else before being brave enough to take the step when it comes to diversification.” Moving away from a traditional farm was not always part of the plan for this business

which has been in the family since 1899. Andy recalls a conversation with his late father when watching the news many years ago. “I remember vividly seeing former government minister John Gummer speaking on the television and saying that farmers needed to diversify. I then had to ask my dad what diversification actually meant and he told me we had to do something different.”

An educational resource Driven by a love of agriculture and a desire to prove people wrong when they doubted his ability when he was younger, Andy is passionate about his business and being successful. If the volume of cars in the visitor parking is anything to go by he is on the right track. There are hints of business genius in his approach matched with a human touch which exposes a warmer side that you would not ››



‘Whether it is bravery, stupidity, or a mix of both, Andy is very comfortable stepping into the crocodile enclosure and interacting with his star attractions’

necessarily expect in the commercial world where profit is king. He doesn’t know how many visitors his farm attracts on a weekly, monthly or annual basis or how much they are likely to spend when they come. He doesn’t charge people to visit the animals and his only expectation is that they use his facilities for food and drink while they are there. He wants to keep it this way as he firmly believes that his farm should be an educational resource for young people to learn about the countryside. The new steakhouse however has been built with smart business acumen after Andy spotted a gap in the market. Nearby towns and cities were well served with steakhouse options but they were selling imported meat and produce. With no experience in the restaurant trade Andy has set about building a unique steakhouse experience where customers will know exactly where their steaks have come from. Indeed they may have seen the cow on a previous visit. This approach is at the heart of everything at Johnsons of Old Hurst. It is a working farm first and foremost and a tourist attraction second. The ostriches, deer, pigs and cows on


show will ultimately end up in the butchery and Andy is keen to ensure children in particular understand where their food comes from. He plans to visit a summer country show this year – taking an animal or two from his farm and exhibiting them alongside a carcass so that children can appreciate the important role that animals play in the food chain. “I’m very open about the food chain,” he says. “Young children get tours of the farm and are shown the animals, but I’m clear to point out that the animals are likely to one day become sausage rolls.” Despite the variety of his business ventures he clearly still has one overriding passion – his four Nile crocodiles – Cuddles, Kisses, Sherbet and Romeo. They may sound like names for a family cat or dog, but they are the stand out attraction on the farm and are menacing and beautiful in equal measure. While they may not be the most traditional of farm animals, they are the most effective at their job. Primarily used for butchery waste disposal, they operate at well over 90% efficiency, which means that the farm and the shop can run a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business.

His respect for the animals and what he hopes to achieve with a breeding programme, supported by the country’s top experts, is ambitious and so far exceeded all expectations. Whether it is bravery, stupidity, or a mix of both, Andy is very comfortable stepping into the crocodile enclosure and interacting with his star attractions. “I think the crocodiles are a great example of diversification. I don’t want us tarred with the brush of farming past – the crocodiles show that we are looking to the future too.” Keeping true to his word that he has a working farm Andy has not written off the possibility of selling his own crocodile meat on his farm in the future. The more pressing task however is raising the necessary funds for a new barn conversion to become an enlarged home for the crocodiles. Having such a diverse range of businesses on the site is a real juggling act. Andy admits: “I’ve created a beast, now I’ve got to tame it.” With the support of his wife Tracey and his two sons Edward, 20, and George, 22, he now has a mixture of youth and experience that provides a strong platform for this family business to continue to thrive in the future. ■


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With the summer holiday season almost upon us here are some essential reminders to help you travel safely and in comfort


s the summer months approach, many of us will be looking forward to time away in sunnier climes. For most people, holidays play an important role in our lives. Ensuring that you stay healthy during your travels can help you make the most of your time away. So here are our top tips to stay healthy when you’re abroad: Do your homework: When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to do your research and know the risks before you go. Visit the tourism board of the country you are visiting and check whether you need any vaccinations before you head off. Organise medical travel insurance: What would you do if you fell ill abroad and needed to be hospitalised or if you broke a leg sightseeing and had to be airlifted to hospital? This is where medical travel insurance can provide that all important help. It can be frustrating to discover that as you get older or develop medical conditions, it can be much

harder to find comprehensive travel cover. As a CLA member, don’t forget you have access to special medical travel insurance cover. Take a travel medical kit with you: Ensure that you have the basics with you: headache tablets, anti-diarrhoea medication, antihistamines, pain relief, hand sanitizer, plasters, aloe gel for sunburn and insect repellent are a must. Stay safe in the sun: Whatever your age, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen. Cancer Research recommends that you use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 and 4 stars. Use it generously and reapply regularly. Stay hydrated: Keeping yourself hydrated under hot weather conditions is very important to avoid heat-related illness. Drink before you feel thirsty and keep a water bottle handy at

‘When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to do your research and know the risks before you go’

all times. Also many illnesses are contracted through contaminated food and water. Reduce your risk of disease, particularly in countries with poor sanitation, by not drinking tap water or using it to brush your teeth unless it has been treated. Use filtered, bottled, boiled or chemically treated water instead. Combat jet lag: When you only have a week or two for your holiday, the last thing you want to feel is exhausted for your trip. Jet lag is tough as it’s almost impossible to beat completely. Try switching your phone to local time on the plane. Do this before you even arrive at your destination then you’ll already be thinking in the time you are going to. Avoid alcohol before flying and try and sleep on the flight. Whatever your travel plans this summer, have a happy and healthy time. ■

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Stretching the


CLA member Vectis Ventures owns the Isle of Wight attractions Blackgang Chine and the Robin Hill Country Park. Here chief executive Alec Dabell talks to Helen Symes about tackling the challenges of a seasonal operation



he skeleton of a whale washed up off the Isle of Wight in the early 1840s was the unlikely inspiration for one of the UK’s oldest theme parks and the Dabell family’s long association with tourism on the Island. In 1842, Alexander Dabell, Alec’s great, great, grandfather, had just acquired Blackgang Chine with the intention of developing a new seaside resort ALEC DABELL incorporating landscaped gardens overlooking the sea. But when the massive whale skeleton came up for auction, he saw the potential to create something different and had the bones bleached and put on display as the first of the park’s eclectic attractions. Talk to Alexander’s descendent, fifth generation Alec Dabell, the current owner of Blackgang Chine and its twin attraction Robin Hill Country Park and it is clear the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship continues today. The challenge for Alec, though, is very different. His focus is on finding a solution to a perennial problem for many tourism businesses – how to stretch the season to provide full time jobs and income all year round. The Visit Isle of Wight Destination Management Plan 2015-2019 predicts that to grow the island tourism economy, it needs to attract an additional 200,000 overnight stays each year. A key part of this is

providing new reasons for people to visit all year round, not just in the traditional April to October season. “It’s not just important for the business, it has the potential to make a real difference to the island’s economy as a whole, which suffers from lack of year-round job opportunities, lower wages and lack of investment,” says Alec. “With around 30% of Island residents employed in tourism, it is essential that we extend the season and start talking ‘careers’ in tourism, not just seasonal jobs. Tourism is the main industry on the island. It contributes around £520m into the island’s economy but it has the potential to grow further.”

Broadening the appeal Alec believes the solution lies in investing in new attractions which not only extend the season, but also bring in a wider range of visitors. Since re-joining the business in 2012, he has achieved a 25% increase in turnover, through making significant investment in new visitor experiences, such as the Squirrel Run which opens this summer, but there is much more to do. He says: “Our approach has been to stretch, gradually, the season from our peak summer months. Five years ago, we began by investing in



TOURISM AND LEISURE all those involved in marketing the island, whether it is tourism bodies, ferry operators or other attractions, is essential if we wish to make the island a year-round destination.” He says it is equally important to look after the local community, and he wants to make sure local people feel that they also benefit from Vectis Ventures’ success and understand how much the business values their support. “In 2014, we introduced a frequent visitor ticket for islanders which allows them to visit as many times during the year for a one-off price of £32.50. We now have over 10% of the eligible local population purchasing one, which is a great endorsement.” According to Alec, one of the joys of the Nesting project is being able to show people around the site and go over the plans. He says: “This is where our relationship started with the CLA. They have also been instrumental in helping us with our neighbour, who because of their activities have caused damage to our land. Through the CLA we have been able to get quick access to the Environment Agency to help us find a resolution to this matter.” There is plenty of new investment going into Blackgang Chine as well as Robin Hill. The two parks are marketed very differently, with Blackgang Chine’s ‘land of imagination’ very strong on nostalgia and innovative attractions for families. The Restricted Area 5 dinosaurs were redeveloped with animatronics in 2014 to create a

the creation of ‘electric woods’ at our 88-acre Robin Hill Country Park, using innovative lighting and sound effects. Last year, our October Festival of Light attracted more than 17,000 off Island visitors, making it as important a month as August.” The success of the event encouraged Vectis Ventures to organise a second ‘electric woods’ event, the Spirit of the Orient, which now takes place in February to coincide with Chinese New Year. This September, a new boutique music festival, Eklectica, is being launched, building on experience gained through hosting Bestival for many years, and other events are in the pipeline. VECTIS VENTURES’ TOP TOURISM TIPS For Alec, though, the most exciting opportunity • Creativity and innovation is key is still at the planning stage, but has the potential to draw significant numbers of visitors to the Island all • Invest in training and foster talent – all our attractions are developed in-house year round. • Give people reasons to return more often and stay longer “The Island needs quality, fun and imaginative • Engage with the local community accommodation to encourage more visitors • Look at ways to stretch your season to stay and enjoy what is now almost a yearround programme of great events and festivals. • Invest in attractions or facilities which appeal to a wider range of visitors We are proposing to make a multi-million • Work with local tourist boards, other attractions and transport providers to pound investment in the development of high get best results quality treehouses, timber framed lodges and • Being based on an island it can be easy to blame geography and location, but glamping tents at Robin Hill. Called ‘Nesting’, really you just need to be visionary and think of new opportunities the accommodation will nestle into the natural landscape of the park, with stunning views across completely new experience and this year, the new Underwater Kingdom the valley.” opens. With a satisfying historical symmetry, one of the major attractions Alongside this accommodation, which will help address the current of the new theme world is an animatronic 20 metre-long whale. shortage of quality bed space on the island, they have plans for new It seems that the appeal of the world’s largest mammal is as strong catering facilities, with the hope that these can be a focus for a new now as it was for the Victorians when Blackgang Chine first opened back apprenticeship scheme, he says. in 1843. ■ “Last year, we recruited four catering apprentices and a further two apprentices were brought in to work with the technical team, to help with the development of the park’s creative sound and light events and FACT FILE installations. However, it is only through exciting initiatives like ‘Nesting’ Vectis Ventures operates two of the Isle of Wight’s major that we can really create a much larger percentage of full time, rather tourist attractions: than seasonal work.” Blackgang Chine, near Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 2HN

Boosting the economy Nesting will also be an important pull for new visitors to the Island, which will benefit the wider rural economy. Alec says they already know that other rural businesses in the vicinity have benefited from their attractions becoming more popular out of the traditional summer season. “This can only increase further as we extend the offer and bring in a wider range of visitors. Working together with these businesses, but also

48 LAND & BUSINESS JUNE 2017 Robin Hill Country Park, Downend, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2NU

01983 730330

Urgent call for help to save the eastern black rhino issued by Fauna & Flora International

Photo: Jelena Aleksic,

In ten years, eastern black rhino populations could be almost completely destroyed. Around 850 remain and poaching is at an all time high.

The eastern black rhino has been pushed to the verge of extinction. Just 850 remain. Please return the coupon or visit to help protect them.

“If you value the natural world, if you believe it should be conserved for its own sake as well as for humanity’s, please support FFI.” Sir David Attenborough OM FRS Fauna & Flora International Rhino horn fetches a huge price in markets like Vietnam. Ruthless international gangs will stop at nothing to get it – they even supply poachers on the ground with equipment and rifles. But there is a ray of hope. In 2004 Fauna & Flora International helped to purchase Ol Pejeta ranch, a substantial piece of land in Kenya, to create a safe haven for endangered animals. Now known as the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, it is home to over 100 eastern black rhino. Specially trained rangers constantly

Fauna & Flora International, formerly the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, is the oldest international conservation charity, working in over 50 countries worldwide. With a 94% spend on charitable activities, we use our experience to ensure that we work as effectively as possible.

Fauna & Flora International has launched an appeal to raise £96,807 with the help of readers of Land & Business to pay for the conservation of eastern black rhino in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. We need to raise the money urgently – time is running out to save the eastern black rhino.

How you can help rangers like Stephen to save the eastern black rhino

Photo: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

patrol Ol Pejeta to spot and check every single one, every three days. It is gruelling work, as the rangers have to trek miles each day and risk their lives keeping the rhino safe. By making a donation of £25, you could help recruit and train more rangers, ensuring we can cover more ground and keep the rhino safe. Your gift could help train rangers in military skills and dog handling to help them protect the rhino. Every day rangers like Stephen Elimlim and his colleagues walk at least 20km. They urgently need trekking boots and camouflaged uniforms, as well as powerful binoculars to spot the rhino so they can protect them from the poachers. Your gift of £35 would help get this vital equipment to the rangers who need it. So much is possible with your help. Amazingly, we have already seen the numbers of rhino rise in Ol Pejeta, and the population is growing by around 5% each year. Yet we cannot be complacent. As the poachers grow bolder and become better equipped, the challenge becomes greater day by day. We urgently need to raise £96,807 to train, equip and support the local rangers and help keep the rhino of Ol Pejeta safe. A gift of £100 from you today could assist us in building accommodation for rangers in the heart of the Conservancy, so they can stay one step ahead of the poachers. Whatever amount you can spare, your gift will help us build on our successes. We know that our approach works, and with your help we can support the use of the same techniques elsewhere across Africa. Your gift really can help us save a species. Please send a donation by 3 July in order to help ensure the safety and survival of the last few eastern black rhino in the wild. The future of a unique race of animals depends on it. Please complete the donation form now.

• £25 could help buy a pair of binoculars, essential for surveying the rhino population • £35 could help pay for a uniform and boots for a newly trained ranger, giving them protection and camouflage • £100 could go towards training ranger and dog teams • One exceptional gift could make a huge difference - £1,000 could fully equip and train a ranger Stephen, a ranger at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Cut the coupon below and return it with your gift to FFI. Alternatively, go to or call 01223 749019. Thank you. YES! I want to support rangers like Stephen with a donation of £_____ to help save the remaining eastern black rhino Title


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Photo: Gill Shaw/FFI

One of the world’s most powerful and awe-inspiring creatures is teetering on the edge of extinction. A hundred years ago, experts say there were around 65,000 black rhino in Africa. Over the decades, the numbers have plummeted due to relentless hunting and poaching, to the extent that there could be as few as 850 eastern black rhino left in the wild. Unless we act now, the eastern black rhino could be reduced to a few tiny populations in a decade, and we will be the generation responsible for its loss. We cannot let that happen. That’s why Fauna & Flora International (FFI) needs your donation today.

Please return to: Freepost FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, CAMBRIDGE CB2 3QZ or go to to donate online now. Please note: if Fauna & Flora International succeeds in raising more than £96,807.08 from this appeal, funds will be used wherever they are most needed.

Registered Charity No.1011102. Registered Company No. 2677068.


Permitted Development - Class R Farm and rural buildings tend to have a limited lifespan after which they become not fit for purpose or the enterprise they were designed for no longer operates. In the past many buildings were left to deteriorate or store items that have long since been forgotten. However, provisions introduced within the planning system over recent years have expanded the options for re-use of these buildings making them potentially valuable assets. Class R of the Town & Country General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 allow the change of use of agricultural buildings to flexible commercial uses effectively without the need for planning permission. Class R – Agricultural Buildings to Flexible Commercial Use Class R allows for the change of use of existing agricultural buildings to a ‘flexible use’ falling within commercial use classes:A1 Shops A2 Financial and Professional Services A3 Restaurants and Cafes B1 Business B8 Storage or Distribution C1 Hotels D2 Assembly and Leisure The building/s need to have been solely in agricultural use on 3 July 2012 or last in use on that date, or if erected/brought into use after that date, maintain an agricultural use for a period of ten years. The cumulative floor space should not exceed 500m2. Details of the proposal need to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). There is a prior approval procedure to follow for buildings between 150m2 and 500m2. The LPA has 56 days to notify the applicant as to whether the proposal requires their prior approval or not and is either given or refused.

Smaller changes of use (less than 150m2) require a notification process only and offer an easy route to get new development off the ground. It is worth bearing in mind that although the ‘use’ can be changed under Class R provisions, any ‘physical changes’ to a building cannot and therefore will require planning permission. Class R can be useful for example to introduce retail use onto a farm or horticultural nursery. The building/s must not be listed or be a scheduled monument and should not be in a safety hazard area or form part of an area used for military explosives storage. A site which has changed use under these provisions can subsequently change to another use falling within the classes comprising the flexible use subject to the prior approval procedure again. After a site has changed use it is to be treated as having a sui generis use (i.e. no use class). If the LPA fails to notify the applicant within the 56 days, development can lawfully commence, assuming it is permitted development. Therefore timing is crucial as the ‘clock starts ticking’ once a valid application along with the appropriate fee has been received by the LPA. Acorus has prepared a number of Class R applications and can advise on tactics to make best use of the provisions.


What people thought of the CLA’s inaugural Rural Business Conference “A really good opportunity to see what other people are doing, understand the business models and get the conviction to move your own ideas forward” Chris Wheatley-Hubbard, Wiltshire “It’s been a great day – a whole range of different ideas have come out of it” Michael Scott, Lincolnshire “It’s been an excellent networking occasion and it’s great to see so many MPs here that are willing to engage with the CLA” Edward Vere Nicoll, Suffolk “The speakers were very inspirational and made us feel, that yes, it’s possible to do anything in the countryside” Bethan Jones, Denbighshire


The CLA is challenging farmers, landowners and policy makers to find new ways of farming Redefining Farming, the CLA’s second Rural Business Conference, is set to examine the trends, challenges and innovations that will shape the decisions landowners make about the future of their farming businesses.

CLA Chief Land Use Policy Adviser Susan Twining said: “We will be challenging landowning rural business leaders, government and other influencers to examine the big issues that are shaping our rural economy today and in the future.

Through a series of seminars and a dedicated programme of opinion research the CLA will be providing new insight into what it means to be farming today. Findings and recommendations from this unique research will be unveiled at the conference, which will take place on 28 November in the heart of Westminster.

“We will be asking in what ways can farmers be given the confidence and the means to embrace innovation, from making investments in their land and business to adopting new ways of working? And what will be the role of the land manager and government in shaping the future of farming as the UK takes greater control of post Brexit agricultural policy?”

TICKETS ON SALE NEXT MONTH Last year the CLA’s Rural Business Conference sold out in advance. Make sure you don’t miss out in 2017 – email us at: and we will alert you when tickets go on sale.





With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, CFE measures are more important than ever Since 2009, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) has helped farmers and landowners nurture the environment through a range of voluntary measures. This work remains vital regardless of future agrienvironment policy. The CFE provides guidance on embedding wildlife and natural resource protection into profitable, productive farming and other rural businesses. It continues to draw considerable interest. The past year has seen more than 1,400 farmers and land managers attending CFE-led events on the themes of pollinators, water quality and farmland birds. As an industry-led partnership, which draws on the major farming, agri-supply and advisory organisations as well as environmental NGOs and government agencies, the CFE has a wealth of expertise to offer and the CLA continues to give the CFE its full support. CLA Chief Land Use Policy Adviser Susan Twining said: “It’s important that farmers and other land managers work to incorporate environmental best practice and voluntary measures and the CFE is playing a vital role in helping rural businesses to make sure they can get fully involved.”

Retain your ELS options The CFE is asking farmers and landowners with expiring Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) agreements to voluntarily manage their land for environmental benefit. This may help farmers take advantage of any new schemes post-Brexit. CFE project officer Anna Cuckow said: “Combinations of voluntary environmental measures deliver many wins for farm


businesses. These include reduced erosion, improved soil quality, lower fertiliser costs and better yields across the farm. In addition, water quality and wildlife habitats are improved. In 2017/18, the CFE will continue to provide guidance on best-practice to farmers and landowners.” Field corners, margins, grass buffers and areas with pollen and nectar mixes are usually sited on the least productive areas. Returning such areas to production will undo all the investment of time and money already made, Anna says. Crucially, returning such land is unlikely to improve farm profitability. Many measures can count towards Ecological Focus Area (EFA) fallow land as part of ‘greening’ requirements, or enhance EFA areas, for example by establishing pollen and nectar mixes. Visit the CFE website ( uk) for guidance on voluntary measures as well as other topics including nutrient and hedge management, and responsible use of crop protection products.

CFE summer events In early July, the CFE will hold two free on-farm events on supporting pollinators and other beneficial insects. One will focus on arable farms, the other on grassland. Details are being finalised but both will have varied speakers and a farm walk. For details or to register your interest, go to or email

Chawker & Co Ltd Financial Services

James Manning Miscellaneous

Landmark Information Group Legal Services


Airepair Miscellaneous

Cotswold Hill Stone & Masonry Ltd Stonemasons and Drystone Wallers

G N Marine Ltd Environmental Engineering

Norden Farm Camp Sites

St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Steadfast Heritage Consultants


Copse and Woodland Management Forestry and Woodlands Management

Davies Murray-White Solicitors

GRM Development Solutions Ltd Environmental Engineering

ITS Technology Group Internet Services

Land Research Associates Ltd Environmental Consultants

T E M Ltd Property Management


Myers and Bowman Car Dealers

Raworths Solicitors Solicitors

Ware & Kay Solicitors Ltd Solicitors


Camp Champ UK Ltd Kitchenware

Life for a Life Memorial Forests Charitable Organisations

For further details on these new members’ businesses and other services visit From Aerial Photography to Ponds and Lakes, from Equestrian Supplies to Roof Repairs and from Agricultural Machinery to Waste Disposal.

PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS All Landowning and Business and Professional members can publicise their business in the CLA Business Directory. Visit for information and costs please contact Mark Brown on 01242 259249 or


In harmony



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THE GAME FAIR The largest outdoor countryside-themed event in the world, The Game Fair is set to attract 120,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors. Here Land & Business talks to James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, about what makes it such a special occasion Land & Business: What are the biggest attractions this year? James Gower: First to mention is The Subaru Shooting Line – run by E.J. Churchill. The Game Fair’s shooting line is Europe’s longest at nearly 600m long. Top attractions include Rabbit Challenge Pool Shoot, 25 Sportrap, 50 English Sporting Course, Champion of Champions and Colts Challenge. We also have the Home International Team Gundog Competition, the centrepiece of the gundog events at The Game Fair, and the Game Fair Theatre – this year’s schedule is packed with speakers you might not have seen before, such as Daryll Pleasants, who specialises in training dogs to help with anti-poaching efforts in Africa, also Geoff Dann, the UK’s leading expert on fungi, and Christopher Somerville, author of Britain’s Best Walks. We also have the Fishing Village, which will be located in the middle of the site opposite Gunmakers’ Row. With exhibitors including Savills, Holland and Holland, Browning, Brewin Dolphin and a plethora of high end country brands, no discerning country person will leave empty handed.

What new attractions do you have?

WHERE: The Game Fair is being held at a brand new venue – Hatfield House in Hertfordshire TRANSPORT: In addition to the main road links, reaching the new venue by train could not be simpler: a 20-minute journey from King’s Cross will take visitors to Hatfield station, which is opposite the pedestrian entrance to the event


The Game Fair is being held across three days from Friday 28 July to Sunday 30 July

This year The Game Fair is hosting a regional heat of Scruffts’ Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year on Sunday 30 July. Entry costs £2 per dog per class and all entry money will be split between the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and The Game Fair’s official charity for 2017 – The Lord’s Taverners. We also have the International Farriery Competition, which is held across all three days, and is split into two classes – apprentices and seniors.


What can food-lovers look forward to?

What facilities do you offer?

This year the Cookery Theatre has been overhauled to include stories from the food producers themselves. So, if chef José Souto is giving a talk about venison, expect the deerstalker that harvested the meat to also be on stage explaining the story of the hunt. The Gregg Wallace Shot to pot restaurant was a huge success last year and will once again satisfy the growing demand for ‘farm to fork’ food provenance. There are numerous bars and catering areas around the site. Not to mention the Totally Food area.

Standard parking is free at The Game Fair, while priority parking is available to purchase in advance when you book your tickets. You can also leave your dog at the Dog Creche for up to four hours while you enjoy The Game Fair. The Event Mobility Charitable Trust provides a facility to help disabled, elderly and mobility impaired people achieve easier access to outdoor events. You can also book an electric scooter or manual wheelchair to be ready and waiting for you upon arrival.

What else is there to do?

What makes The Game Fair special?

The Game Fair boasts a comprehensive itinerary for the whole family, including gundog handling, clay shooting, equestrian events, archery, fishing, a 4x4 course, falconry, ferreting, hounds and of course shopping. There’s also a full schedule for dog lovers including have-a-go events for the family pooch.

The Game Fair is the festival of the great British countryside. The only event at the heart of field sports, shooting and land management with a dash of glamour, amazing food and shopping. As the pinnacle of the countryside calendar, the event is the social gathering for those who really love field sports and rural life. ■

What sort of camping options are there? The Game Fair Campsite is the perfect place to base yourself for our annual event. Open for five nights, and bookable for one to five nights, the campsite has all the facilities you need to make your stay brilliantly comfortable, including glamping and pre-pitched options.

CLA MEMBERS DISCOUNT CLA members qualify for guest association rates. For more information and to book tickets go to:


INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT CONCEPT TO COMPLETION Whether you are looking for a new garden pond, a beautiful lake or a vast winter storage reservoir or any water body, Perry James Ponds and Lakes offers the complete package from the initial design concept through to completion. The company creates all kinds of waterscapes custom-built to your requirements, including a supply and install liner service, water features, decks, bridges and jetties. It can also help with swimming pool ponds, desilting and refurbishments. • 01823 673063 •

ECO-FRIENDLY SILT REMOVAL Jex Silt pumping is on a mission to clean Britain’s rivers, lakes and ponds and will go to any depth to achieve it. Pumping silt is considered more environmentallyfriendly than dredging alone and Jex Silt pumping is the only company in the UK that uses a hybrid system of dredging and pumping, cutting down the environmental impact and breathing new life into water bodies around the nation. • 01553 611834 •

NATURAL SOLUTION As the weather warms up, so does the water in ponds, lakes and moats. The sludge/ silt feeds blanketweed and the water can become murky or green. It’s tempting to clean everything out manually, but it is not always the best solution. Apart from the upheaval, you lose the beneficial life which can upset the balance for several years. A natural solution is Aquaplancton which can get rid of the mud without the need to clean out manually. • 01298 214003 • Before

BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES Coulson’s Bridges design and make wooden pedestrian bridges for lakes, streams and large ponds. The bridges are of a laminated construction which gives them strength and elegance and are constructed from selected joinery timber. They are available in four styles – Chinese, Japanese, Monet and Edinburgh – and can be finished in high quality wood preservatives in any colour. Bridges are delivered as a complete kit, in the form of two matching wooden girders, and come with full simple to follow construction notes. • 01986 875 016 •

FISHERY DEVELOPMENT VIABILITY The Fenn Wright fisheries team can offer strategic advice about whether or not a scheme is going to be generally viable, and how this development may affect profitability and capital value. It is not uncommon, it says, to find other company’s schemes where considerable investment has taken place – in creating holiday accommodation, improved facilities, dwellings and lakes – but that these individual schemes may not have been properly costed out. Fenn Wright service includes a fully budgeted proposal – which shows the returns needed to produce a realistic income. • 01206 216555 •



FULL SERVICE CLA member PHB Contractors Ltd specialises in de-silting of lakes, ponds and watercourses. It operates its own fleet of modern machinery, including 15m long reach excavators and has designed and commissioned numerous new lined and natural lakes, ponds and water features. It offers a full service from survey, design and construction through to soft landscaping and aquatic planting. • 01273 493496 •

AQUASERVE UK Aquaserve specialise in auditing and maintaining ponds, lakes, rivers, canals, streams and other inland waterways. They provide a bespoke service that visits your watercourse and undertakes a thorough inspection before sending a report indicating the condition of the water and its immediate area. Other services include routine contract maintenance and emergency attendance to blocked culverts, sluices, etc. De-silting under road bridges can also be commissioned. Individual Risk Assessments available. • 01536 601280 •

LINED FOR LIFE Gordon Low offer the best liner solutions, frequently specified for large lakes, garden ponds, swimming ponds, wildlife ponds and reed beds and many other water containment applications. Materials include SealEco Greenseal 1.00mm and 0.75mm and Firestone PondGard 1.02mm EPDM Geomembrane to virtually any size or shape of installation. With over 50 years’ experience Gordon Low can supply only or provide a full specification and installation service. • 01480 405433 •

RESTORATION WORKS Amenity water restores old walls and structures on water features and watercourses to secure their future. This section of wall on an island in central Oxford was re-built to 21st century specification with a solid concrete block wall behind the visible facing stone incorporating new drainage behind and through and an underwater footing. Aquatic planting was included at the base of the wall and wildflower turf laid at the top serving as both environmental mitigation and to further improve the aesthetic value of the work. • 01483 890666 •

MAKING A SPLASH A selection of companies to help you to make the most of your ponds & lakes Before


AES EUROPE LIMITED AES Europe has a small team of experienced staff that plan and carry out major works including erosion, remediation and de-silting works - or creating new lakes and ponds to enhance estates. With emphasis placed on providing bespoke, high quality solutions to prestige sites, their team can provide expertise, dedication and commitment to improving and maintaining excellent water and aquatic habitat quality, and are passionate about their work. • 01536 204335 •

SMALL CRAFT Heyland Boats has been supplying small craft of distinction for over 40 years. The company specialises in building flat-bottomed boats for maintaining and clearing waterways, as supplied to country estates, farms and parks. It can supply all sizes, from tiny tadpole boats for ponds, to large flycatcher lake boats for family fun. The Sturdy and Neptune ranges are inexpensive and come complete with roller wheels attached. The company also supplies electric motors, ropes and marine accessories. • 01628 528830 •

ADEQUATE WATER LEVELS Maintaining adequate water levels in ponds and lakes is a priority to maintain a thriving ecology, and this can present a particular difficulty in drought conditions. WB&AD Morgan Limited says that a private borehole can provide the solution, and it is normally possible to pump up to a maximum of 20 cubic metres – 20,000 litres – of water a day without the need for an abstraction licence. The company drills boreholes to a high engineering standard throughout the UK for a wide range of private, commercial and public sector clients.  • 01544 267980 •

CLEAR WINNER Clearwater provides weed and reed management services on inland waterways and reed bed management. Its clients include RSPB, Natural England, Somerset Wildlife Trust, the National Trust, Severn Trent Services, Soho House and a wide range of private clients. It operates two Truxor machines with fully trained operators, which are designed to access environmentally sensitive areas with minimal impact. They operate a hydraulic drive system using biodegradable oil and the tracks that the machine drives on have plastic paddles which oxygenate the water when working. • 07976 834953 •




NEWS CYMRU / WALES Funding applications, continuous cover forestry and CLA Cymru at a Parliamentary hearing THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT FUNDING APPLICATIONS

CLA WALES DIRECTOR REBECCA WILLIAMS Tyˆ Cymru, Presteigne Enterprise Park, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2UF t: 01547 317085 e:

SHOWTIME 24-27 July The Royal Welsh Show 5 August Brecon Show 9 August Vale of Glamorgan 15 August Anglesey Show 15 August Pembrokeshire Show 17 August Denbigh and Flint Show

CLA Cymru Adviser Rhianne Jones writes: The resource that has become available under the Rural Development Programme has manifested itself in a wide range of funding opportunities for farmers and landowners. Members need to allow sufficient time to gather more information to support their applications and also to focus on how their bid supports Government policy. There is research to be done – and applications need to speak the right language. Many important schemes are now open, including the Farm Business Grant, Glastir Advanced, the Food Business Investment Scheme, Cooperation and Supply Chain Development, Glastir Woodland Creation and the Rural Community Development Fund. The fund is pitched to help rural communities be more resilient during the post-EU transition period. The Government want it to provide Welsh landowners, farmers and others with “a certain degree of assurance” for future planning and ease voices raised at the Brexit Round-Table events (attended by CLA Cymru) calling for clarity about funding arrangements. It’s more than a case of just getting the right numbers in the right places on a form. The rewards are there – and members should take advantage of them. From the perspective of officials managing the fund, it is important that they can demonstrate that the resources have been committed to a platform of deserving projects with measurable benefits. The bar has been set much higher in terms of the detail that needs to be provided. Applicants will also have to provide measurable evidence about how the funding will impact on the business’ bottom line as well as contributing to relevant objectives


in economic development, meeting social criteria, combating climate change, supporting biodiversity and protecting and enhancing natural resources. Applications need to be aligned with key Welsh legislation such as the Environment Act and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. The current malaise about the future of funding after 2020 means that the funding streams are receiving a lot of attention. In terms of the mid-to-long-term future the CLA is developing proposals for government which could provide some sense of continuity, provide development support for the sector and also remunerate for delivering “public good” as set out in Welsh legislation.

CLA CYMRU GIVES EVIDENCE AT PARLIAMENTARY HEARING CLA Cymru spelt out how a new post-Brexit framework could change Welsh agriculture for the better to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee. The meeting took evidence the day following the call of a general election – its last meeting before Parliament was dissolved. Rebecca Williams, CLA Cymru Director, told the committee, chaired by David T C Davies MP, that: “Welsh farming must be supported as the backbone of the rural economy. Governments and

the sector must work together to optimise productivity and competitiveness and further develop its highly-skilled workforce. “Critically, we must invest in the right forms of land management which deliver a range of public benefits from the natural resources in their management. This will define a new relationship between government and farmers and landowners shaping the success of the sector for generations ahead.” The Welsh Affairs Select Committee commenced its formal Inquiry into Agriculture and Brexit in March. Under the MPs’ scrutiny are the key factors influencing the prosperity of Welsh farming once the UK has left the EU. The committee is also focusing on the return of powers to the UK and Wales and how devolution will be affected – or should affect farming and land management. Rebecca Williams writes: Farming is vital to Wales. Here some 80% of Wales’ land mass comprises agricultural land. As many as 58,000 people are employed in farming – and many thousands more in the food processing sector which has a turnover of over £6bn. Food and agricultural produce make-up Wales’ largest exportsector, worth about £300m. About 60% of Wales’ exported goods go to the EU. Wales has a higher level of dependence on this market than England and Scotland. We must establish a UK


NEWS CYMRU / WALES stakeholders when the new UK government is established.

CONTINUOUS COVER FORESTRY EVENT, PUMSAINT The Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment & Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM (right, with CLA Cymru Director Rebecca Williams last year) announced the last tranche of funding under the Rural Development Programme on the day before the UK Government triggered Article 50 to leave the EU

framework based on a common set of principles for food, farming and the environment. This must be accompanied by a ring-fenced budget. Welsh ministers must take responsibility for delivery in Wales – tailoring the framework to local needs and making use of sound Welsh legislation already in place. We note that the UK Government White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill says that the UK government expects the outcome will be a significant increase in the decision making power of each devolved administration. However, I believe that Westminster Government should not act as a filter-mechanism for responsibilities returning from Europe into Wales. Because at this time there is no formal, structured role for the Welsh Government to play in these decisions which have a very great impact on Wales, it is important that we work very closely with MPs. It is important to remember that our 40 Welsh MPs – 11 of whom form the Welsh Affairs Select Committee – will play a role in passing the Great Repeal Bill when it is put to the vote in the House of Commons. The Welsh Affairs Select Committee may or may not restart this inquiry when a new committee is formed after the general election. We have given valuable evidence which is formally on the record for reference in the future. We look forward to putting our message across throughout the election campaign and to government and

Growing trees to deliver continuous revenue and deliver social and environmental benefits sounds too good to be true, but at an event at Bryn Arau Duon, a 680 ha forest in Carmarthenshire, members of CLA Cymru learned the benefits of Continuous Cover Forestry. “It needs a change of mindset,” said SelectFor forester Phil Morgan, president of Pro Silva and chairman of the Irregular Siviculture Network, to about two-dozen members and guests. “It’s about consistent husbandry rather than what we call ‘sudden death’ by clear-felling. And we’re talking about reaping a wider range of benefits and reinvesting in the asset to deliver an income as you go on, diversifying the productive forest capital and enhancing the environment.” Most commercial forestry in Wales is clear-felled which might deliver a single lump-sum revenue, but in any consignment of clearfelled material, poor quality and undersized material drags down the value of the good quality wood. “Losses can be as great as 30%,” Phil added. “It is also environmentally destructive. Forest may appear again, but it takes a long time – and only after costly brash-clearance, re-landscaping and maintenance of forest tracks, fencing and also drainage. The commercial gain can be at best marginal.” The Continuous Cover approach is driven by selection of the best trees, active thinning and managing developing trees to optimise their performance. The forest is naturally continuously re-stocked. “Critical to the formula is regular monitoring and measurement. In this way we can plan our production forecasts to plot our course for harvesting over a long period of time. Being able to commit to delivery of wood to a given spec and a given time

adds value.” The business model is all about quality and forward managing productivity. “Continuous Cover Forestry is a vocation – on behalf of the owner and the forester. We’re handing the forest-capital to the next generation in a better shape than we inherited it.” Phil and his colleagues have been managing Bryn Arau Duon by continuous cover techniques for over 15 years and can demonstrate how the approach has improved the forest.

BUSINESS MASTERCLASS Feel the scales on your eyes fall away in this half-day course which demonstrates how businesses should get active in social media.

Above all, it shows how businesses should tailor their “social media strategy” by choosing online platforms that deliver specific benefits for the business. The courses are free of charge and delivered by an online specialist who speaks our language. Further courses are taking place in Llandeilo on 6 July and 13 July in Bala.

CLA CYMRU MOVES INTO ORBIT The CLA’s Wales headquarters is now here in Merthyr Tydfil. The Orbit Business Centre is welllocated for Cardiff and key routes to all parts of Wales. For the full address go to the CLA website. You can still reach the team on the usual telephone number. ■


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REGIONAL NEWS SOUTH EAST Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex

The South of England Show, firearms licensing, natural capital and special constables THE CLA AT THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND SHOW

REGIONAL DIRECTOR ROBIN EDWARDS Hikenield House, East Anton Court, Icknield Way, Andover, Hants SP10 5RG t: 01264 313434 f: 01264 369196 e:

We have a packed programme of events at this year’s South of England Show on 8-10 June, including the national launch of the CLA’s research into the employment of seasonal workers and their importance to the country’s farming businesses. On 8 June, join us for breakfast and a topical discussion on whether the South’s farming sector can cope without its overseas seasonal workers. Charles Trotman, the CLA’s Senior Rural Business and Economics Adviser, will be


talking about the results of the CLA’s research and we will also hear from soft fruit grower Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms and Dr Howard Lee, lecturer in sustainable agriculture at Hadlow College about the potential impact of a reduction in the availability of labour from overseas. In the afternoon, we will be celebrating rural excellence at our awards drinks reception and hearing from Jamie Feilden of Jamie’s Farm about their work with disadvantaged young people and plans for expanding their provision to East Sussex. Then on 9 June, we will be showcasing Sussex food and drink producers at a special breakfast and catching up on the implications for rural businesses of the general election results. All the events are sponsored by Batcheller Monkhouse and Warners Solicitors and are free to attend. To book a place, contact Kathryn Stokes at the CLA South East office on 01264 313434 or email

NATURAL CAPITAL CONFERENCE CLA South East is organising a second natural capital conference on 11 July at Ardingly College, Sussex. The all day event includes presentations from the head of the Natural Capital Committee Secretariat, the Forestry Commission, Southern Water and the CLA. For more details go to

Speechlys and Ellacotts. On 13 June, we are holding a rural showcase at the Berkshire College of Agriculture focusing on products and services for small estate management, with technical briefings from the CLA’s advisory team. More details are available at

RECRUITING NEW COUNTRYWATCH SPECIAL CONSTABLES The Countrywatch team has existed in Hampshire Constabulary for years, providing specialist knowledge about rural issues to the communities it matters to. Now though, the regular team has been joined by a group of Countrywatch Special Constables giving the team a chance to provide even more support and assistance in this specialist area. Their role is to support the regular Countrywatch officers. They provide a high level of visible patrols and give advice regarding crime prevention and security to rural businesses and those that live in the countryside. The team are always looking for extra members but what they need is countryside expertise. They want people from the countryside community to become Special Constables for the specific purpose of protecting rural communities.


7,8,9 JULY 01622 633060 GLYNDE PLACE, VENUE FOR THE SUSSEX AGMKent Showground, Maidstone ME14 3JF




The CLA’s Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire branches are holding a joint AGM at the Barrington Park Estate on 6 July. The day will include a tractor trailer tour of this traditional working estate in the heart of the Cotswolds. The AGM is sponsored by Bidwells, Charles Russell


REGIONAL NEWS SOUTH EAST Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex

They advise on: hunting, shooting, fishing, poaching, crime/incidents involving farm animals, dogs worrying livestock, heritage crime, protected land and habitats, and crime prevention in rural settings incl. agricultural premises. Also on wildlife crime: bats, badgers, endangered species and plants. There are eight people currently in the Countrywatch Specials led by Special Inspector Iain Tunstall and Special Sergeant Will Chevis. They and the rest of the team all have a background of living or working in the countryside and between them have a rich knowledge which people can tap into when it comes to countryside law and crime prevention.

EVENTS 8-10 June: CLA events at the South of England Show Ardingly, Sussex

13 June: What’s new in Land Management Berkshire College of Agriculture

20 June: Hampshire branch AGM Broadlands Estate, Romsey

25 June: CLA event at the Isle of Wight County Show 6 July: Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire AGM Barrington Park Estate, Oxfordshire

7 July: CLA reception at the Kent County Show 11 July: Natural Capital conference Ardingly College, Sussex

To find out more about becoming Special Constable visit the ‘join us’ pages on the Hampshire Constabulary website or to find out specifically about Countrywatch Specials contact Iain or the Countrywatch team via email at: Countrywatch@hampshire.pnn.

FIVE TOP TIPS FOR APPLYING FOR AND RENEWING YOUR FIREARMS CERTIFICATE Following reports from members of delays in the issuing of shotgun and firearms certificates, CLA’s South East office raised the problem with Thames Valley Police. Our understanding is that the situation is now improving but our discussions also highlighted the extent to which delays can be avoided by reducing errors on applications. The following advice on making applications has been provided by Thames Valley Police and we hope that members will find it useful: The Firearms Licensing Team within Thames Valley Police routinely issues several hundred applications for shot gun and firearms certificates every month. For a modest administration team of 13 and 9 firearms enquiry officers this is a considerable undertaking and yet, the teams’ turnover could be even greater. Mistakes on the application forms are common. It is estimated that 60% of applications are received with an error that needs correcting. The team aims to resolve these issues with applicants as quickly as possible, however the time they spend resolving mistakes takes their efforts away from processing other applications and renewals. Common mistakes include unsigned or old photographs, and incorrect cheque payment / incorrect payee information included in the applications. Failure to sign and date the declarations on page one, page seven, and

failure to complete Part B on page one (medical information) and referee details are also common mistakes made by applicants. Applicants need to ensure that they follow the tips below when applying for a shotgun/ firearms certificate to help the team process the application more quickly. Failure to do so will result in the application form being returned and delay the process: • Read the guidance notes before completing your application • Ensure all relevant sections of your application form are completed correctly. Any incomplete forms will be returned to you, the applicant • Submit your application form in good time – at least eight weeks prior to the expiry date on your

current certificate • Include a full copy of your current certificate(s), including table one and two • Include for Section 1 Firearms applications the address of one area of land where you have permission to shoot, together with a name, address and telephone number of the person who has given you permission and/or a membership card from your shooting club together with your shooting records for the last five years Visit the Firearms Licensing page on the Thames Valley Police website for more information and advice: services/firearms-and-explosiveslicensing ■


REGIONAL NEWS SOUTH WEST Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Rural Productivity Commission created, a welcome to the new Cornwall Branch Chairman, and the CLA at the Royal Cornwall Show THE ROYAL CORNWALL SHOW

REGIONAL DIRECTOR JOHN MORTIMER Manor Farm Stables, Biddestone, Wiltshire SN14 7DH t: 01249 700200 f: 01249 700201 e:


This year’s Royal Cornwall Show opens on polling day – Thursday 8 June and, consequently, our plans for our usual political breakfast have been amended. We will still hold our breakfast on the first day and our plan is to hold a conversation between members of each of the three main parties. Clearly one of the big issues for the election will be the shape of post Brexit Britain and we want our debate to examine what the future might hold for farming and rural business. The breakfast will start at 8am for 8.30am and we hope to have a leading political commentator take the chair for us. Our breakfast on Friday 9 June, which is this year supported by Foot Anstey, will focus on the results of the election and we plan to have large screens so that members and guests can watch the results come in throughout the morning and listen to a panel of business and political leaders from across Cornwall discuss how the new Government can help businesses, farming and the environment in rural Cornwall. The breakfast discussion will be chaired by BBC Radio Cornwall’s Daphne Skinnard and the floor will be open for


questions during the discussion. The Friday breakfast has become a focus for exploring the key issues that contribute to the success of Cornwall and Cornish businesses – and we want to use the opportunity at the 2017 Royal Cornwall Show to explore what the future will look like for rural businesses under the new government. CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer will take part in our debate and he will be joined by Simon Gregory of Foot Anstey, Mark Dudderidge, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, Kim Conchie of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and representatives of Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Agri-Food Council. Book in for the CLA Breakfast The CLA breakfasts are free to members but places are limited and must be reserved. Tables are available for corporate hospitality at a cost of £160 plus VAT for a table of 10 (this does not include entry to the show). To reserve your place go to: or to reserve a table please call the regional office on 01249 700200 or email: On Friday we will host a drinks reception from 11.30am-1pm

for newly elected MPs when members will have the chance to meet our own Deputy President and their new representatives. During the show our South West team of rural professionals will be joined by advisers from CLA head office to provide a comprehensive level of free advice to members. Catering this year will again be delivered by Food 4 You, a highly experienced team of caterers who are passionate about using high quality and, wherever possible, locally sourced ingredients in the food they provide. They have a wealth of experience in show catering and we look forward to welcoming them back to the Royal Cornwall Show. Don’t miss our Saturday Lunchtime Special at the Royal Cornwall Show between 12 noon and 3pm. We have a large, spacious marquee, with an attractive garden and we want to make it a family friendly place on Saturday where you can enjoy a special £20 lunch (£10 for children aged 12 and under) accompanied by some light entertainment. Devon and Cornwall Police Rural Crime Team will join us on the stand on Friday 9 June to offer advice on making property and livestock more secure. Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer will join us at lunchtime when members will have the opportunity to raise their concerns with him and hear his views on combating rural crime. This year Toyota will be on our stand exhibiting their new Hilux and offering members an opportunity to find out more about the CLA special discount available throughout the show. Don’t forget: free tea, coffee and biscuits will be available on the stand each day.

REGIONAL NEWS SOUTH WEST Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

MEETING WITH GLOUCESTERSHIRE CHIEF CONSTABLE AND POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER We are meeting with the PCC and the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire on 13 June to discuss rural crime and related issues. Members who have concerns or issues they would like raised with the police should contact the regional office before that date.

SOUTH WEST LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIPS SET UP NEW RURAL PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the south west of England (the Heart of the South West, Dorset LEP, Swindon & Wiltshire, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly) to explore the issues around rural productivity and growth. These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy. The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders, and aims to: • Draw out the opportunities for the south west and individual LEPs to drive rural productivity improvements • Understand the wider economic functioning between rural and urban to identify opportunities to drive growth across the whole area • Secure government support for specific initiatives in the 2017 Autumn Statement • Influence national and local policies where appropriate to improve rural productivity The commission will report to the chairs of the four LEPs that have

committed to the process, and it will be chaired by David Fursdon, chair of the South West Rural and Farming Network and supported by nominated representatives from each LEP area. The commission will collect and review evidence through written evidence followed by a series of evidence hearings which are due to be held this month (June) across the four LEP areas which will be open to the public and a final report at the end of July. More information about the scope of the commission and key lines of enquiry can be found at the following website: projects/south-west-localenterprise-partnerships-new-ruralproductivity-commission-seeksviews-rural-businesses/ Those wishing to present evidence in person at the evidence hearings are asked to complete this short online expression of interest form: https://www.surveymonkey.

begins at a defining moment for the British countryside and for all the businesses which operate within it. The challenge is, he says, about making the best of the natural capital which exists in extraordinary places as well as ensuring their future as a place where farming provides a wealth of benefits from food to water supply, carbon capture and the iconic landscapes of the uplands. He said: “My concern is that the negotiating process and the search for ever-better trade deals will become all-consuming – but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is thanks to the expertise and commitment of successive generations that our countryside looks and works the

way it does today.” Bodmin Moor remains a passion for him. He grew up there and on his return to Cornwall became involved in the whole debate about the future of Bodmin Moor. He chaired the Bodmin Commons Owners’ group and remains active within the management regime on the moor as well as representing the CLA on a number of upland management groups. He added: “During my chairmanship of the CLA Cornwall Branch I shall focus on guiding change where it is needed and on seeking to improve opportunities for farming and rural businesses wherever I can. It is vital that we are able to hand on a vibrant and robust rural economy to the generation that will follow us.” ■

NEW CORNWALL BRANCH CHAIRMAN Rupert Hanbury-Tenison was elected chairman of the Cornwall branch of the CLA at the branch AGM at Prideaux Place last month. Mr Hanbury-Tenison, who lives near St Neot on Bodmin Moor, with his wife and three children, says his two year period of office



REGIONAL NEWS MIDLANDS Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire

A challenge to parliamentary candidates, the CLA Harper Adams Innovation Day and all the essential CLA diary dates for the summer THE COUNTRYSIDE MATTERS: YOUR VOTE MATTERS

REGIONAL DIRECTOR CAROLINE BEDELL Knightley, Woodseaves, Staffordshire ST20 0JW t: 01785 337010 f: 01785 284733 e:

With just days before we vote for a new government, it is up to us all to ensure that every candidate seeking election to a rural constituency should be able to demonstrate how they will stand up for farming and the countryside. They must understand why the countryside matters and that rural communities expect the next government to face up to the big challenges, like how to support farming and the environment once the UK is no longer part of the Common Agricultural Policy. Throughout the campaign we have been speaking up for farmers,

DIARY DATES: Full details of all our events, and online booking and payment information can be found on the Midlands events pages of the CLA website, or for further information please contact the regional office.

Tuesday 6 June Shropshire AGM and visit to PDM Salad Growers Newport and Weston Park, Shifnal The day starts at PDM Produce, where we will tour this innovative and dynamic salad growing business, before moving on to Weston Park, once the family home of the Earl of Bradford, for this year’s AGM. CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman will provide an update on the latest CLA lobbying before lunch in the Orangery and tours of the house and gardens. This event is kindly sponsored by Balfours and FBC Manby Bowdler.

Wednesday 7 June Stafford AGM and visit to Weston Park Weston Park Shifnal This year's AGM will take place Weston Park where CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman will provide an update on the latest CLA lobbying and welcome any comments and thoughts from members to help inform CLA policy. Once the family home of the Earl of Bradford, Weston Park was gifted to the nation in 1986 and is a combination of fine architecture and living history standing in 1,000 acres of sumptuous Capability Brown parklands and beautiful gardens. We will enjoy tours of both the house and gardens and take lunch in the Orangery. This event is kindly sponsored by Balfours and FBC Manby Bowdler.


landowners and rural businesses. I would now ask everyone who wants to see a living, working countryside to challenge their candidates to demonstrate how they intend to make a real commitment to farming and the countryside if elected.

CLA HARPER ADAMS INNOVATION DAY The decision to exit the EU means there are big decisions to make about the policy and regulation that will shape the future of farming. There is a strong responsibility on us all to develop new ideas that will shape the future of our industry. On 12 September there will be

an opportunity for CLA members to contribute ideas to help shape that future at a special innovation day at Harper Adams University in Shropshire. Harper Adams will capture the key findings of this seminar, which is part of a series of events and research the CLA is undertaking. These will result in the launch of a major report at the CLA’s national Rural Business Conference, Redefining Farming, on 28 November in Westminster. The day will be a mix of case studies and workshops that will allow participants to gain the most from the day, as well as contributing specialist knowledge, experience and ideas.

Friday 16 June 7.30am CLA Big Breakfast Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NW The year’s big breakfast promises to be one of our most important and timely events. Waitrose agricultural manager Duncan Sinclair has helped pioneer many farming initiatives in the competitive retail food sector, and will offer us an insider’s view of how he feels the industry needs to adapt over the next couple of years in order to prosper in a changed environment. CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer is an ex-serviceman, arable farmer and responsible for running a wide range of businesses on the family estate. Tim will bring his own unique insight to the debate by virtue of his considerable and wide-ranging experience. This event is kindly sponsored by Andrew Grant, Ballard Dale Syree Watson, Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Handelsbanken.

20-21 June The Royal Cheshire Show Tabley Showground The CLA, Fisher German and Butcher & Barlow invite you to our Rural Advice Centre on Row D2, Stand 9 at the Royal Cheshire County Show. You’ll be able to talk to a range of specialist advisers from all three organisations and find out how we can help your farm or rural business prosper, help you protect your property rights or even find a new property. If you simply fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of the show or your own stand, just pop in for coffee and cake – we’ll be happy to see you throughout the two days.

REGIONAL NEWS MIDLANDS Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire


Places at this event are limited and expected to be in high demand, so to reserve your place, please contact the CLA Midlands regional office.


elected as Chairman and Andrew Moffat as Vice Chairman of CLA Leicestershire & Rutland Branch at this year’s AGM, where members were updated by CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman on the current policy and lobbying priorities of the association, before enjoying a sunny tour of the Allerton Project. The project

CLA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE CLA President Ross Murray addresses students at Harper Adams University in what was described by Head of the Crop and Environment Sciences Department Dr Andy Wilcox on social media as “a considered and well thought out approach to Agriculture and Brexit”. aims to research and demonstrate how productive agriculture can sustain high levels of wildlife and


biodiversity. Thanks to Tarmac for their kind sponsorship of this enjoyable event. ■


Tuesday 4 July Cheshire Drinks Party Crewe Hill, Crewe by Farndon By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Michael Trevor-Barnston Crewe Hill is a privately owned Grade II-listed house with panoramic views over the River Dee, the Welsh countryside and the Clwydian Hills. We are privileged to be holding our drinks party in the beautiful gardens surrounding the house. Members will be able to wander around and explore the walled garden, the nut walk and an exotic garden complete with banana and other sub-tropical plants. The gardens also boast a tree house, moon gate and stumpery among woodland ponds. This event is kindly sponsored by Brabners and Fisher German.

Wednesday 5 July CLA Intercounty Clay Shoot Hodnet, Shropshire Increasingly popular over the years this is an enjoyable event for shooters or spectators and there is a strong social element with supper and prize giving afterwards.

Wednesday 5 July Strong Foundations: CLA National Housing Summit London The CLA’s first Housing Summit will cement the CLA’s position as a leading national voice in the housing debate and will unveil the CLA policy report on rural housing, called Strong Foundations. It will also be an invaluable session for members who own and rent out property and those that are seeking to develop new small or large scale sites.

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REGIONAL NEWS NORTH Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Yorkshire

European grant aid, Tractor Fest 2017, AGM dates for the diary and the potential impact of Brexit BREXIT’S IMPACT DEBATED

REGIONAL DIRECTOR DOROTHY FAIRBURN MBE Aske Stables, Aske, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 5HG t: 01748 907070 f: 01748 907075 e:


CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman recently joined the Yorkshire Post’s Business Editor Mark Casci in a special Brexit debate focusing on its impact on Yorkshire farmers and landowners. CEO of Northern Lights PR Victoria Tomlinson chaired the debate, held at the Garden Rooms at Tennants in Leyburn, and attended by more than 30 invited guests. Mark Bridgeman emphasised the complexity of extracting the UK from the EU, believing that it is unlikely that there would be a ‘bonfire of regulations’ and predicting that many EU laws would simply be transposed into UK law. His belief was that due to this complexity, there would be a transitional phase without ‘cliff edges’, allowing for a period of adjustment, with both challenges and opportunities for estate owners. Mark Casci reflected on the ‘mass hysteria’ created by Brexit as diverting attention away from being opportunistic and exploring future trade deals outside of the EU reflecting on the growing middle class in China and the demand for British produce there. Supporting this, Mark also referenced the importance of retaining important Protected Designation of Origin status of products such as Wensleydale cheese – as well as the region’s popularity as a tourist destination at home and abroad. Questions from the floor in response to the debate reflected regional concerns and highlighted major issues which could arise, particularly in relation to anticipated cuts in funding support for farmers. Mark Bridgeman said that the funding support would be re-cast in a different shape, outlining the CLA’s lobbying position of introducing ‘land management


contracts’ which would see farmers and landowners supported for ‘public goods’ such as environmental work, citing flood protection work and water management. Mr Casci supported this approach, calling for a solution that is bespoke for different areas across the country, but that the agricultural sector should be given greater prominence in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Victoria Tomlinson summed up the debate: “A lot of work needs to be done to address the disconnect between the public in urban areas and the farmed environment, especially with regard to the younger generation that is totally divorced from the food production process. The success of Brexit is highly dependent on the quality of negotiations towards securing meaningful trade deals within, and outside the EU.”

GRANT AID THROUGH NORTH YORK MOORS COAST AND HILLS LEADER PROGRAMME The Leader Programme executive group are keen to see applications that will achieve economic benefits as a result of the project, such as the creation of new employment opportunities, the generation of increased revenues or profit, or an increase in the number of visitors. Applications can be accepted from new or existing businesses, community organisations, charities and public sector organisations. In addition to rural services, culture and heritage projects, applications can also still be accepted under the existing farming and forestry productivity, rural tourism and micro and small business development priorities. The programme area covers the North York Moors National Park, the Howardian Hills, the Vale of Pickering, the Hambleton Hills, East Cleveland and the Heritage

BRANCH AGMS 12 June, Yorkshire Branch AGM Swinton Park, Masham

22 June North East Branch AGM Matfen Hall, Matfen Village

5 September Lancashire Branch AGM Heysham Power Station, Heysham (more details to be included in the July Issue of this magazine)

6 September Cumbria Branch AGM Morlands Estate, Penrith (more details to be included in the August Issue of this magazine)

DIARY DATES 11-13 July Great Yorkshire Show 18 July CLA Seminar – Redefining Farming Scotch Corner

19 July Driffield Show 25 July Ryedale Show For more information on any of these events, please contact the regional office.

REGIONAL NEWS NORTH Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Yorkshire


Coast from Saltburn to Filey. All funding would need to be spent by September 2018. Details can be found at www.

TRACTOR FEST 2017 – NEWBY HALL The UK’s largest celebration of all things vintage tractor and engine, Tractor Fest, takes place again this year at Newby Hall, near Ripon over the weekend of 10-11 June and looks set to be the best yet. The two-day festival will showcase 1,500 exhibits of not only vintage tractors, but engines, commercial vehicles, cars and motorcycles from around the UK and Europe. Organised by the Yorkshire Vintage Association and sponsored by Europe’s leading agricultural and machinery auctioneers Cheffins, the festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the show at Newby Hall, as well as the hundredth anniversary of the manufacture of Fordson Tractors by Henry Ford.  The theme – the Legacy of Henry Ford – celebrates the role Ford tractors played in transforming the UK’s agriculture. For more information on Tractor Fest and to buy tickets please visit:  www.newbyhall. com/events/tractor-fest-2017 or telephone 01423 322583. Follow @thetractorfest for all the latest updates.

CHALARA ASH DIEBACK WORKSHOP – GRASSINGTON This free workshop, to be held at Grassington Town Hall

(Yorkshire) on Thursday 8 June from 10am-4pm will bring together managers of ash research sites, concerned landowners and managers of woodlands experiencing or threatened by Chalara ash dieback. The aim is to share information and experience and to renew partnerships in ash genetics and tree improvement research. Speakers at the workshop will be:

Durham Constabulary is noting an emerging trend where organised crime groups are removing household waste, usually from waste transfer stations, and wrapping them in green or black plastic bale wrap, the same used in farming to wrap silage. This is likely to involve articulated vehicles, usually six- or eight-wheeled vehicles towing either curtain sided trailers or ejector trailers (average contents 26 tonnes of waste). The waste is then dumped illegally on farmland, in remote locations or in unoccupied business premises. A forklift may be used to unload the vehicle and the offenders are

likely to return on a number of occasions. Durham Constabulary is working closely with the Environment Agency and other partner organisations to investigate and prosecute those responsible. They are aware that organised criminal groups are making significant profit from this activity which causes massive financial cost to the victims, as well as the obvious effects on the local community. The Constabulary is encouraging people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 101, or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you have information to pass on but don’t wish to contact the police directly. ■

Dr Jo Clark (Earth Trust) The Future Trees Trust ash improvement programme and the Living Ash Project Dr Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation) Getting people involved! The AshTag citizen science project

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Ted Wilson (Royal Forestry Society) Silviculture and management of ash – best practice advice for woodland managers After lunch, there will be a visit to Grass Woods, a mature woodland owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust which has been badly affected by Chalara ash dieback. Numbers are limited, so to reserve your place at this important event contact Tim Rowland at Future Trees Trust on 07896 834518 or e-mail him at The Living Ash Project is a Defrafunded five-year project to identify resilient ash trees and to develop techniques to rapidly reproduce them. Learn more about the Living Ash Project at:

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REGIONAL NEWS EAST Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk

The cost of the neonicotinoid ban, an illegal raves warning and the CLA at the shows NEW STUDY FINDS NEONICOTINOID BAN COSTS FARMERS £18.4M IN 2016

REGIONAL DIRECTOR BEN UNDERWOOD The Court, Lanwades Business Park, Kentford, Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7PN t: 01638 590429 f: 01638 552206 e:

The full cost to farmers of the neonicotinoid ban in 2016 was £18.4m and resulted in almost 28,800ha of lost crop, a study funded by Rural Business Research and the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Innovation has revealed. Farms in the CLA East region were among those suffering the greatest crop losses, with 16% of the Suffolk crop area failing. The research also showed increased use of alternative pesticides as farmers tried to control cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB). Farmers in the Derogation

Area (DA) who had access to neonicotinoid treated seed used 75% less chemicals to control the pest than those who used non neonicotinoid treated seed.

LANDOWNERS AND FARMERS URGED TO BE ALERT FOR POTENTIAL ILLEGAL RAVES Farmers and landowners are being warned by CLA East to be alert to the possibility of unlicensed music events (raves) during the summer months. To help prevent these events from taking place CLA members are advised to ensure their land is secure and report any suspicious behaviour to the police. CLA East Director Ben

EVENTS UPDATE 14-15 June Cereals Show 2017 Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire The CLA invites members to breakfast on the first day of the Cereals Show where the guest speaker will be CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer. This free event will run from 7.45am-9am and is sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants and Carter Jonas. Tim will reflect on the result of the general election and how it may impact on landowners, farmers and rural businesses. Also on day one the CLA will host a free informal barbecue lunch sponsored by UHY Hacker Young Chartered Accountants from 12 noon-2pm. The menu will include pork and leek sausages, Nottinghamshire beef burgers in a brioche bun, marinated chicken and side salads. Soft and alcoholic drinks will be served. Finally on day one Gary Markham, Director, Farms and Estates and the Churchgates Land Family Business team invite you to the CLA marquee for afternoon tea and informal networking from 3pm-5pm. RSVP if you would like to attend by emailing: On day two of the Cereals Show the CLA will host a free breakfast sponsored by Burges Salmon from 7.45am-9am. CLA Vice President Mark Bridgeman will be the guest speaker. The breakfast


Underwood said: “Illegal music events can cause major issues for farmers and landowners and we advise our members to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police by calling 101. “Raves cause a major noise disturbance which can travel for many miles and can cause distress to livestock nearby. There can also be considerable amount of rubbish left from such events which falls to landowners to clear at significant cost.”

MEET THE CLA EAST TEAM: CAROLINE FARDELL Upcoming editions of Land and Business will be giving you the opportunity to find out more

is an excellent opportunity to meet CLA advisers and network with fellow CLA members. Afternoon drinks will be served on the second day of Cereals from 12 noon, offered to all members. Booking for drinks is not necessary.

21-22 June Lincolnshire Show Lincolnshire Showground, Grange-De-Lings CLA members are invited to a free breakfast on the opening day of the Lincolnshire Show sponsored by Roythornes and Terravesta. CLA President Ross Murray will be the guest speaker and will discuss how the CLA is influencing Government to ensure the best deal for UK food and farming following Brexit. The breakfast will take place from 7.45am-9am. Also on day one the CLA will host an exclusive luncheon for members priced at £22 per head and payable on the day (cash only) in the marquee. The first sitting is from 12 noon-1.15pm, and the second sitting is to be held from 1.30pm-3pm. The final event on day one is a free afternoon drinks reception, sponsored by Barclays. Drinks will be served in the CLA marquee from 4pm-5.30pm. This is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the excellent views of the Main Ring. On day two of the Lincolnshire Show the CLA is delighted to invite members to an Uncle Henry’s Barbecue Lunch from 12 noon-3pm, sponsored by Listers Toyota. Guests can enjoy

REGIONAL NEWS EAST Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk enjoyable AGM summer visit which I’ve devised, managed and run for the members – that is hugely rewarding.


about the CLA East regional team. This month we catch up with CLA Office Manager Caroline Fardell. Describe your role at the CLA. My role often feels like I’m spinning plates as it’s a busy and pivotal job. I liaise with all the branch committees, organise

branch meetings and AGM summer visits, manage the accounts side of the office and support, advise and supervise wearing my office manager’s hat. What is the most rewarding part of your role? Being part of a successful and

Lincolnshire sausages served in a freshly baked white bread roll and Stokes tomato sauces. Salads will include mixed leaf and cherry tomatoes, homemade crunchy slaw and butterbeans with chilli sauce and fresh herbs.

28-29 June The Royal Norfolk Show Norfolk Showground On the first morning of the Royal Norfolk Show, from 7.30am-10am, the CLA marquee will be open for an informal ‘early-bird breakfast’. This will allow members who have arrived early to avoid the queues the opportunity to enjoy fresh coffee, tea, pastries and bacon sandwiches. Following its success last year, the CLA will be hosting a Celebration of Norfolk Food and Drink Lunch on the first day of the Royal Norfolk Show from 12 noon-2pm. The event will bring together the best food and drink from the county’s finest producers to create a delicious buffet. Following the lunch, drinks will be available in the marquee from 2pm until close of the day. The CLA Rural Business Showcase will take place on day two of the Royal Norfolk Show from 11am-3pm with Norfolk businesses offering demonstrations, tasters and information on the services and goods they produce. Booking for the Rural Business Showcase is not required.

How has the CLA changed in the 13 years you have worked for the organisation? Technology has really made a difference to farm businesses over the past decade and the CLA has had to adapt and work with such advances to remain relevant. At the same time, I believe it’s vital to maintain the personal touch with each and every member – meeting face to face over a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit can solve all sorts of problems. You’ve recently organised the CLA East regional AGMs. Why

are these events so important to the organisation? Our AGM visits embody a lot of what is great about rural businesses. It gives members a chance to see how others have had vision and energy to push their business forward. I know they often go home inspired, enthused and informed. Above all, it gives our members a special day away from the tractor or the farm office and a chance to chat with friends and neighbours. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  When I’m not at work, I enjoy nothing better than a long walk with my spaniel, spending time with my horse or getting stuck into a good book. ■

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Booking Booking is essential for all events listed, unless otherwise stated. Bookings can be made via the CLA East’s event website pages east and CLA members will also receive invitations to book via email. For further information contact CLA Events Manager Emily-Rose Debenham at:

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Cattle grid BESPOKE SIGNS Guestling Wood This beautiful High Weald ancient woodland, is well known for its dazzling displays of spring flowers including wood anemones and bluebells.

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WTPL/Margaret Barton

A small stream called Lady’s Brook, flows along most of the western boundary. We want everyone to enjoy this irreplaceable ancient woodland. Please keep dogs under control, clear up after them and take your litter home with you.

The Woodland Trust Kempton Way Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 6LL Telephone 01476 581111 The Woodland Trust is a registered charity no. 294344. A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England no. 1982873. The Woodland Trust logo is a registered trademark. 6302 12/14 © Crown Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence no. AL100021607.

Enjoyed your visit today?

Willow, alder, hazel and ash trees can all be seen in the damper ground around Lady’s Brook, along with dog’s mercury, sedges and rushes.

The Woodland Trust is the UK's leading woodland conservation charity. Visit where you can search 'Guestling Wood' to find out more about this spectacular place.

For more information contact: Jenny Ryan 0114 2307844, 07817671259 16 Den Bank Crescent, Sheffield S10 5PD

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Sweet chestnut coppice with oak standards dominate the site but the southern part of wood also has a significant area of oak coppice – rare in the south east of England. Centuries of human activity has also left its mark on the wood in the shape of woodbanks, sawpits, charcoal hearths, pits, quarries and hollow-way.

WTPL/Nick Cobbing

The sweet chestnut was widely planted for coppicing for hop poles and later was used for fencing.

Visitors can enjoy the 44 hectare (110 acre) wood’s wildlife and natural beauty from a good network of public footpaths, rides and pathways.

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ALL A FLUTTER Brian Martin looks at the decline of our butterfly population


previously extinct large blue, still one of our rarest butterflies, with numbers up 38% on 2015. Liam Creedy of the organisation Butterfly Conservation (BC) told me: “Apart from climate change, the main drivers of decline are habitat loss and agricultural intensification. It increasingly appears that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides may also be playing a role in butterfly decline.” Research suggests that increasingly mild winters are having a negative effect as they lead to increased disease, predation or disruption of overwintering behaviour. Cold springs also cause problems by reducing or delaying emergence, leading to shortened lifespans. Fortunately, the conservation movement is already doing tremendous work to save our butterflies and in April BC was delighted to hear that the National Lottery has awarded £4.6m to the Back from the Brink project. BC will be working with leading charities and conservation bodies as part of a ground-breaking, multi-organisational project. Plans are already underway for four exciting projects to target threatened butterflies and moths. Some butterflies are starting to benefit from

environmentally-friendly farming schemes, but others are not faring so well. Over the last 10 years in England the Higher Level Stewardship element of Environmental Stewardship (replaced by Countryside Stewardship in 2015) has helped considerably, and the Farmland Butterfly and Moth Initiative (FBMI), launched in 2012 and focusing on 10 of our most endangered species, is working with Natural England advisers who are supporting farmers with land of high nature value to ensure that farming practices are tailored to the needs of butterflies. But it’s not all about rare species. Within Countryside Stewardship there is a package of measures called the ‘wild pollinator and farm wildlife package’, which aims to provide three elements to boost wildlife in the wider farmed landscape: nectar and pollen sources/chick-food, overwinter seed food for birds and suitable breeding/shelter/ nesting habitat. Nowadays all butterfly collecting is strongly discouraged. Six UK species are fully protected, which means they cannot be collected, sold or killed, and a further 19 are partially protected, making it illegal to sell them, dead or alive. ■

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HOW TO HELP BUTTERFLIES To increase the number of ‘generalist’ or wider countryside species of butterfly, such as skipper and common blue, Butterfly Conservation offers these tips: • Encourage habitat diversity, from a sunny patch of nettles to a rough corner of common flowering plants and grasses • Cater for all life stages with flowers for feeding (March to October), a variety of larval food plants for breeding and long vegetation and hedgerows left uncut on rotation overwinter for hibernation • Ask your adviser if there is more you can do through agri-environment schemes • Think carefully about where you encourage wildlife, such as connecting farm woodland via a buffer strip to a sunny and sheltered wildlife-friendly feature



hen I was knee-high to a grasshopper, in the 1950s, local meadows were seas of colour, shimmering with wild flowers and waving grasses, and drifting over them were flotillas of butterflies of every hue, from brimstone and blue to white, red admiral, copper and orange-tip. There were also fritillaries, hairstreaks, commas, heaths, peacocks and much more, which we occasionally stalked with our home-made nets, catching one for our prized collections. That was yesteryear. Since then our butterflies generally have had a stormy passage. The UK has 59 species of butterfly – 57 resident species and two regular migrants – the clouded yellow and painted lady. Sadly, over the last four decades we have lost 25% of our widespread butterflies and 76% of species have declined in abundance, occurrence or both. 2016 was the fourth worst year on record, with the majority of species declining and six suffering their worst year on record, despite the warm summer. The small tortoiseshell was down 73% and the wall down 87%. One exception was the red admiral, whose numbers soared by 86% last summer, building on other good years. The number recorded in the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme has more than trebled in the last 40 years. The species was largely unaffected by our unusually cold spring in 2016 because warmer weather in France provided perfect breeding conditions and many of these French red admirals made their way to our shores in July, by which time the UK was basking in its own heatwave. These butterflies went on to breed here and when their offspring emerged in September this gave the species a second boost. Another species to buck the trend was the

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CLA Land & Business June 2017  


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