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WINTER 2010

Deer Management Deer Initiative’s Best Practice Guide ALSO ■ NEW TREE PLANTING SCHEME ■ FARMLAND BIRD INITIATIVE ■ TRIBUTE TO SIR JOHN QUICKE

SPONSORS OF CLA LAND & BUSINESS SOUTH WEST MAGAZINE


PAUL MILLARD, Editor

This is the last year in the first decade of the 21st Century – and as we turn that particular corner I think I get the distinct whiff of optimism in the air.

In two years time we will host the sailing events of the 2012 Games. Bicton has been selected as the training centre for the Equestrian events and this coming year will see the world clay shooting championships coming to Dorset – but there is also optimism in the agricultural sector. 2010 will be an election year and, therefore, a year of change. Hopefully it will be refreshing change for it seems, at best, unlikely that the government can survive in its current form. The sad part is that it seems unlikely that any one of us will escape the economic pain which will have to be endured to repair the damage of this recession. We have been hearing a lot about tackling climate change by eating less meat – meat free Mondays and so on. This rather conveniently overlooks the importance of livestock in the landscape but I also think here in the South West we need to turn this around – we are the most important livestock area in the country and our skill is in turning grass into high class proteins - we should celebrate that fact and get on the front foot in this debate. Our Devon chairman has raised the idea of linking our regional identity with quality food – and that certainly deserves greater exploration in the coming year. But I cannot help wonder if the access section of the Marine and Coastal

Access Bill will take its place in history alongside the Dangerous Dogs Act and the Hunting Act as epitaphs to gesture politics. The Access provisions of what is otherwise a wholly admirable Bill have been hailed by those we would expect to be vociferous on this issue as a great social breakthrough, opening up the coast to the whole of the great British public. How we might square that great social breakthrough with news that the government is planning to close remote or rural polling stations in a bid to save £50m – coincidentally the figure it claims the implementation of coastal access will cost – remains, presumeably an issue for future apologists. But, providing they can find a bus or a train running, Wayne and Sharon will now be able to walk the whole of the English coast, have picnics there, play football and all the while enjoy great sea views. A shame about the people who live on the more remote parts of our coast who might now find themselves disenfranchised in order to meet the cost of this piece of pointless legislation. A shame too for those who might find fewer Bobbies on the beat as this cashstrapped government seeks to save money by determining that policemen should patrol singly rather than in pairs – or, in some places, not at all. Doubtless the spin doctors will have us believe that this actually means they have put more policemen on the beat. Here in the South West we have an immense rural heritage and, although we should never forget the lessons of history, we should, by now, be capable of looking forward. But we will need people with vision and energy and ability to drive our region and our industry forward. We are fortunate that our former Gloucestershire chairman, Henry Robinson, has just been elected as vice president of the CLA nationally. This means that in six years time – and given that the CLA’s due democratic process remains unchanged – Henry should be national president. Who knows what the challenges of that time will be, what we can be certain of is that in Henry, the CLA will have a man clearly up to the challenge. All the staff team at CLA South West send their best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2010. ■

CONTENTS & FOREWORD

SPONSORS OF CLA LAND & BUSINESS SOUTH WEST MAGAZINE

Land

&Business

I Sense Optimism in the Wind

EST SOUTH W

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AUTUMN

2009

Art Of AYING ck HEDGEL real come ba making a ALSO

NTS N SPRING EVE UPDATE LAND SCHEME N COMMON S HIGH EARNER N TAX TIPS FOR SPONS ORS

& BUSIN ESS OF CLA LAND

SOUTH WEST

MAGAZ INE

Contents 4. Sponsors Feature 5. News Round Up 7. Deer Management 9. Regulations, Risks and Responsibilities Affecting Small Holders and Equestrians 11. Surveyor’s Notes 13. Social Events 15. Technical Events 16. South West Committee Chairmen 17. Farmland Bird Initiative 21. A New Tree Planting Scheme 23. A Tribute to Sir John Quicke CLA South West Regional Office Hartham Park, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 0RP. Tel: 01249 700200 Editor: Paul Millard Email: paul.millard@cla.org.uk Publisher: Newsquest Wiltshire, for the Country Land & Business Association Ltd. Design: Henry Mandikutse Advertising: Sue Strickland 01225 773628

LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010




SPONSOR’S FEATURE

Farming Faces a Rising Tide of Regulation

PHILIP WOLFGANG

Higher input costs, a flood of people leaving and increasing pressure to diversify would, in itself, be enough for a struggling industry to cope with – but add to that a wave of new regulation on environmental issues and you can understand why the farming industry feels it is drowning. Agriculture occupies more than 70% of the land area in England and it is, therefore, not surprising that a large percentage of the pollution that finds its way into rivers and groundwater comes from farming processes. However, it also means that farmers are going to take the brunt of most of the increased regulation in this area. By 2015 it is expected that the majority of rivers and groundwater in England and Wales will fail to meet EU objectives on water quality. This is not an indictment of current practices but a result of stricter EU regulations to tackle pollution and water quality. It is fairly easy for the regulators to identify and prosecute polluters where the pollution comes from a point source. It is more difficult to tackle pollution



that comes from general run-off from agricultural land. However, without measures in place to tackle such “diffuse pollution” the UK will not meet the minimum EU requirements for water quality in our rivers and bathing waters. The regulators have decided to address the problem of diffuse pollution with a mixture of advisory and mandatory measures. Advisory schemes include a code of good practice for farming, produced by DEFRA and Natural England, and the establishment of the Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme. This has identified 50 catchment areas that are most at risk from diffuse pollution covering 40% of the agricultural land in England. Within each catchment area there is an advisory officer available to work with farmers and offer advice on reducing pollution. One of their roles will be to identify the areas within the catchment that are in most need of targeted advice. They will also be running workshops seminars and farm demonstrations to try and educate farmers on the problems they face. However, advisory schemes alone will not be enough to meet the strict requirements set by Brussels. The mandatory measures introduced by the

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Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme come in the form of Water Protection Zones. These zones will consist of areas within which land owners can be forced to undertake work to control pollution and maintain water quality. In addition to the measures that have been introduced to tackle diffuse pollution, other more focused legislation has been implemented to deal with specific types of pollution. The Nitrates Directive has lead to the establishment of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones with restrictions imposed on the use of nitrates within these zones and currently about 70% of all the land in England is designated as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. Of course these new regulations to control diffuse pollution are in addition to the multitude of legislation and regulations already in place relating to other environmental issues. Most of the offences introduced by this new legislation will be strict liability and therefore it will be no defence to claim that you didn’t know about it. The penalties for breach can include significant fines and even prison sentences for the most serious breaches. It is therefore not something that can be taken lightly or ignored by the farming industry. There are limited grants available to assist with the capital cost of implementing some of the additional regulation. In 2008-2009 Defra provided £12.9 million in capital grants to help farmers make relatively low cost improvements. However, this will be of little comfort to farmers who are already struggling to keep up to date with and implement the various codes, schemes and regulations whilst at the same time keeping their farms running and remaining profitable. There is no doubt that we need to protect the environment but this cannot be achieved without consideration of the effects on the agricultural industry. By working with farmers the regulators should be able to achieve a suitable balance between sustainable farming and the environment. This in turn will support our rural communities and the countryside that we live in. It is therefore vital that we do not forget that we rely on farmers to provide food and that we must engage the farming industry and seek their assistance in protecting the environment rather than drown them in a flood of paperwork. ■

SPONSORS OF CLA LAND & BUSINESS SOUTH WEST MAGAZINE

For further advice on water regulation or in the event of a prosecution for any regulatory offence please contact Philip Wolfgang, Partner t: 01392 685287 e: philip.wolfgang@footanstey.com


RISE Shines a Light on the Future A new report, titled: “Public goods from Private Land,” offers a blueprint for integrating the complex issues of food production, environment and landscape across Europe according to the CLA. The report has been put together by a task force formed by former agriculture commissioner, Franz Fischler’s Rural Investment Support for Europe Foundation, and led by the CLA’s Director of Policy Professor Allan Buckwell. The report has brought together experts from across Europe to analyse the nature of public services provided by farmers and foresters and the means of improving delivery. It argues that the provision of goods – such as landscape and biodiversity - by landowners should be a central plank of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2013. CLA South West Director, John Mortimer, said: “Policies to deal with food, agriculture and the environment are cross boundary issues and it makes sense to adapt and integrate current EU policies to meet these new challenges. What the report demonstrates is that the Common Agricultural Policy will be the best means of delivering an integrated policy for food production which also satisfies the standard of environment, landscape, habitat, and biodiversity that will be demanded across Europe.”

HABITAT AID Nick Mann of Habitat Aid has announced the launch of a series of one day courses for next year, specifically aimed at gardeners, landscapers, designers and small landowners. The courses cover making and managing wildlife ponds, meadow creation and management, hedgelaying and fruit tree management. They will be led by tutors who are leaders in their fields; Sue Everett (meadows), Kevin Croucher (orchards), David Holland (ponds), and Pete Grainger (hedgelaying). For details go to: http://www.habitataid.co.uk/ acatalog/habitat_creation_courses.html Habitat Aid helps charities working to protect and promote biodiversity in Britain, supports specialist local businesses, and encourages people to create ecologically important habitats. It also offers ecological surveys and advice and half of its profits go to charities like the Grasslands Trust and Butterfly Conservation. For more details please contact Nick Mann at: info@habitataid.co.uk or by telephone on 01749 812775

TREE PLANTING PROJECTS A tree planting project in South Somerset is calling on landowners to join forces with the District and County Councils and become part of the Council’s Tree Planting Project. At the same time the local authorities are running a ‘Trees for Communities’ Project, which is aimed at Parish or Town Councils and community groups in South Somerset. Part of the Trees for Communities Project has involved the collating of local and national data to map existing woodland in South Somerset. This information has been used to produce a

potential tree planting site map for South Somerset. If you would like to know more about the ‘Trees for Communities’ Project or you are an individual with a small amount of land you wish to plant up with trees somewhere in the District, please contact Barbara Collier Tree planting Project officer by Telephone 01935 462120 or email b.collier@southsomerset.gov.uk The Tree planting officer is available to give general grant advice, or visit and give free practical advice on all potential tree planting sites and potential orchard sites in South Somerset.

Stuff and Nonsense HMRC’s proposal to force businesses with a turnover of more than £100,000 a year to complete their tax returns online has been described as absurd by the CLA – which says it will be impossible for many rural businesses to comply due to the absence of affordable high speed broadband in so many rural areas. “Although it might well be more efficient and cost-effective for Government to have people process documents such as tax returns online, it has yet to make

the means by which everyone can do so available. Yet again, rural businesses will be disadvantaged,” said CLA South West Director, John Mortimer. The CLA says that until the needed investment that it has been calling for happens, it is simply nonsensical to attempt to roll out mandatory online form-filling. “Common sense says that something can only be mandatory if people have the ability to comply,” said Mr Mortimer.

GREEN ENERGY CHARTER OFFERS GENUINE OPPORTUNITIES SAYS CLA A charter which will promote green energy, help alleviate fuel poverty and secure a diverse, viable and long-term energy supply for the UK is to be sent to all existing and prospective MPs. The Green Energy Charter, which has been launched by the Sustainable Energy Partnership – of which the CLA is a partner – could help make sustainable woodland management profitable for the first time in a generation. The charter includes the Renewable Heat Incentive, a proposed income support mechanism designed to provide

an incentive to replace oil or other fossil fuels with renewables. The partnership argues that the right incentives would make it attractive for householders and businesses to install wood burning boilers. South West regional director, John Mortimer, said: “For too long we have been lacking a range of marketing outlets for our home-grown timber and this Charter will lead to genuine economic opportunities that can underpin many other benefits for rural businesses and communities.”

DIETARY DIVERSION Claims that eating less meat offers a viable option for mitigating climate change are no more than a diversion according to the CLA. The CLA says grazing animals provide key nutrients through meat and milk and the real answer is to find new ways to produce these with lower Green House Gas

emissions. Soya farming – which has been held up as an alternative – has already been responsible for the destruction of large areas of rain forest and ploughing up natural grazing to produce human food crops would, says the CLA, produce significant carbon emissions.

LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010



NEWS ROUND UP

A Round Up Of News & Views


NEW YEAR ROUND UP

Views of 2010 We Have to Deliver on the Environment

Says John Gunnery, Gloucestershire Chairman I have been thinking of the busy year ahead for both the CLA and the Gloucestershire Committee. There seem to be no end of topics to be considered – Bovine TB, Broadband, Severn Barrage, Water Pollution to name but a few. The CLA do many things, but I consider one of the most important is to protect Landowners and Land managers from inappropriate new legislation, or where necessary to amend it so that it becomes more practical. On the whole the CLA has been quite successful at this. This may become easier following the election in the Spring. A change in

Government may mean a change in attitude towards the countryside and those who make a living from it. Let’s hope so. We cannot be complacent, the CLA, NFU and others have worked very hard on your behalf to replace compulsory Set Aside with the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. We have to work with you to deliver this. If we fail to deliver, the CLA, NFU and partners will have mud on their faces and, on future occasions, it will be even more difficult for them to negotiate should a similar situation arise. Do help if you can.

I hope you have a successful New Year.

Politicians Must Avoid Potentially Perilous Change

Writes Rupert Best, Dorset Branch Chairman In 2010, the General Election and its outcome, together with the state of the UK economy, will dominate the activities and policies of the CLA at the strategic level. Rural businesses will not escape the pain that is coming. The direction of the Common Agricultural Policy after the 2013 review and the CLA’s developing strategy on Food and Environmental Security (FES) will be a matter of intense debate. In many respects it has been an encouraging year for most agricultural and horticultural sectors but too many of our farming enterprises are largely or wholly dependent on CAP funding for economic survival to permit politicians unwittingly to dictate potentially perilous change or impose yet more stifling and expensive bureaucracy. The second CLA Olympics Seminar at Kingston Maurward

explored a wide range of threats and opportunities. At present, the focus is on improving rural communications – higher broadband speeds and considerably better mobile telephone coverage. All CLA members and, indeed, all businesses and residents in rural Dorset are urged to complete the DCC/BT business case questionnaire to be found on the Team Dorset website. Although Blue Tongue and Avian Flu did not strike this year, Bovine TB and the part played by badgers in spreading it continues to pre-occupy the dairy and beef sectors. We await with some trepidation the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on climate change and what it will mean for the international competitiveness of the UK’s land-based industries.

Let’s make the Link Between Quality and Countryside

Says Andrew Cox, Chairman, Devon Branch I can hardly avoid starting with the election, which will dominate the first quarter whether we like it or not. Devon Branch hopes to host a “Rural Question Time” at election time so that County members can put questions direct to candidates or the newly elected. More detail nearer the event. The outlook for the livestock sector seems promising but I feel the County must continue its quest for quality and establish a recognisable association between quality and the West Country. The Scots do it for beef, the Welsh for lamb - can’t we do it as well? The financial pages have been tipping agriculture and energy as two markets to be in for the next decade, so I hope as an industry we are well placed The Devon County show is an event we all look forward to and

a good opportunity for staff and the Committee to meet members. Planning for the CLA breakfast event on the first day, Thursday May 20th, is underway, and because it will be (even) bigger and better than normal, it will be held in the Vice President’s tent. All members will receive an invitation, but please put the date into your diary now, and come and visit the stand as well. Devon committee members’ details are now on the CLA website, so please look at it and contact me, a Committee member, or Regional office, if there is a subject we should know about - and a reminder, we are always looking for new members of the committee, particularly younger ones. Thank you for your support, Devon membership rose in 2009, and it would be marvellous to repeat that effort in 2010.

Encouraging Signs for Food and Energy

Says James Miles-Hobbs, Wiltshire Branch Chairman The year just gone has been quite a mixed bag with highs and lows, goods and bads. What will 2010 bring? Potentially a change in government but they will be under pressure to cut their budget - whoever gets in. Our key task for 2010 is to get the government to take some action on bovine TB which still remains out of control in the West Country. It is encouraging to see that our new National President, William Worsley, sets it as his Number One task. Along with the NFU, we hope to get some action on this. I personally think we will see more encouraging signs in the pricing of



LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010

the main agricultural commodities - particularly milk as our dairy farmers have had a torrid time of it of late. Future energy prices are on the increase and we as landowners can play our part in delivering green renewable energy to help meet the government’s targets. It could also save us money or earn a profit to boot. Yet more changes to the planning system are likely to come about but I doubt whether it will make it any easier to understand how the mind of a planner actually works. We will continue to try to drag the planning system back from its urban bias to give rural development a chance.

I hope that you have a prosperous and exciting 2010.


FEATURE

DEER MANAGEMENT Best Practice Needs to Become Common Practice A deer management best practice guide which offers a single source of information setting out detailed procedures for deer management has been launched at the CLA headquarters in London. Members of the Deer Initiative say the comprehensive set of guidance notes is based on best current knowledge and practices – but that the challenge is to ensure best practice becomes common practice. The collection of guidance notes cover all aspects of deer management from impact assessment to game meat hygiene and will eventually have up to 80 separate notes encompassing a wide range of technical and practical information designed to help deer managers ensure they are acting humanely, responsibly and effectively. The CLA, a founder member of the Deer Initiative, has worked with other, key, countryside groups to produce the best

practice guide for landowners and managers in England and Wales. CLA South West Director, John Mortimer, said: “The CLA highlighted the threat expanding deer populations pose to profitable woodland management in its recent forestry policy document - because where deer population density is too high, they over-graze the land and damage trees. It can be difficult, however, even for experienced deer managers to keep abreast of all new developments and this detailed best practice guide will help ensure landowners and managers remain up-to-date in order to manage local populations effectively.” ■

The Deer Initiative is a broad public and private sector partnership dedicated to ensuring sustainable and healthy populations of wild deer in England and Wales. The CLA has worked with the Deer Initiative on various woodland management workshops in England this year and more are planned for 2010. For more information on the Deer Initiative’s Best Practice Guide go to: www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010




FEATURE

Regulations, Risks and Responsibilities Affecting Small Holders and Equestrians CHARLOTTE SEALY and ROBERT FOX investigate why the 21st century version of the Good Life is not so simple.

Planning Pitfalls

As the number of planning applications in the region has declined in the last year in sync with the recession, the planning enforcement officers have been upping their game. Increasingly we’re hearing from members about breaches in planning law which they were previously unaware of.

Time gentlemen please... ...in today’s economic climate can we rely upon the traditional gentleman’s agreement? Recently we have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of commercial arrangements turning sour often causing great stress and costs to the parties involved.  Never has it been more important to put the terms of an agreement or commercial arrangement in writing to provide clarity and certainty.

Some familiar examples are:

1. “I thought we’d agreed I could stay until next summer?” There should be a clear structure to terminate agreements. The inclusion of break clauses within fixed term agreements, agreed notice periods within Notices to Quit and ensuring security of tenure will not arise outside of the agreed term should be addressed.    2. “Wasn’t that your responsibility?” The need for clearly stated repairing and yielding up obligations so that the property is put, kept and left  in an acceptable condition before, during and at the end of the occupation period.  3. “I’ve had a call from DEFRA!” The need to ensure all cross compliance obligations are met in order to protect Single Farm Payments.  4. “About the rent...” To ensure a fair rent between the parties is provided for, a rent review timetable and mechanism to recalculate rent should be included within the agreement as should of the level of interest to be paid on rent arrears.  5. “Get off my land!” The obligation on tenants to inform

the landlord of trespass and other forms of long term encroachment on the land to prevent damage, liability, the arising of third party rights and adverse possession, especially in long term tenancy arrangements.  6. “The owner has bolted!” Abandonment of horses leaving the responsibility - and costs - of the animal with the landowner. ● Navigating the Tax Minefield of

Diversification

This year we have been alerted by Officers of H M Revenue & Customs of their plan to conduct more examinations into the tax affairs of rural diversified businesses. While DEFRA are keen to encourage diversification, HMRC’s Rural Diversification Compliance Team is specifically targeting and clamping down on such activities. The Revenue is anxious to ensure rural taxpayers are aware of their obligations in respect of all forms of taxation. Claims for Agricultural and Business Property Relief on death, where businesses have diversified away from traditional agricultural activities may result in an investigation. ● Crack Down on Cross Compliance Until recently the Rural Payments Agency has implemented a ‘light touch’ approach towards the majority of first time cross compliance breaches but recent EU audits have deemed the RPA to have been too lenient. The RPA is now cracking down on cross compliance issuing 3% reductions for the majority of breaches found. 2008 figures show that cattle identification inspections had by far the highest failure rate (1286 failures) with the most common breaches being failures to report death & movements of cattle and failure to replace missing tags within 28 days. Other common failures have been where; Infestations of weeds such as ragwort, and Himalayan balsam have been allowed to spread without all reasonable efforts taken to control these.

Herbicides and pesticides have been applied within 2 metres of the centre of a hedgerow. Cultivation such as ploughing and drilling took place within the protection zone with no protection zone left beyond the hedge itself in some cases. Public rights of way were found blocked by overgrown vegetation, barbed wire and muck heaps or had not been reinstated within 14 days of ploughing and sowing a crop.

No Blame, No Claim - Not Quite!

The Animals Act 1971 introduced new law in the hope that liability for keeping animals would become clear and easy to apply. Over almost 40 years this has not proved the case and now some definitions within that Act are changing to try to improve clarity. Another area of regulation that has reached fever pitch is Health & Safety so it is important to examine the basic obligations that apply to yourself and others visiting your smallholding under current legislation. You can take steps to manage your risk and ensure that you have adequate and appropriate insurance cover for the activities you undertake. What these issues mean for smallholders plus the question of liability for damage caused by animals will form a key part of two seminars being organised this year.

Animal Health & Welfare

In these days of bluetongue, tuberculosis, foot and mouth disease, avian flu and increased disease threats from climate change, anyone with sheep, goats, pigs or cattle has to register with the Animal Health Office of the local Trading Standards office and obtain advisory information, including the welfare codes that apply. A unique CPH (county, parish, holding) number can then be issued. Each animal must be identified by means of a tattoo or ear tag with appropriate records kept of movements from one site to another. For cattle there is also an additional passport that accompanies each animal. ■

For an opportunity to discuss all of the above the CLA have arranged two seminars in conjunction with Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors. For full details please see the events pages.

LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010




Why You Need to Sign Up. By Graham Clark

GRAHAM CLARK

The Campaign for the Farmed Environment is a partnership of key rural organisations, led by CLA and NFU offering an ‘industry-led’ voluntary approach to retaining the environmental benefits formerly provided by set-aside. The Campaign aims to encourage farmers to voluntarily adopt land management practices that will benefit the environment. The Campaign has three ‘themes’ - farmland birds, biodiversity and resource protection (soils & water). It was launched in the South West on 25th November 2009 and runs until June 2012.

What are farmers being asked to do? Under the Campaign farmers are being encouraged to renew their Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) agreement when it falls due - or to join ELS for the first time - and to select some of the ELS ‘in-field’ options such as skylark plots, beetle banks or field corner management. Those who cannot, or do not, wish to enter ELS can still help by adopting one or more of the Campaign’s voluntary measures such as game strips, over wintered stubbles or reverted arable areas. There are around 25 different measures that can be taken either in ELS or voluntarily, all of which benefit one, two or all three of the Campaign themes.

A voluntary approach instead of more regulation So why did the industry develop the Campaign? All farmers know that set-aside was a means of limiting food production. It was finally abolished in 2007. However some said that setaside had environmental benefits for biodiversity, bird populations and soil and water resources. Accordingly, Defra

proposed in Spring 2009 to ‘recapture’ these benefits by extending Cross Compliance, requiring farmers to manage a minimum area of land in certain ways to mitigate the loss of set aside. CLA, NFU and other industry bodies did not favour this ‘regulatory approach’. The industry view was that the environmental benefits of set-aside were site specific and dependent on the management undertaken by the farmer. The regulatory approach – imposed on all farmers - would therefore not be environmentally effective, as well as being costly and burdensome to farm businesses. A better approach would be to engage farmers to voluntarily manage relatively small areas of their land in ways that benefited the environment but which fitted in with their farming system - ‘the right management in the right place’. After much lobbying by the CLA and others, Secretary of State Hilary Benn agreed in Summer 2009 to shelve the regulatory approach and back the voluntary approach - the ‘Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE)’.

So what are the campaign targets?

The Campaign is aiming to meet a number of national targets by June 2012 including: ◗ Doubling the uptake of key in field options within ELS ◗ Retaining a proportion of uncropped land (179,000 ha) and seeking to improve the environmental management of at least a third of it ◗ Increase by 30,000 ha the adoption of voluntary environmental management options undertaken on land outside agrienvironment schemes ◗ Encouraging 60% of farmers currently not engaged in agri-environment schemes to undertake the Campaign’s voluntary measures on their land As well as encouraging farmers to participate to meet the above targets, the Campaign message will be promoted to agronomists and farm advisers with professional training events and materials made available to assist participation by farmers. Every farmer should consider

participating to help meet the national Campaign targets. If these are not met by June 2012, then the voluntary CFE approach could be replaced by a regulatory one with far more red tape and expense for everyone. The Campaign partners believe that the voluntary approach can act as a model for future environmental challenges facing the industry.

How will the campaign work at local level? The Campaign is voluntary and farmers will decide themselves whether to renew their ELS agreement, join for the first time or adopt Campaign voluntary measures. However, guidance on regional priorities and local environmental challenges and opportunities will be available through Local Liaison Groups. These will cover the key arable counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset and will comprise farmers, representatives of Campaign partners and conservation bodies. In the South West, Gloucestershire farmer and CLA Vice President Henry Robinson will chair the Local Liaison Group. There will also be a Campaign Co-ordinator to co-ordinate activities across the South West. ‘Beacon farms’ in the key arable counties will enable farmers to see first hand the ELS or voluntary Campaign measures working on the ground. Although activity will inevitably be concentrated in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset, there is plenty arable land to the south and west of these counties. It is just as important for the success of the Campaign that any land management in Somerset, Cornwall and Devon which could count towards the Campaign targets is recorded along with that in the more arable counties.

How will the success of the campaign be measured? The success of CFE depends on all arable farmers participating and, crucially, recording the good work for the environment that they do voluntarily. All farmers with more than 10ha of arable land will get a straightforward farm record sent to them in January 2010. It is important that any voluntary Campaign measures undertaken on the holding get recorded on this to demonstrate Campaign success. Increased participation in ELS and the in-field options will be recorded by Natural England. ■ More information is available on the Campaign website www.cfeonline.org.uk. There is also a CLA Guidance Note available from the regional office or on the CLA website www.cla.org.uk

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11

SURVEYOR’S NOTES

The Campaign for the Farmed Environment -


CLA South West

NEW

Avocet Cruise on the River Exe Trout’s Boatyard Ferry Road Topsham, Devon EX3 0JJ Friday 29 January 2010: 11.45 am The River Exe is internationally important for its birds, with up to 25,000 wildfowl and wading birds flocking to the estuary in winter. They are attracted by the mild climate and abundant food in the estuary silt - rich pickings for hungry birds. Up to 40 species of bird can be seen from the river including: Avocets, Black-

Cost £15.50 Tailed Godwits, Brent Geese, Little Egrets & Curlews. The trip includes coffee, tea and local pasties and will take approximately one and a half hours. Wet weather clothing and binoculars are recommended. Commentary is provided by John Waldon - an expert on the River Exe and its birds.

Geevor Tin Mine

Redevelopment & Funding Talk with Tour Geevor Tin Mine Heritage Centre, Pendeen, Cornwall, TR19 7EW Thursday 18 March 2010: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm Cost: £16.00 Geevor Tin Mine, on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, is the largest mining history site in the UK. It is an important part of the World Heritage Site for Cornish Mining that was recognised by UNESCO in 2006. It is the only place where you can see how tin was mined and processed in a Cornish Mine. In addition to the excellent guided

tour, part of which takes place underground, we will hear about the £3.8m building and restoration programme which received funding from the National Lottery and ECC. There will be an opportunity to have lunch in the Count House Café which serves home cooked food and has views over the Atlantic Ocean.

Visit to Perry’s Recycling

Marston Magna, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8DL Thursday 25 March 2010: 2.00pm What and how private households and organisations recycle is big business and one of the West Country’s leading operators is Perry’s Recycling. CLA member Brian Perry started the business in 1962 and the company now have three depots and have accumulated specialist knowledge in establishing recycling solutions. This visit will shed some light on what actually happens to our recyclable waste.

Cost £10.00

Brian will take us through the history of the business from horse and cart right up to today’s cutting edge vehicle tracking systems and into the future with subjects such as food waste and anaerobic digestion. Following refreshments we will be split into groups for a tour of the Marston Magna site, where the machinery will be in operation and we will learn about all the different processes.

Caerhays Castle & Gardens

Tour with lunch, Caerhays Castle, Gorran, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 6LY Tuesday 30 March 2010: 11.30 am with lunch at 1.00 pm Cost: £40 pp CLA member, Charles Williams, has kindly offered a guided tour of the magnificent Caerhays Castle followed by pre-lunch drinks in the hall and a hot two course lunch followed by a guided tour of the extensive gardens. Members will also visit The Vean, a conversion from a derelict Rectory which is now used for wedding parties, holiday accommodation and B&B.

Caerhays Castle and gardens has a rich history dating back to the 14th Century. The estate is one of the oldest in the country and the gardens have been created by the Williams family who sponsored Chinese plant hunters at the turn of the 20th Century . The outstanding array of plants includes the stunning National Magnolia Collection which should be in full bloom during our visit.

at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials with Lucy Wiegersma Saturday 1 April 2010: 9.00 am Cost £15

NEW

Spring 2010

Course Walk

We have been lucky enough to book a course walk with young rider Lucy Wiegersma. Lucy is currently ranked third in Great Britain and number 11 in the world, and is the only rider to have won all three National titles, crowning her Junior and Young Rider Championship victories by becoming Senior British National champion in 2006. A veteran of five European championship teams at under 21 level where her successes included individual and team medals, Lucy is now poised to enter a new phase of her career with a place on the Beijing Olympic long-list. Following the course walk we will return to the CLA stand for drinks and canapés. The walk is scheduled for a 9.00 am start we will confirm start time to those who book on Friday 30 April, once Lucy knows her dressage times for Saturday.

Denhay Farms Ltd

Tour and Talk Broadoak, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5NP - Tuesday 6 April 2010: 2 pm – 4 pm Cost £8.00 Denhay’s famous ‘Air Dried Ham’ is just one of the many products that have been developed since the farm was incorporated in 1952.Today, Denhay has 1750 acres supporting five herds and all their milk is made into West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. Their specialist bacon curing factory based in Honiton supplies many of the major multiples as well as top London food halls and independent retailers and wholesalers. CLA members George and Amanda Streatfeild will give a talk about their successful and award winning enterprise and take us on a tour of the dairy and cheese store, finishing with a cup of tea.

Tour of Farmington Quarry & Masonry Works

Northleach, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 3NZ Thursday 8 April 2010: 10 am – 12 noon Cost: £13.00 Farmington Quarry has been in use since the Roman occupation, and for the last 100 years has been owned and worked by CLA members, the Barrow family. It is situated on the Cotswold section of a geological belt of Jurassic limestone which stretches from Portland in the South West, through Bath to Hull in the North East. Today, Farmington Natural Stone is a major supplier of natural building stone as well as being the UK’s foremost supplier of natural stone fireplaces and has exported its building stone throughout the world. CLA members will be given a tour of the quarry and masonry works during production time by Richard Barrow.

To reserve your place on any of our events please send the enclosed booking form to Freepost RLXX-SZBH-KZYH, CLA South West Hartham Park Corsham SN13 0RP or contact sarah.fern@cla.org.uk or go to www.regonline.co.uk If you have left a message on the events line in recent weeks and have not received any acknowledgement of your call your call may not have been recorded as the message service was not functioning properly. We apologise for any inconvenience and have resolved the problem, but if you have left a message on the events line recently please contact Sarah Fern to ensure your booking has been received.

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EVENTS

Social Events Programme

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CLA South West

EVENTS

Our Policy on Event Charges

CLA South West aims to provide a varied programme of social and technical events. Our policy is to make a charge to attendees that covers our additional costs in arranging, promoting and delivering the event. Sometimes our costs in doing so are reduced by the generosity of venue owners, sponsorship or grants and these are factored into our event charge to members.

Events Programme Summer 2010

Tour of Ginsters Bakery

An Afternoon & Early Evening Carp Fishing

Somerset Shiplate Farm, Bleadon, Weston Super Mare, BS24 ONY Saturday 19 June 3.00 pm – 8.00 pm includes high tea Cost £31.50 CLA members David Oliver and his wife Patricia have kindly invited CLA members for an afternoon of fishing at Shiplate Farm which has views over the Somerset Levels to Brent Knoll. Since purchasing the land 2 years ago David and his son Steven have worked to create an exclusive and successful carp fishing enterprise.

Three experienced fishermen will take members through the ins and outs of carp fishing. Please note catching a fish is not guaranteed! Following your afternoon of fishing Patricia will provide high tea over which you can swap all your fishing tales! This event is limited to 20 people so booking early is advised.

An Afternoon With Sculptor, Judy Boyt MA FRBS SEA

West Wood, Easterton Sands, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 4PY Tuesday 13 July 2.00 pm Cost £10.00

We are extremely lucky to be able to offer members a glance inside the life and work of sculptor and designer Judy Boyt. Judy designed and sculpted the famous Silver Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials Trophy. Her latest sculpture is a larger than life Aberdeen Angus Bull commissioned for a new Shopping in Northumberland and her largest bronze,

‘Rebellion’, which was commissioned by Standard Life, is now sited in the City of London and was awarded the RBS medal for outstanding Sculpture. CLA members will take a look inside Judy’s workshop at her home near Devizes and be taken through the development of a sculpture. The second part of the visit will take place in Judy’s lovely home set in ancient woodland where we will be shown the collection of drawings and sculptures and hear the stories that accompany them. The visit will end with a cup of tea and a chance to wander the ancient woodland scattered with replicas of some of the larger sculptures. This is a unique visit with a fascinating artist. Clothes for dirty conditions and suitable footwear should be worn. Dogs are not allowed.

Prinknash Abbey

Estate & Gardens, Gloucester, GL4 8EX GL4 8EX. Wednesday 21 July 9.30 am includes lunch. CLA members have the chance of an exclusive visit to Prinknash Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery with a long and complicated history. This ancient abbey set in 330 acres has undergone many changes one of the recent projects being the restoration of the walled garden. The community of 12 Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks produce incense, rosary beads and watercolour paintings which are sold in the small Abbey shop. Our morning will start with a talk from one of the monks and visit to the chapel followed by a talk from Simon Chorley,

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Callington, Cornwall PL17 7XG Tuesday 27 July 1.00 pm Cost £9.00 including a buffet lunch

Cost £??

of Simon Chorley Art & Antiques whose saleroom was converted from the Prinknash pottery store. Simon has for 15 years been BBC Radio Gloucester Antiques Broadcaster. Afterwards Adrian Jones the estate manager will give an insight into the management of the estate, its many ancient buildings and the various diversification projects. After a light lunch in the monastic café Matthew Haynes, who has been responsible for restoring the walled garden - which is not yet open to the public - will show us what has been achieved.

LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010

The Cornish pasty has been a hearty snack for farm workers, miners and fishermen for over 300 years, the pastry case kept meat and vegetables clean, and helped retain the distinctive flavour. Geoffrey Ginster set up distribution of the genuine article in the 1960s and in 1977 John Samworth bought the company which is now known as Ginsters Cornish Pasties Ltd. Wherever possible Ginsters source their ingredients locally from Cornish farmers. The Ginsters bakery at Callington produces over three million savoury pastries a week, including pasties, slices, sausage rolls and pies. CLA members will be given a tour of the bakery and a presentation of the business plus a delicious buffet that may well include pasties! Numbers are limited to 14 on this tour so booking early is advisable.

Interested In A Visit To The JCB Factory?

Following the excellent visit to the Land Rover Factory it has been suggested that we organise a tour of the JCB Factory in Rocester. This involves coach travel which is expensive. However if members would be prepared to pay £35.00 which includes entry into the 2 ½ hour factory tour and a cream tea we can organise a 29 seater coach. If you would be interested in this tour, to take place in the autumn 2010, where you will see the production process from start to finish please register your interest to enable us to gauge whether the event is viable by emailing sarah.fern@cla.org.uk


CLA South West

2010

Regulations, risks and responsibilities affecting small holders and equestrians in conjunction with Porter Dodson Solicitors

Tuesday 9 February 2010 – Staplemead Suite, Taunton Racecourse, TA3 7BL Wednesday 10 February 2010 –Brownsword Hall, Dorchester, DT1 3GW 2.00 pm – 4.30 pm Cost: £10 CLA members [Kindly sponsored by Toller Trailers] £15 non-members This seminar is intended for anyone who keeps livestock - including exotics such as camelids, wild boar and deer - for pleasure or business. Speakers will include

Jim Webster, CLA National Livestock Adviser; Charlotte Sealy, CLA South West Regional Surveyor and legal experts from Porter Dodson.

Hedgelaying with Roger Parris

Blackhayes Farm, Yarcombe, Honiton, Devon EX14 9DY Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – 9.30 am to 3.30 pm The CLA are offering a superb opportunity to attend a course with Roger Parris a former national champion hedge layer at Blackhayes Farm in Devon. The course includes an introduction to laying a hedge in the traditional Devon style plus “hands-on” experience. Bring a packed

Cost £40 pp

lunch including drinks and a folding chair or similar. If you have a wood axe or hand saw, bring these too and a pair of heavy duty gloves. Clothing and footwear should be suitable for outside work and to the weather forecasted for the day. This course is limited to 12 people so booking early is essential.

Habitat - Making Your Contribution Count

Supported by the CLA in conjunction with Natural England & the RSPB An event for all arable farmers: 10.30 am – 3.00 pm including lunch The South West Farmland Bird Initiative would like to invite you to workshops to be held in each of the Farmland Bird project areas: 1st March – The Farmers Arms, Guiting Power, Cheltenham GL54 5TZ followed by a farm walk at Guiting Manor Farm. Booking ref: SWFW346 2nd March – Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8PY. Booking ref SWFW347 3rd March – Bishops Canning Village Hall, Bishops Canning, Devizes SN10 2LA followed by farm walk at

Baltic Farm, Bishops Canning. Booking ref SWFW348 4th March – location of morning session to be confirmed followed by farm walk at Standlynch Farm, Downton, Salisbury SP5 3QU. Booking ref SWFW349. The course will concentrate on delivering the best management for arable birds and wildlife alongside commercial farming. To book a place on this event please contact the Natural England ISS Farm Events team on 0113 2303753 or email farmevents@naturalengland.org.uk

Bowood and Biomass

Bowood, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 9PQ Thursday 17 June 2010 to 2.00 pm The 2,000 acre Bowood estate, home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, has been successfully diversifying for many years. The most recent project has been the purpose-built 43 bedroom hotel and spa. This development has been designed in an ecologically friendly manner with an emphasis on the use of biomass. The estate operates a rotational woodland thinning regime and produces it own woodchips, storing wood and chips in

Cost £20.00 bulk on site. A biomass boiler serves the hotel and the spa has a ‘green eco roof’ planted to lower the use of air conditioning, reduce storm water run-off and provide a home for wildlife & birds. CLA members hear about the development of Bowood, the hotel and spa and biomass projects before going out onto the estate to look at the woodland management, processing plant, store and plant room. The day will finish with afternoon tea.

Getting In And Out Of Farming

Cornwall County Farms Probus, Nr Truro [Kindly sponsored by AMC] Wednesday 28th July 2010 – 2.00pm to 5.00pm Cost £10.00 The aim of Cornwall County Farms Service and Estate is to enable ‘family farm’ businesses to continue to be the foundation of Cornish agricultural production and to positively encourage and ensure that new generations of young people will be given the opportunity to make their living in agriculture.

We will explore management issues on two traditional farms and visit the ARC Addington Fund project that provides affordable housing for young and old involved in rural industries. Please note this event is not wheelchair accessible and involves walking.

Ecological Diversification

Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Somerset BS40 6LD. Includes hot buffet lunch of Fernhill Farm meats. Cost £20.00 CLA members £25.00 non-members Fernhill is a working family livestock farm on top of the Mendips which has adopted an environmentally sensitive approach suited to the Higher Level Entry Scheme. Andrew Wear, will host this event and explain how he has integrated his sheep-rearing with catering and local farm shops; how abandoned 18th Century listed buildings have been given planning permission and a ‘Camping Barn’ –established. Planning permission has been granted to reuse all the listed buildings, a new agricultural livestock shed has been erected under the Catchment Sensitive Farming Scheme and a Water Eco-treatment (WET) system installed. Experts will be on hand to talk about the WET System, rain water harvesting and underfloor heating and there will be technical and practical information about fuel options, costs and funding opportunities and working with biomass. There will also be an opportunity to see a modern, semi-computerised wood burner that can heat four buildings in a courtyard. Charlotte Sealy -regional surveyor will be attending to offer advice to answer any questions on planning for those who may be thinking of diversifying. We can offer a reduction for non-members who join on the day and for non-member guests attending their first CLA event – contact details must be provided.

Diversification 30 Years on – talks and tour with CLA Wiltshire President John Matthews Pinkney Park, Malmesbury SN16 0NX. Thursday 8 July 10.30 – 4.15 pm Includes lunch and information pack Kindly sponsored by Old Mill Group

Cost £23.00

Thirty years ago John and Matilda Matthews realised that there was a need for change; as farming on their scale was becoming untenable and so began years of work negotiating with planners and ensuring the crumbling farm buildings were restored sympathetically and attractively but with consideration for the needs of future tenants. CLA members will hear from Regional Surveyor, Charlotte Sealy, who will describe the planning procedures required today to change the use of redundant outbuildings, Mike Butler of Old Mill Accountants will give guidance on some of the taxation and business rate pitfalls following while John and Matilda will talk about their experiences, and share some top tips to help avoid some of the problems that may arise when you diversify. The day will include a tour of Tracklements, a mainly family owned company and a tour of the two business areas one based on the restored and historic stone buildings and the other a conversion of dairy units.

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EVENTS

Technical Events Programme


CLA South West Committees

CLA South West Committee Chairmen The CLA is broken down into county branches and the each county branch committees are a vital part of the CLA, offering members a forum through which they can comment on – and help shape - emerging national policy. As a general rule, the county

Edward Bolitho South West Regional Chairman

committees meet three times a year with the Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Communications Manager, Regional Surveyor and County Field Officer. Standing items discussed at the meetings include, national and local policy and county matters.  If there is

John Willis Cornwall Branch Chairman

any issue that you would like raised at your branch meeting please contact Lucy Wright at lucy.wright@cla.org.uk or on 01249 700200. There is also a South West Regional Committee which is able to take a strategic over view of issues that affect the whole region.

Andrew Cox Devon Branch Chairman

The Chyandour Office, Chyandour, Penzance TR18 3LW Email: edward@bolithoestates.co.uk

Croan, Wadebridge, PL27 6JG Email: jrtw@btinternet.com  

Giffords Hele, Meeth, Okehampton, EX20 3QN Email: arwc@btinternet.com

Rupert Best Dorset Branch Chairman

John Gunnery Gloucestershire Branch Chairman

Charlie Ainge Somerset Branch Chairman

Hincknowle, Melplash, Bridport, DT6 3UG Email: rupertbest@hincknowle.co.uk

Rock House, Elberton, Olveston, Bristol BS35 4AQ Email: jfbgunnery@aol.com

Peppercorn Farm, Castle Lane, Heath House, Wedmore BS28 4UH Email: charlie.ainge@virgin.net

The dates for the 2010 Committee meetings are:

James Miles-Hobbs Wiltshire Branch Chairman

Lansdowne House, Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NJ Email: james@jmh-rda.co.uk

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• Monday 22 February SOMERSET • Tuesday 23 February Dorset • Thursday 25 February Gloucestershire • Friday 26 February Wiltshire • Monday 1 March Devon • Tuesday 2 March Cornwall

• Monday 21 June Somerset • Wednesday 23 June Dorset • Thursday 24 June Gloucestershire • Friday 25 June Wiltshire • Monday 28 June Devon • Tuesday 29 June Cornwall

• Monday 1 November Somerset • Tuesday 2 November Dorset • Thursday 4 November Gloucestershire • Friday 5 November Wiltshire • Monday 8 November Devon • Tuesday 9 November Cornwall

We are always pleased to hear from members that would be interested in serving on the branch committees. If you would like more information on your local branch committee please contact Lucy Wright on 01249 700200.

LAND & BUSINESS WINTER 2010


South West Farmland Bird Initiative England’s Environmental Land managers are also being encouraged to adopt Stewardship scheme. measures that provide nesting habitat, summer and SWFBI is an exciting winter food for farmland birds – termed: ”The Big initiative working with the Three”. In ‘hot-spot’ areas for rare arable plants, the farming community and project is promoting measures such as cultivation of other partners to deliver headlands to encourage the germination of some of the positive habitat management UK’s scarcest plants. across some 400,000ha of Within the Initiative’s four target areas the project Gloucestershire, Wiltshire offers free one-to-one advice on: and Dorset landscape. New Entry Level and Higher Level Stewardship These areas are nationally agreements to provide the ‘Big Three’ for farmland birds important for farmland and/or conditions for arable plants, and to maximise birds and other wildlife income from agri-environment schemes. found within the wider Management of arable options in existing Farmers and conservationists countryside. The proposed measures can Stewardship agreements, including amendments, to have joined forces to help increase work alongside existing farming practices give the best habitat for farmland birds and arable the population of six nationally and will contribute to the targets for the plants. Campaign for the Farmed Environment. Adapting farming methods or incorporating new important arable bird species with The project concentrates on six bird features to give better bird and plant habitats, without a pioneering project in the South species which have suffered the most severe compromising the profitability of the farm. West of England. population declines. The ‘Arable Six’ are The project will provide training days for farmers, grey partridge, lapwing, turtle dove, yellow agronomists, advisers and agents on the best ways of The South West Farmland Bird Initiative wagtail, tree sparrow and corn bunting. farming alongside farmland birds and rare arable plants. (SWFBI), a partnership project, will help Providing habitat for these birds will also Farm surveys for farmland birds and arable plants will those species of birds, plants and mammals have major benefits for other farmland also be available in some cases. associated with arable farmland through species like the skylark, yellowhammer and The Initiative consists of four projects each led by a brown hare, and also provide conditions that partner organisation, targeting the Cotswolds, North the implementation of ‘wildlife -friendly’ will help rare arable plants. Wessex Downs, South Wiltshire and Dorset. ■ land management practices using Natural For further information or advice, please contact: Cotswolds Farmland Bird Project: neil.harris@naturalengland.org.uk | 01905 363455 / 07836 559493

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&Business

Land SOUTH WEST

|

SPRING 2010

To advertise in the next issue of CLA South West, please contact Sue Strickland on

01225 773628


The Branch Office

CLA South West member Ian Howell, has come up with a novel scheme for combating climate change called: ‘tree-plantation’ – which will see a new tree planted for every one felled. Ian started his career as a tree surgeon/ arborist at Merrist Wood College in Guilford and set up his current company, Ecoarborist Ltd, in the Cotswolds, in 2007. The unusual thing about a company which was originally set up as a tree surgery and arboricultural contractor is its philosophy - which is to counteract the potentially destructive nature of tree removal - however necessary it may be - by replacing any felled trees, domestic or commercial, with newly planted trees either on the site that they are felled or at a more suitable location. Ian is currently working on a replanting site where the farmer wishes

to re-forest several acres of old farming land with native woodland. So, every time a tree is felled by Ian’s company, another can be planted at this site. “Over one given year; one hectare of mature woodland will absorb the carbon emissions of 100 average family cars. The ‘tree-plantation’ scheme is purely based on the principal that every one of us needs to begin to hold ourselves accountable for our potentially negative impact on the environment, and do something to counterbalance this impact,” said Ian. The company also employs modern pruning methods to ensure that any trees that are pruned can respond and re-grow and continue to flourish. All waste products are processed into logs or woodchip for use with Biomass heating systems and the company

also offers advice on planting and harvesting Biomass for energy. “I believe that trees must be harvested on a well managed cycle and replaced accordingly to keep the balance that is required for a successful system.” Now Ian hopes to extend his scheme to other contractors and businesses - and even the public. His ambition is to see areas of land made available to local people and businesses to plant trees to replace any that have been felled. Further information is available at ecoarborist.co.uk ■

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Former CLA President,

Sir John Quicke

died recently aged 87

Former CLA President, Sir John Quicke, of the Devon cheesemaking family, has died aged 87. John Godolphin Quicke was born in April 1922 in Newton St Cyres, near Exeter, where his family had lived since the 1540s. He went to Eton College and New College Oxford, where he read chemistry. The Second World War intervened, and he joined the Royal Artillery and fought in Burma, ending the war with the rank of captain. His father died in 1943 and, after the war, Sir John read agriculture at Oxford. He went to New Zealand to work and came back to the farm in 1947, introducing a network of cow tracks, which he had seen on his travels. In 1953 he married Prue Berthon, student of the Royal College of Art and daughter of Rear Admiral Peter Berthon. The couple transformed a run-down Devonshire estate and Sir John replanted the woodlands of the Quicke Estate with a mixture of hardwoods and conifers to his wife’s design. In 1967, he created one of the first large dairy herds in the country, of some 300 cows. He was an innovative and inspirational farmer, creating a pig-breeding company, Peninsular Pigs - which came to supply all of Marks & Spencer’s pork - and a sheep-breeding scheme to produce the hybrid breed, the Booroola. The milk from the farm went to a cheese dairy, and in 1973, the Quickes built their own cheese dairy, which Lady Quicke ran. In 1979, Quickes started selling cheese

independently, beginning the process that would culminate in the well-known Quickes brand of Traditional Cheddar. Sir John was an active and long serving member of the Devon branch of the CLA and became national President between 1977 - 1979. He was awarded the CBE in recognition of his work for the industry during his CLA presidency. He was known for his pin-sharp clarity of thought, his ability to get to the heart of complex arguments and see another way of looking at familiar, knotty problems. Former CLA President and Devon landowners, David Fursdon, said Sir John had been a man ahead of his time. “He brought a new dimension to the CLA through his business like approach to the issues of farming and land ownership. He was a great intellectual with a natural feel for agriculture and the countryside which came through in his innovative approach to creating a balance between farming and the environment.” Mr. Fursdon said that Sir John had been a:”wise councillor” to successive CLA branch chairman in Devon for many years. Sir John was concerned about the huge gap that was perceived in the 1970s and 1980s between farming and environmental interests, and started Responsible Use of Resources in Agriculture and on the Land (RURAL). This brought governmental, commercial and agricultural interests together under Chatham House rules, enabling the opposing positions to reach an understanding that eventually became

the environmental schemes that have seen the UK lead the world in combining the necessity to produce food, landscape and environment from the same countryside. He was awarded a knighthood for this work. He retired from active farming in 1987, handing over to his daughter Mary and son-in-law Tom Langdon-Davies and retired completely in 1997, and devoted the rest of his life to creating a jewel of a garden across two steep Devon valleys, which contains the national collections of magnolias, knaphill azaleas and berberis. It is open every Sunday afternoon under the National Gardens Scheme. He was recently awarded the Rhodendron Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Sir John died while he was inspecting his collection of berberis and creating labels for new plants. He leaves a widow, six children and 11 grandchildren. CLA President William Worsley said: “Sir John Quicke was a very significant figure. Serving as CLA President from 1977-79 and as a member of the CLA Devon Committee for many years before that, he was a trailblazer for the Association’s environmental work, starting to close the gap between farming and environmental interests. “Sir John had a brilliant mind which would cut to the core of difficult issues, and was an inspiration to many through his energetic and innovative approach to farming and forestry. It was a mark of his standing in the countryside that he was awarded the CBE during his time as CLA President and later received a knighthood for his work.” ■

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CLA SW  

Spring 2010

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