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January 2020 | £4.50

The magazine for CLA members

Unlocking Tomorrow’s Markets A report of the CLA’s Rural Business Conference

Highly charged

A fully connected countryside




Small Robot Company

Care for working dogs

Brexit and food

Cover_January 2020_Land & Business 1

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Contents January 2020

News & opinion 7

WELCOME President’s briefing




LETTERS Hear from other members


THE RURAL POWERHOUSE MPs support CLA campaign and why better connection to the National Grid is crucial


MEMBER OFFER Roadnight Taylor


LOBBYING What next after the election


COUNTERPOINT Small Robot Company



Advice 21

INCORPORATING A FARMING BUSINESS Choosing how to structure your business

25 LANDSCAPES UNDER REVIEW Proposals to give more land designated status, with changes to access rights and biodiversity measures

Features 28 UNLOCKING TOMORROW’S MARKETS A report of the CLA’s Rural Business Conference 2019 34 MAN’S BEST FRIEND Trainer Sam Thatcher tells us why cocker spaniels make great gundogs 37 THE LANDSCAPE AND THE PLOUGH Better managed water courses benefit homes, farmland and the natural environment



39 ON THE MONEY CLA member Folk2Folk matches local businesses looking for loans with individual investors

21 Your CLA 42 SWEET HARMONY Marking the 10th anniversary of Championing the Farmed Environment 44 CLA MEMBER BENEFITS Special offers and services for members 46 ON BOARD The CLA is recruiting for a new Board member


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Editorial A word from the Editor

49 FOOD AND BREXIT The chair of the Food Standards Agency busts some myths about life after Brexit 50 BREXIT MYTH-BUSTING The FSA on trade deals, chlorinated chicken and climate change

In your area 52 NEWS ACROSS ENGLAND AND WALES What’s happening where you are


The last word 74

Match fit for a new global game

COUNTRY VIEW A look at the changing fortunes of the country butcher

74 Compostable magazine wrap

The CLA has moved away from polythene wrapping to a more environmentally friendly alternative and now Land & Business is delivered in a 100% compostable wrapper made out of potato starch. You can dispose of your wrapper by: Adding to a well-maintained garden compost heap Placing it in your garden waste bin Using it to line your food waste caddy

Membership queries

If you have a query relating to your membership of the CLA please contact your local office. All contact details can be found online at cla.org.uk

obotics, artificial intelligence, drones, autonomous vehicles and blockchain. These are all elements that will make up the ‘digital farm’ of the future, and will be mainstream within a decade, says Sam Watson Jones, co-founder of the Small Robot Company, writing in our Counterpoint column (see page 18). If making that technological leap sounds like a stretch for many rural businesses, consider the words of Lord Price, UK Trade Adviser and former MD of Waitrose. Speaking at the CLA’s recent Rural Business Conference, he underlined the UK’s need to invest in science and technology if it is to catch up on productivity with other EU countries, let alone to compete with other players who may enter the market after Brexit.


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Tan Parsons, Editor, Land & Business

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Classified sales Account Director

In the brave new world fast approaching, your competitors will no longer be the farm next door, he suggested, but rather producers in Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand or Australia, and that there is “no time to waste” in becoming match fit to win in a new global game. While there are clearly challenges on the horizon, equally there are opportunities, some of which were brilliantly illuminated at the CLA’s conference (read more on pages 28 to 32). Whatever the scale of your business, if you haven’t already done so then now is clearly the time to assess your strategy.

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Briefing with Mark Bridgeman

Sealing the deal


n securing a majority of 80, we now ow have a stable government led by Boris Johnson ear term. that can continue for a full five year Many will breathe a sigh of relief at the ere is a clear stability that brings. It means there h, with pathway to leaving the EU this month, an Agriculture Bill and Environment Bill to follow. It means likely d investment in digital connectivity and is agriculture through the lifetime of this parliament, while in their manifesto the Conservatives committed to same level of investment into the agricultural sector. Yet there is something that doesn’t feel quite right. The mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’ was a great slogan – pithy in a ‘Take Back Control’ kind of way (indeed it was ut likely written by the same person). But the consequences of leaving the EU will y be with us for a long time. Some may e, be positive and some may be negative, many entirely benign – but the idea that Brexit ends on 31 January is wrong. Assuming we do indeed leave the

‘Never forget the extent to n which European agriculture needs a deal with the UK’’ cla.org.uk

7 President_January 2020_Land & Business 7

EU later this month, it leaves us less than a year of ‘transition’ to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with Europe – otherwise, according to the withdrawal agreement, we leave without a deal. Former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said in 2016 it should be the easiest trade deal in Should being the operative word. In many history. ‘Should’ ways he is corr correct. Most trade deals are based on standards, w which are already aligned, and tariffs, which are al already set at zero. But politics will certainly ge get in the way. The EU has already said that free mo movement of labour is the price the UK will have to pay for an FTA – an imposition it has never placed on any other country it ha negotiated with. has As Lord Price, former MD of W Waitrose and International Trade Minister, told our very successful annual Rural Business Conference held in November (see page 28), perhaps the most likely outcome is that a broad agreement could be reached in short order but the more complex issues, including agriculture, would take many years to resolve. Never forget though the extent to wh which European agriculture needs a deal w with the UK. The EU runs a £20bn agric agriculture trade surplus with the UK and aan overall trade surplus of almost £100 £100bn. The idea that the EU can shrug off a dra dramatically reduced trade relationship with the UK is no less naïve than Liam Fox’s belief that Europe would treat the UK li like any other third country. I aam determined though that we seek optim optimism and opportunity through 2020 2020. More than 100 Parliamentary cand candidates signed up to the Rural Pow Powerhouse campaign, which gives us a str strong caucus of MPs to influence and shap shape the debate in the years to come.


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News round-up The stories that matter to you


he CLA welcomed the political certainty brought by the Conservatives’ election victory, but warned the timetable to agree a trade deal with the EU remains “hugely optimistic”.

If the UK leaves the EU later this month, the country will have less than a year to negotiate a free trade agreement with Europe or once again the prospect of No Deal is back on the table.

Follow the latest at cla.org.uk and make sure your email address is up to date so that you receive the CLA’s Weekly News.


Your shop window to the rural marketplace Members running rural businesses know the challenges of finding new customers and promoting their business effectively. Now in its 19th year, the CLA Business Directory – in print and online – offers members the opportunities to reach the key farming and landowning communities. Why not take advantage of the 2020 CLA Business


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business classification and benefit from a fullpage company profile positioned near to the business classification heading. (One sponsor per business classification.) For more information please contact the sales team at Redactive Media Group on 020 7324 2754 or email cla@redactive.co.uk DISPLAY ADVERTISING FINAL DEADLINE


Conservatives election victory

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said: “Many will breathe a sigh of relief that this result at least brings a degree of political certainty. But for all the claims of ‘getting Brexit done’ the idea that Brexit ends on 31 January is wrong.” The CLA has committed to do all it can to help the government negotiate comprehensive agreements not just with the EU but across the world. Mr Bridgeman added: “But government needs to earn the trust of rural communities by guaranteeing that UK farmers will not be undercut by cheap imports produced to lower standards.” The CLA is now engaging as a priority with key government departments. Read further analysis in the lobbying column on page 17.



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Stay up to date with the latest news cla.org.uk


CLA guides published

The CLA has recently published three advisory handbooks: CLA86 A guide to telecommunications wayleaves (priced at £36 for members) – explains the recently agreed national fixedline telecommunications wayleave framework, the agreements with Openreach and the alternative network providers, and the new wayleave rates. CLA87 A guide to the tax issues relating to incorporation (priced at £36 for members) – focuses on the issues around incorporating a business, that is where a business already exists and wishes to operate through a company limited by shares. CLA88 A guide to private water supplies (priced at £29 for members) – examines the different sources of private water supplies (PWS), the rights and responsibilities associated with owning a PWS, and the regulations concerning PWS. To purchase any of these titles visit the CLA online shop at cla. org.uk – log in to My CLA to get the member discounted prices. Alternatively, call 020 7460 7969 – please have your membership and credit card details to hand.

CLA Foreign Exchange


Please be advised that the CLA’s long-standing relationship with WorldFirst, trading as CLA Foreign Exchange, came to an end on Tuesday 31 December 2019. If you are an existing customer of WorldFirst you will not see any changes to the service you receive as WorldFirst is happy to continue to provide this directly to you. Should you have any questions, please contact your dedicated WorldFirst dealer directly on 0800 030 5025.






Solving the housing crisis The CLA has urged the Westminster government to let them help solve the housing crisis, arguing the “outdated” planning system is holding the country back. CLA Housing Adviser Hermione Warmington said: “If just 10 homes were built in every village the housing crisis in rural communities would be eased considerably. “Landowners are wanting to help but are being put off by endless bureaucracy, spiraling costs and a lack of planning officers.” Solutions put forward by the CLA include: Local planning authorities to

undertake a Housing Needs Assessment across all rural settlements New permitted development rights for new-build affordable housing on rural exception sites The CLA is campaigning for significant improvements in the planning system as part of its Rural Powerhouse campaign. The campaign highlights how the rural economy could grow by £43bn with the right policies and ensuring the availability of quality housing of all types and tenures is a fundamental principle in attracting talent to the countryside.

Common land de-registration deadline The Commons Act 2006 provides the opportunity for landowners to apply to correct errors on the registers of common land and town and village greens (TVG). This enables landowners to make applications in limited circumstances for land which was wrongly registered as common land or TVG to be deregistered. This is particularly valuable in situations where, for example, the garden to a house or sometimes a building were recorded as being part of the common which can cause significant problems if the owner of the property tries to sell it. In other situations whole fields were occasionally registered as being common land when this was not in fact the case. Depending on which part of the country you are in, the opportunity to correct such errors will come to an end on 31 December 2020. Initially this will only affect ‘pioneering registration authorities’ in England which took part in the pilot project which rolled out the registration changes in England. These are: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Cornwall Council Devon County Council (but not including Plymouth or Torbay) County of Herefordshire District Council Hertfordshire County Council Kent County Council (but not including Medway) Lancashire County Council (but not including Blackpool) Subsequently in 2014 Cumbria County Council and North Yorkshire County Council became pioneering authorities. Applications to de-register in these two councils will continue to be possible until 15 March 2027. As it has only recently become possible to make applications to de-register common land in all other parts of the country no deadline has yet been set in respect of those areas. FIND OUT MORE

Useful guidance on this subject can be found on the gov.uk website – search for “Commons registration authorities: correct mistakes”.


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Protecting our wildlife In response to ‘A cry for help’ (Land & Business November 2019) Having read Theresa Villiers’ speech when she launched the Environment Bill in October, in which she said birds like golden plover and curlew were “some of the most threatened and fastest declining species”, would it not now be timely to revisit the Crow Act 2000’s ‘right to roam’ with regard to adopting the Precautionary Principle and possibly repealing the Act? Experience here

has shown how curlew and golden plover are easily disturbed by people and dogs. Both species, as well as many other Red Listed species, like cuckoo and skylark rely on moorland, heathland and downland for breeding or overwintering. If, as Sir David Attenborough suggests, we are entering into a sixth biological diversity extinction, should we not leave these areas free from unnecessary disturbance,


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revert to using the footpath and bridleway system, and make space for nature? MICHAEL HAMPDEN-SMITH, CORNWALL

The calls of yesterday In response to ‘A cry for help’ (Land & Business November 2019) We are on the shore of the Carew River, the southernmost tributary of the Cleddau-Milford Haven waterway. There are quite extensive salt marshes and mud flats where the Carew and Cresswell rivers come together just above Lawrenny Gut. Curlew and redshank winter here and their song and pipings are with us until they go to the moors to breed. There used to be big flocks of curlew. The afternoon they went away, as I worked in the garden I would hear them calling, calling as they flew north. The next morning the marsh would be silent! There are curlew here but not nearly as many as there used to be. Redshank I hear quite a lot and there are still some shelduck. Winbrel used to call in spring and autumn, presumably passing through – but only a couple of times did I hear their call this year. We bought Tything Barn in 1979 from Tom Philips, who spent most of his life here. He said there used to be many more duck (and there are even fewer now). During the war when the enemy was bombing Pembroke Dock they sowed spartina grass on the marsh to lessen the shining guide to fuel stores, spoiling the duck food supply and winter habitat for waders. I wonder if the spartina could be got rid of and the duck weed restored. JUNE FOLDER, PEMBROKESHIRE



Letters for Land & Business should be emailed to tan.parsons@cla.org.uk*


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*Letters submitted for inclusion in next issue should be received by 10 January, 2020.

Worse than fracking In response to ‘The nuclear option’, Land & Business November 2019 What a chilling article this was. Had the date been April I would have thought it was a joke. It seems as if the CLA is putting its seal of approval on the outrageous proposal to encourage land owners and communities to accept nuclear waste with promises of large monetary payments. Nuclear waste should never be moved from the site of the nuclear power station, where the land is

already permanently contaminated. To move it will cause further pollution and danger to the surrounding areas. Do landowners and communities really want to desecrate their land and put future generations at huge risk - to their health and from terrorism, for instance? It does not surprise me that “the UK does not currently have a permanent solution to radioactive waste”. To try to palm this extremely dangerous waste off onto the public is despicable. Look at the concern caused to the public by fracking. Storing nuclear waste is a thousand times worse. S M GREGSON-MURRAY, LEICESTERSHIRE

CLA Housing Adviser Hermione Warmington responds: Ms Gregson-

Under siege I do not think the townfolk have any idea of the depth of rural crime we have here in Gloucestershire, and when I show them this photograph (pictured) they are aghast. This barn has been broken into twice this year and there is nothing inside apart from old beds and boxes. It is 100 metres from my farmhouse. The first time they attacked the huge metal door broke the lock with a sledge hammer and pulled the alarm off the wall and smashed it. That was after trying to pull up the sides. They had another go a few months ago as per the photograph. This last time they only came to look and seeing nothing legged it – but they still left me with a trail of £3,000’ worth of damage and ever increasing insurance. A month ago in another shed the farm gate was bulldozed off its hinges, which were upside down and padlocked, driven over and the keeper’s trailer taken, along with gas bottles and water heater. What am I supposed to do? CAROLINE PRENTICE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE


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Murray will not be the only one with concerns about the consultation to try and find a site for a ‘geological disposal facility’, given the divisive and controversial subject of disposing of radioactive waste. These proposals, which include payment to communities in exchange for storing nuclear waste, have been set out by the public organisation Radioactive Waste Management. The CLA does not endorse the proposals, but believes that members should be aware of the full facts. The CLA will continue to monitor the proposals closely and will keep members fully briefed, including updates about any risks. Members requiring further advice on this topic should contact their local CLA office.

The evils of slurry A recent event I attended in connection with the general election campaign referred to the disastrous effects of slurry. The evils of slurry hide behind the drive to constantly enlarge farming operations in the short term to the appeasement of the banks. The CLA champions the long term value of farming but the slurry issue is a time-bomb to undermine that vision. The evils concealed and unconcealed include: The transmission of TB by slurry miasma The poisoning of birds which eat the worms that surface, such as woodcock – now a very rarely seen species The poisoning of the worms themselves so that the soil becomes progressively dead The poisoning of streams and rivers as supersaturated land yields the bounty from bloated slurry stores Lack of humous application to the light soils of the area further degrades inherently good farmland The stink and filth of slurry poisons the public perception of farming The speaker listing these truths was a farmer and a countryman, passionate in his condemnation, and he has previously made unrewarding presentation on the issue to the Welsh Assembly government. SABRINA JOHNSON, CEREDIGION


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Next month


Coming up in February’s Land & Business

Tourism and glamping Capitalise on these potentially lucrative markets after Brexit

Housing regulations Minimum energy efficiency standards in 2020 – what you need to know

Strawberries are our guinea-pigs Vertical farming for healthy, fresh food production anywhere, at any time

For advice on specific topics contact your local CLA office and speak to one of our advisers. For details go to cla.org.uk


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Support for Rural Powerhouse More than 100 Parliamentary candidates across the political spectrum pledged their support for the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign in the run up to the general election


his is in large part thanks to lobbying by CLA members, who have been writing to their MPs and using the hashtag #RuralPowerhouse on social media. To read the latest and to download our social media graphics go to cla.org.uk/rural-powerhouse.

CONTACT YOUR MP If you share the CLA’s ambition to unleash the full potential of the rural economy, please write to your MP asking them to pledge their support if you haven’t already, and keep usingǠour hashtag #RuralPowerhouse on social media.


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ANDREW SHIRLEY CLA CHIEF SURVEYOR andrew.shirley@cla.org.uk 020 7235 0511


hen we talk about rural connectivity most assume this refers to a lack of broadband or mobile coverage. But we must not forget that businesses’ growth can be held back because their connection to the electricity grid is inadequate. That is why we have been certain not to forget electricity in our Rural Powerhouse campaign, which is fighting for a fully connected countryside. Five years ago there were companies exploring opportunities across the countryside to invest in renewable energy generation, particularly solar, on the back of the Feed in Tariff incentives. Following the removal of these incentives the market is now very different, but with reduced equipment costs there are still good opportunities on the right land where there is a viable grid connection. There remains great

enthusiasm among CLA members for energy generation as a new income stream or to control their own costs. While everyone is understandably focused on climate change, it seems that the electricity grid is decades behind, creaking at full capacity and concentrated on large, distant generators rather than smaller scale local generation and storage which could be more responsive and which could present the countryside with real opportunity. Ofgem is now reviewing how it can decarbonise the whole energy generation and distribution network. Some of this will be the price that it pays for energy, but just as importantly the capacity of the infrastructure that is required over the next five to 10 years. There must be investment to allow the local and regional grids to grow so we can make the best of our potential for green electricity generation. This is not just an issue for

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the capacity for generation, but problems are already being felt by people considering businesses that require more power and new connections to the grid. Demand will grow for electric equipment and in time for more electric vehicles. What does this all mean for CLA members? Currently the cost for connection to the grid can be prohibitively expensive. This can be many millions of pounds for a solar farm. Even the cost of a charging point for an electric vehicle can be more than that of the car itself. In December we met with Ofgem to explain why it must make sure that the electricity distributors invest in their networks and proactively build their capacity so that, in rural areas, people have the ability to connect to the grid at a price that makes the investment viable. Without this, so much opportunity will be lost across the whole of the rural economy. As part of the Rural Powerhouse campaign we will be lobbying the new government to commit to investing in the electricity grid so that it is efficient and smart across the whole of the country, now and for decades to come.


A fully connected countryside means not just mobile and broadband, but also connection to the National Grid


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The race is on Landowners are urged to act quickly to secure grid rights for power generation and storage schemes


epending on the site, landowners can receive ground rents of over £800/acre for solar sites upwards of 40 acres and for leases of up to 50 years. Gas gensets can return up to £150,000/year and battery storage over £50,000/year – both on under two acres. “But to achieve these rental incomes, landowners must act quickly. A proactive landowner is more likely to

secure grid connection rights and benefit from the long-term reliable ground rent of an energy scheme than one who deliberates for too long or waits for a developer to come knocking,” says Hugh Taylor of independent power and energy consultant Roadnight Taylor. Any energy scheme needs rights to connect to the electricity grid. There must be enough space (grid capacity) on the local network to export sufficient power – and a battery storage scheme also needs import capacity.

MEMBER OFFER To find out if you have a realistic opportunity for power scheme sites on your land, Roadnight Taylor is offering CLA members their Stop/GoTM feasibility study from £395+VAT (a discount of £100). If your site has genuine potential for a scheme, Roadnight Taylor can submit a grid application for your site for the best technology and scale on your behalf on a no-win-no-fee basis. If they secure you a viable offer, they can then get you the


15 Member Offer RNT_January 2020_Land & Business 15



strongest terms by attracting competing offers from the bestperforming developers. Offer ends 31 January 2020

Contact Roadnight Taylor:

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Pockets of grid capacity are available in most parts of the country – but across the UK headroom fluctuates constantly. Projects which previously held capacity are being cancelled, networks are being reinforced locally, and the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are employing smarter ways to manage power flows across their assets. “If capacity does become available on a part of the network, it will only be enough for one scheme. As the DNOs issue capacity on a strictly first-come first-served basis, landowners who delay will find their neighbours benefiting from the long-term rental opportunity instead. They must make sure they are at the front of the grid queue,” says Mr Taylor. He says: “Don’t wait for a developer to come to you either. If you ‘sign-up’ to them trying their luck at connecting their specific technology, you are less likely to get anything at all – and in any event you can’t then attract the best terms and rents from among competing developers.” It important to get independent and expert advice to submit the right application for the right technology for the right scale independently of a developer and ahead of your neighbours. There are no prizes for second place when the grid is full. LAND & BUSINESS | JANUARY 2020 15

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ELEANOR WOOD CLA PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER eleanor.wood@cla.org.uk 020 7235 0511 @CLAEleanorW

Deadlock broken Boris Johnson’s runaway election victory paves the way to finally ‘get Brexit done’, and for some much needed clarity for the rural economy



he general election of 2019 was something that nobody wanted, but ended up having to go for due to political necessity. This was because without a political majority, no legislation could pass through Parliament, and many Conservative (or former Conservative MPs) rebelled due to the party position on Brexit. Boris Johnson rolled the dice and won. By holding the election he faced the potential risk of having one of the shortest tenures as Prime Minister in British history but luckily for him it has paid off and he was returned with a majority of 80. This should allow him and his new Cabinet to follow up on the election slogan of “Get Brexit Done.” The Labour Party was stung in this election, with many subsequently blaming the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn for such an unsuccessful showing. How Labour rebuilds itself from the bruising result will depend on who replaces Corbyn as leader. Shadow Defra Secretary Sue Hayman also lost her seat in Workington along with Shadow Farming Minister David Drew, who lost his seat in Stroud. The CLA’s External Affairs

team will now be working with their replacements to make sure the Labour Party are fully briefed on rural issues. The Prime Minister will have to move sharpish if the government is to keep to the deadline of leaving the EU by the end of the month. It is likely that Westminster will be consumed in January by votes on the Brexit process in order to make sure that the legislation is passed and it is a smooth transition to the next step in the process. This new government is ambitious, with the aim to hold a Budget early in 2020. The CLA met with the Chancellor during the election campaign to outline our priorities and we have already been in touch with the Treasury following the December poll to set out the needs of the rural economy in the next parliament. Away from Brexit the result of the

election has brought relatively few changes to how the government looks and the focus of political departments. In the Defra team only former Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith lost his seat. The new year marks a good opportunity for the Defra Secretary to engage afresh with the rural sector. This year will be a busy time in the political sphere but of the utmost importance will be getting the Agriculture and Environment bills over the line and enshrined into law. Readers will know I have written about the Agriculture Bill in this column many times over the last year, but if the government intends to start the agricultural transition in 2021, clarity on how this will look is essential to those businesses and farmers that currently receive payments. After the political stagnation of last year, there is cause for optimism that this truly is the year of getting things done.

‘The Prime Minister will have to move sharpish if the government is to keep to the deadline of leaving the EU by the end of the month’


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Counterpoint TECHNOLOGY

A regular Land & Business column offering a different point of view

‘The last analogue industry’


Technology and digital transformation hold the keys to increasing farm productivity


he fourth agricultural revolution is dawning. We’re living on the edge of the greatest change that farmers have ever seen. Arguably the last analogue industry, 2020 will see farming take big strides into a digital future. Robotics, artificial intelligence, drones, autonomous vehicles and blockchain: these are all elements of the ecosystem which will make up the digital farm. We are looking here at exponential – and radical – change. We’re talking about the digital transformation of agriculture. These technologies are not simply replacements for the tractors that we have today. They will fundamentally change what is possible on the farm. This may sound futuristic, but this revolution is already underway. These innovations will be mainstream within 10 years. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, at Small Robot Company we have created an entirely new model for ecologically-harmonious farming. Our farmbots Tom, Dick and Harry will seed, feed and weed arable crops autonomously, with minimal waste. This will make


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farming both more profitable, and more sustainable. This change is urgently needed. Since 1990, productivity has not increased for most of the major crops in the world. I can remember very clearly sitting in my farm office in 2016 thinking that unless we change something really significant about our farming system, there’s not going be a future for my farm. We’re failing economically and we’re also failing environmentally. Fundamentally, the big machinery model is simply not working. Unfortunately, if you treat the whole field the same, waste is inevitable. The shift from the third to the fourth agricultural revolution is from heavy machinery and intensive cultivation, to lightweight machinery and minimal cultivation. From speed, to precision. Such accuracy will enable farmers to employ permaculture techniques at scale. Using gardening techniques such as companion planting, but

‘Since 1990, productivity has not increased for most of the major crops in the world’

Andrew Hoad, Head of John Lewis’s Leckford Estate in Hampshire

for arable crops. Different crops could be planted alongside each other in the same field, and harvested at different times. It’s the ultimate sustainable farming model. We’ve now achieved a major technological milestone in this vision, for the first time providing farmers with a per-plant view of their fields. We have now delivered our first farm-ready robots and a commercial service for weed mapping, as well as a prototype of our non-chemical weeding


16/12/2019 17:30


SAM WATSON JONES CO-FOUNDER, SMALL ROBOT COMPANY @smallrobotco smallrobotcompany.com

We welcome the following new members:


to scale up. It’s a core part of our ethos that we’re working with farmers to develop our technology to ensure it delivers real benefits. We’re currently in field trials in 20 farms across the UK, including leading supermarket Waitrose and the National Trust. This year will see our first commercial farming robots rolling out across the UK. A major step in this shift to digital. And British ideas and technology are at the helm. There are a number of other exciting British companies driving this change including LettUs Grow, Farmdrop, Hummingbird, The Land App, KisanHub, fieldmargin and Breedr. Together we are creating a new digital ecosystem. 2020 will see the fourth robotics. This is a major milestone agricultural revolution start to in our technology delivery. Our become big opportunity for British forthcoming Crowdcube business. For British equity crowdfunding farmers to compete in round will be focused on global markets. To boost HAVE YOUR SAY Email tan.parsons getting these robots into food security in the UK @cla.org.uk the field, bringing us to a and abroad: a world of point where we are ready opportunity. Small Robot Company’s tech team Robin, Nemo & Susant with their next generation weed mapping robot ‘Tom’

LA’S C E TH IEW V CLA Land Use Adviser Fraser McAuley responds: The CLA supports innovation and many of our diverse range of members are at the cutting edge of agricultural production and environmental delivery. We also believe in the role of technology to support productivity improvements within UK farming. While average productivity levels generally have

stagnated in the UK in the past 30 years this does mask the fact some businesses and sectors have been pushing the envelope in terms of sustainable intensification. Yes, technology has a role to play driving efficiency but it is one part of a range of factors that can improve farm productivity. Improvements in skills, training and staff development can facilitate the use of technology while also allowing farmers and land managers to improve their business

and environmental management. In addition there need to be grants and match funding to support business investment in new technology. It is for these reasons the CLA has been lobbying the governments in Westminster and Cardiff to carefully consider how they can manage an effective agricultural transition from where we are now to the sunlit uplands of a model based on the payment for public goods. This engagement with government will continue in 2020.

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Let’s get personal Whether you’re thinking about this year’s tax return or further ahead to retirement and inheritance planning, there is often a significant amount that can be achieved to minimise your personal tax exposure. Don’t pay more tax than you need to. Speak to one of our personal tax experts today.


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JIMMY TSE CLA TAX ADVISER jimmy.tse@cla.org.uk 020 7235 0511


ompanies are, by comparison with partnerships, relatively unpopular for farming businesses and landowners perhaps due to tax reasons. For family farms, the objectives of tax planning will be to keep the tax on income to a manageable level while ensuring that capital taxes are adequately planned for and minimised. A company structure would be an instinctive choice from a tax perspective as corporation tax – at 19% – is much lower than an individual’s maximum income tax rate of 45%. However, it is important to recognise that a company is a legal person separate and distinct from the owners (“shareholders”). The shareholder owns shares in the company, the company in turn owns the business. Consequently, a further tax charge could arise when the company’s monies are extracted into the shareholder’s hands. The comparison between personal and corporation tax rates is merely a starting point for a whole range of considerations. Here are some of the main estate planning implications of running a family farming company.

Inheritance tax (IHT)

How you choose to structure your business can have significant implications for your tax position by the farming company, and are effectively given on the shares held by a qualifying controlling shareholder. However, agricultural property relief (APR) could be lost if the original landowner no longer has control of the company as a whole. It is therefore very important for owners of a tenanted farm to retain a controlling interest in the company as business property relief (BPR) will not be available. BPR is available to all shareholdings in unquoted trading companies, so that the position is neutral between majority and minority shareholders. However, BPR may be reduced if there are excepted assets, for example surplus cash that is not required by the business. Where the farm land is held

outside the farming company, the farm will only qualify for 50% BPR and not 100%. BPR is normally required for cottages and development land that has substantial value. The loss of BPR could be significant. For this reason, it is generally advisable for the underlying farm to be transferred into the company. Such transfer could lead to a capital gains tax (CGT) charge at the point of incorporation as the property transfer is deemed to take place at market value between connected persons. This dry tax charge can be normally be mitigated by claiming either business assets hold-over relief under section 165 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA 1992) or incorporation relief under section 162.


IHT reliefs will still be available if the agricultural land is owned

Incorporating a farming business


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Business owners will need to be mindful of the anti-avoidance measure, which stops individuals trying to avoid IHT by making gifts through private family companies. Section 94 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 provides that where a gift is made by a close company – i.e. a company under the control of five or fewer participators (section 439 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010) – the gift is treated as having been made by the participators. In this context, participator means any person having a share or interest in the capital or income of the company and includes a shareholder as well as a loan creditor. However, as it is only a “deemed” gift, it is not a potentially exempt transfer and so there may be an immediate charge to IHT. Likewise, not all of the IHT gift exemptions are available. When a gift is made by a close company, any IHT is payable primarily by the company. If the company does not pay, HMRC can go after the participators or the gift recipient.

The farmhouse As mentioned above, the landowner will normally have to put the underlying assets into the company in order to maximise their IHT position. One of the immediate effects of putting the farmhouse into the company is that the owner will no longer own it personally and consequently principal private residence (PPR) relief will be lost on any subsequent disposal. PPR relief is a valuable CGT relief and can be useful in a situation where the farmhouse fails to qualify for APR and the owner wants to make a lifetime gift to the next generation as a result. Furthermore, the provision of the farmhouse by the company to the original owner could give rise to a benefit in kind implication for income tax purposes. Special care must therefore be taken when the farmhouse is held in a limited company. On the other hand, there could


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CLA ADVISORY HANDBOOK For further details, please see the new CLA advisory handbook CLA87 – A guide to the tax issues relating to incorporation Go to “advice” on the CLA website and then click on “advisory handbooks”. Log in for member price discount.

be IHT problems if the farmhouse is retained by the owner personally, but the land is put into the company. If the occupier of the farmhouse does not have a controlling interest in the company when they die, APR on the farmhouse will be lost as there is no common occupation between the farmhouse and the farmland (HMRC v Hanson [2013] UKUT 224). However, so long as the land is farmed by the company, in which the owner-occupier of the farmhouse has a controlling interest (including the holdings of spouses), then common occupation could be established.

Share valuation After introducing the underlying asset into the company, the original owner will have swapped their properties with the company shares. IHT is charged on the value of the company shares, rather than

the valuation of the underlying farming assets – these assets will have become the company’s assets. The basis of valuation may involve the analysis of historic profit and dividend records as well as the break up values of the company’s underlying assets, for example its land and buildings. The rights attaching to the size of the shareholding can also influence their value (IRC v Crossman [1936] 1 All ER 762). The point here is that a majority shareholder (i.e. a shareholding of more than 50%) will have de facto control, whereas a minority shareholder cannot on their own appoint themselves as director and in turn will not be able to control the dividend and remuneration policy. Therefore, a significant discount may be applied to a minority shareholding.

Don’t let the tax tail wag the commercial dog Estate planning requires a path to be found between CGT on lifetime gifts and the potential IHT liability on death. The choice of a business structure can be complex, subject to numerous considerations. It is worthwhile remembering the well-known mantra of “not letting the tax tail wag the commercial dog”. With increased land values and so many recent changes to tax legislation, the question of whether to incorporate should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


16/12/2019 17:31


Safe as houses If you have let residential property on your estate, you need to ensure that the terms of the tenancy are in line with the latest legal developments. Chris Turner, a Partner in the Carter Jonas Estate Management team, outlines six top compliance areas



Serving the correct notices and giving tenants the right information at the start of the tenancy. Professional agents will have standard templates which can be used

or modified but, if you don’t follow the correct procedure, you will run into difficulty if you try and evict a tenant or claim deductions at the end of tenancy.



Limits on how much can be held. Historically some landlords will have taken about two months’ rent up front – more in some cases – but the rules have now changed. Any landlords with sitting tenants who have put down more than five weeks’ rent must return any money that is now considered as overpaid.

3 4


Mandatory checks and certificates for relevant appliances.


Requirements for provision and regular testing of alarms. Many of our clients’ properties will have solid fuel appliances in the bedrooms. Even if they haven’t been used for decades, they must have a CO alarm in the room, unless you block the chimney so that a fire can’t be lit. Smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the house.



Ensuring that electrical installations are in a safe condition at the start and throughout the tenancy. In practice, the best way to ensure

this is to get a qualified electrician to carry out a periodic electrical inspection each time a new tenant moves in and at fiveyear intervals during the tenancy. Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have additional requirements for inspections, including on appliances.



Mandatory risk assessments. Water supplies in most residential properties are considered to be low risk, due to regular water usage and turnover. However, landlords should still implement simple control measures to ensure the risk remains low, which include flushing out the system prior to letting the property, ensuring all water tanks have a tight fitting lid, setting control parameters to ensure water is stored at above 60˚c, and removing any redundant pipework.

GET IN TOUCH For more information on ensuring that your residential lettings meet legal requirements, get in touch with Chris Turner, or contact your local Carter Jonas office. W carterjonas.co.uk/safe-as-houses. T 01962 833374 E christopher.turner@carterjonas.co.uk


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FRONTIER X SERIES Adding to the success of the ED range, Frontier X series binoculars are now available with HD optics. New 32mm models offer a smaller, lightweight option without optical or QIGLERMGEPGSQTVSQMWI%ZEMPEFPIMRðSVðQEKRM½GEXMSRMREKVIIRSVKVI]½RMWL From £259


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www.hawkeoptics.com/nature Born in the UK


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FENELLA COLLINS CLA HEAD OF PLANNING fenella.collins@cla.org.uk 020 7235 0511


n January 2018 the government in Westminster published its 25-Year Plan for the Environment. It set out an approach to protect landscapes and habitats and committed to undertake a review of national parks and Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs). The Landscapes Review was launched by the Defra Secretary in May 2018 with a commitment to conserve and enhance England’s designated landscapes. The review was to consider existing designated landscapes and whether or not they meet the needs of the 21st century, including whether there was scope for the current 10 national parks and

34 AONBs to expand. The Landscapes Review report was published in September last year. Julian Glover, who led the review team, summarised the review as: “More for nature, more for people, and new governance to under-pin this.” Here follows a brief summary of key elements of the report’s proposals.

putting natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage at the heart of recovery rather than merely “conserving what we have”. It acknowledges the importance of the role of farming and the wider role of land management in these areas, but suggests there is a tension between farming and the landscape that must be resolved.

Chapter 1: Landscape alive for nature and beauty

What the CLA is doing

This chapter relates to the first statutory purpose concerning the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. The report commits to

Landscapes under review

Chapter 2: Landscapes for everyone This chapter concerns the second statutory purpose which provides opportunities for the enjoyment of these places and recreation. There is a big push for greater connection with more diverse users and visitors. The chapter ranges from the creation of a National Ranger Service to the expansion of open access rights for, in particular, cavers, canoeists and horse riders.


Westminster proposals could see more land in England given designated status, along with changes to access rights and greater emphasis on biodiversity. The CLA is lobbying the government energetically to make sure the voice of landowners is heard

The CLA supports the commitment for nature recovery. Landscape and natural beauty are defined by land use and we will be ensuring the landowning voice is heard and understood. The CLA is already discussing with Defra the new policies aimed at delivering nature recovery and the need to target investment and delivery where it is most needed.


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Landscapes for everyone: the review considers opportunities for enjoyment and recreation with more visitors

What the CLA is doing Please be assured that the CLA is fully aware that the suggestion for greater public access will not be welcomed by all and we have already spoken to Defra officials to explain our concerns. The proposal requires greater investigation regarding what it means and its implications, including landowner liabilities.

Chapter 3: Living landscapes This chapter offers thoughts on what might be done to support communities in national landscapes, including the need for long-term partnerships between farmers and landowners, business, towns and villages and schools.

What the CLA is doing Long-running CLA lobbying for a third statutory purpose, to foster the socio-economic wellbeing of communities, has finally been recognised. We will continue to lobby for its adoption by the government in Westminster and continue to pursue our objective for more appropriate economic development planning policies.

Chapter 4: More special places The review proposes that several larger AONBs be granted national park status especially in the South and South East. The report also proposes that a National Landscape Service should be created to take over the designations process, currently undertaken by Natural England.

What the CLA is doing The CLA has made clear to government that if new designations are to be considered then designation must be undertaken for

Chapter 5: New ways of working

The report is proposing a strategic oversight role as part of the proposed National Landscape Service to ensure closer working ties across all designated landscapes. The report proposes changed wording for the current and future statutory GET INVOLVED purposes, To read the report go to and proposes gov.uk and search for “landscapes strengthened review final report”. powers and If you have comments you would resourcing for like to feed into the CLA about AONBs as well the report and its proposals please as renaming email them to the CLA’s Head of them National Planning fenella.collins@cla.org.uk Landscapes.


25-26 CLA Advice_January 2020_Land & Business 26

the correct reasons – for instance, that a landscape is among our very finest. Designation purely in order to protect a landscape against development pressures is not a valid reason. The CLA is continuing to pursue these concerns about the designation process at senior levels of government.

It proposes reforming governance, with smaller boards and more diversity of stakeholders. The proposed National Landscape Service will be required to work up a new long-term financial model.

What the CLA is doing The CLA is keeping all these matters under review and will be making necessary representations to make sure that appropriate outcomes are delivered and that unintended consequences are avoided. In summary, the report, which has cross-party support for its proposals, is likely to be implemented by government. The CLA engaged with officials following publication of the report in September, and will now re-contact officials to determine a timetable for the government’s response, consultation and any necessary legislation. We will keep members updated as we plan our lobbying approach to both officials and ministers.


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Inheritance tax Passing on your family business with no tax


he owners of an agricultural business should not assume that they can pass on their family business free of inheritance tax on their death. It is always advisable to take appropriate steps now to ensure you leave family members in the best position to claim inheritance tax reliefs and successfully carry on the business. With the availability of inheritance tax reliefs, one would assume therefore that dealing with the death of a farmer should be simpler than the death of any other businessman - however it usually is not. The common position is that while agricultural property relief and business property relief may be claimed in relation to the assets used in the farming business – land, buildings, homes, for example - proving that these assets qualify for relief to the satisfaction of HMRC can be challenging if the right documentation and other evidence is not in place. Below are the three areas of most concern:


Partnership Agreements

Most family farms operate under a partnership structure. Many do not have up-to-date partnership agreements. When an individual dies HMRC can ask for a copy of the partnership agreement, and if one cannot be provided it is more difficult to prove how assets are held,

personal to an individual or are they partnership borrowings? How is this reflected in the partnership agreement and accounts? Are the deeds up to date and do they reflect the true ownership? Do the partnership accounts reflect what the partnership agreement says?


Houses / Farmhouses

Obviously, nowadays farms with more than one family member working in the business can have more than one residential property. It is useful to ascertain which property should be treated as the farmhouse. Evidence should be available as to why this particular property qualifies as the farmhouse – that it is occupied by a farmer who is farming the land and is the hub of the farming enterprise. Choose the correct property. Sometimes family roles in the farm can change, for example, due to retirement. Consider whether the change of an individual’s status in the business affects the house they live in.

particularly if the accounts are also unclear. A partnership agreement should do far more than just simply saying who the partners are and that they operate a farming structure. It should make it clear how land is held. Is it held outside of the partnership and used by the partnership? Or, is it owned by the partnership itself? This will affect the rate of business property Wills relief available. If it is held by the partnership itself, If you get the two points above correct, is there a capital schedule to show then this makes wills simpler to structure. the up-to-date position of land held? It will be clear what is to be gifted by a gift This will show the of the partnership share contemporaneous and what may need to be share of the gifted separately. partnership which may be subject to HMRC will scrutinise inheritance tax. claims for inheritance tax It should make reliefs and the failure to clear the status of have the right business GET IN TOUCH buildings paid for documentation in Rob Fearnley has more than 13 years’ experience in handling by the partnership, place can lead to HMRC succession, inheritance tax especially if they rejecting claims for planning, wills, trusts and are on the land inheritance tax relief. agricultural and business held outside the Taking advice from us property relief matters for partnership. now about your farming clients, and Bowcock & Pursaill If land is owned business documentation Solicitors are members of the outside of the and wills can avoid your Agricultural Law Association. partnership, then family suffering a lot of banks will require distress and uncertainty W bowcockpursaill.co.uk the landowner to and the business paying T 01889 598888 offer security. Is an expensive inheritance E rf@bowcockpursaill.co.uk the borrowing then tax bill.



27 Advertorial_January 2020_Land & Business 27

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Unlocking Tomorrow’s Markets The CLA’s Rural Business Conference brought together inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders to help embrace change and unlock the potential of tomorrow’s markets


nlocking tomorrow’s markets’ was the theme of the CLA’s fourth Rural Business Conference, which saw more than 500 CLA members attend the sold-out event in Westminster. Speakers included CLA members who are taking advantage of new markets such as carbon trading, food and drink exports, non-food crops and social enterprises as they look to secure business for the longer term. UK Trade Adviser Lord Price gave an analysis of the outlook for rural businesses after the UK leaves the EU, and Professor Andrew Fearne from

the University of East Anglia revealed his predictions for how changing consumer trends might affect members’ businesses. CLA President Mark Bridgeman opened the proceedings, telling delegates that for all the current uncertainty, there are many opportunities ahead. Looking to future trade deals, he said that while government is asking us to trust them on the future of international trade post-Brexit, it is not unreasonable to ask that in return we have assurances that our own world class produce will not be undercut by cheap imports produced to lower standards. He said that at a time when we

have a new government and a new agricultural policy looming, the CLA has an opportunity to be more high profile, and to demonstrate how landownership underpins so many of the economic and social foundations that are fundamental to our national life. We must also show the wider benefits landowners can deliver, he said, such as using land to sequester carbon, reversing the loss of biodiversity and building the houses we desperately need, as well as helping to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. He said: “Today is about thinking about new opportunities, how we can innovate in our own businesses and embrace the change that is coming.”

The 2019 CLA Rural Business Conference is supported by:

Achieve more. Together.


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Match fit for a new global game the protective blanket offered by the EU Common Agricultural Policy and trade policy. “In the future the UK doesn’t just need to compete against 27 EU countries but will instead have truly global competition as well of course as global opportunity. Better collective buying and selling to my mind are key requirements.” He said that everything we have become used to is about to change and that there is no time to waste in developing a new, globally minded approach and “preparing to become match fit to win in a new global game”.

Key points

Macro economics



ord Price gave a brilliant analysis, highlighting four areas that could negatively affect food supply chains in the future, and some possible responses (see key points). “I would suggest that your competitor is no longer the farm next door or in the neighbouring county,” he said. “It will be Mexico or Argentina or New Zealand or Australia. It has been good enough to be ‘good enough’ within the confines of

National debt has grown from 35% of GDP in 2008 to 85% of GDP (£1.84trn) today Annual debt repayments have reached £46bn a year – more than we spend on defence and the fourth largest area of public sector spending. The Treasury is not flush with cash. There’s an undercurrent of discontent about public services, migration and a perceived growing gap between the rich and the poor. This could threaten farm subsidies in a UK freed of EU ties. Will environmental land management payments compensate fully for BPS?

suchlike. Britain’s ability to strike her own independent trade details would be curtailed on goods. Option 3: “In my view the most likely outcome”. The UK strikes a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU. The UK is free to strike other advantageous trade deals. Likely to be based on zero tariffs as we have now and regulatory alignment in areas where it makes sense. UK can strike mutually beneficial trade deals internationally, reducing the cost of goods to British consumers. However, the farming sector will face more competition, lower prices, less subsidy in future, but with the opportunity to export more.

Retail and customers Growth of online and discount retailers has squeezed margins for traditional supermarkets. A pivot to supplying foodservice businesses and discounters might make sense. Growing wage bills and shortage of labour will drive investment in technology and automation. Lessons from retail: to survive retailers have needed to do two things well – to become more efficient and more differentiated.

Climate change

Supermarkets, responding to customers who want to do something Option 1: No trade deal with the EU about climate change and plastic, may at end of a transition period. UK move again to measuring and labelling trades from World Trade Organisation the carbon imprint of products. Government will see this as an oven schedules. We would require some ready popular tax or form of customs check on subsidy. Red meat food and drink. EU applies WATCH THIS will be a particular protectionist food tariffs. Option 2: The EU succeeds communications To see an in holding the UK beyond exclusive interview challenge. But carbon capture and a transition period into a with Lord Price go to cla. the carbon market offer tight commercial bond, org.uk/conference2019 opportunity. into a customs union or

Future EU trade relationship


26-32 Rural BC_January 2020_Land & Business 29

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The opportunities of new markets Jeff Grant, representing the New Zealand red meat sector, shared his country’s experience of reshaping the farming industry after the removal of subsidies. Sheep and beef from the farm gate to market has seen major change since the 1980s, he said. The biggest change is that farmers stopped believing whatever we produce should be paid for by the consumer. His advice to the UK after Brexit was to “seek comprehensive, ambitious and clean free trade agreements”. Dai Miles and Stuart McNally from Welsh organic dairy cooperative Calon Wen revealed how they had started to export goods to the Middle East and Japan after identifying a demand. They underlined the importance of getting to

technology allows waste products and carbon emissions, both of which cause harm if not dealt with, to be converted know your target market as thoroughly into useful products (high grade as possible, sealing deals in writing and nitrogen fertilisers and heat energy) in having an iron grip on the paperwork an environmentally friendly way. It is a required for exports. good example of the circular economy Next Pawel Kisielewski, chief executive in action. of CCm Technologies, gave a tour de force The Countess Sondes shared the story of how his company has developed a of the Lees Court Estate in Kent, where method of producing fertiliser and soil she has developed new ventures alongside conditioner through the use of captured traditional estate revenue streams. The carbon dioxide from industrial power estate has invested in generators. pioneering non-food crops CCm’s technology also such as echium, and has utilises heat recovery and WATCH THIS also opened up recent storage units which store To see short films historical finds to the Kent thermal energy within a featuring Lady Archaeological Society. chemical reaction, much Sondes, Jeff Grant and like a battery, and release Calon Wen, go to cla.org. She also made the case for the UK to develop as a lead it rapidly as the chemical uk/conference2019 producer of bioplastics. reaction starts. This

CHANGING CONSUMER PATTERNS Professor Andrew Fearne, lecturer at the University of East Anglia, highlighted emerging ‘new realities’ that rural businesses should take note of, including:

The changing marketplace ‘battleground’

The growth of e-commerce, where more consumers are switching to online, although still less then 8% of total

food purchases in UK are made online. Growth of B2C (business to consumer) sales – there is an opportunity to reach out to people and explain why people should buy from you.

‘Smart’ consumers

Millenials and ‘Generation Z’ are making food choices differently to earlier generations, but

their buying habits will change when they start to have families. However, consumers value sustainability and social conscience, and people now expect more trust and transparency.

‘Smart’ agri-food

There will be greater uncertainty driven by price volatility and the climate crisis. Population growth will

see increased demand for protein from alternative sources. Shorter supply chains will create opportunities for small/local producers. However, he said it was important to “focus on what people do, not what they say”. He also highlighted the advantages of developing a brand if you are operating in a commodity market.


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Maximising environmental and social markets


rofessor David Hill Cluster. Together they explained how of the Environment farmer clusters can facilitate access Bank explained how to environmental markets, through conservation credits things like the Environmental Land work and highlighted Management Scheme, market intelligence the potential income and training, access to schemes like the from habitat banks from wildflower Environment Bank, and peer support meadows, wetlands and woodlands. He and exchange of ideas between members. also underlined the potential value of However, it is vital for farmers to have UK biodiversity net gain ownership of schemes like – estimated last year at this, they said. WATCH THIS £700m-800m per annum. Mother and son team Next delegates heard Julia and Joe Evans To see short films from Jess Brooks of explained the difference featuring Longlands the Game and Wildlife the Longlands Care Farm in Care Farm and an interview Conservation Trust Worcestershire is making with the GWCT’s Jess Brooks go to cla.org.uk/ (GWCT) and Tim Palmer to young people’s lives. conference2019 – farmer chairman of By trusting those working Martin Down Farmer on the farm with genuine


26-32 Rural BC_January 2020_Land & Business 32

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REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR 2020 The next Rural Business Conference is taking place once again at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster on 26 November 2020. To register your interest in attending email claconference@cla.org.uk


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13/12/2019 16:38


Man’s best friend Gloucestershire based gundog trainer and award-winning field trial champion Sam Thatcher tells Kim John why cocker spaniels make great gundogs


Game Fair, invited Sam to join the am achieved a BSc Hons demonstrations with Tia at her side. degree in Animal Science The following year, Sam was running and Behaviour, focusing on her own cocker spaniel demonstration, dogs, and began her career introducing Ginny, who at five months at a private training kennels old, was the youngest to enter the ring. in Hampshire. All of Sam’s dogs live in her home. She Ten years on, Sam has forged an believes in introducing young puppies excellent reputation among gundog to noises around the home and does not owners with her training business, believe this impacts their work out in Strigidae Gundogs, offering training in the field. group, one-to-one sessions and on a Sam advises that the key with residential basis. Indeed, CLA Deputy successfully training cocker spaniels, President Mark Tufnell sent his own or any gundog, is not teach cocker spaniel to Sam them too much too after his wife met her FIND OUT MORE fast. “You have while out on an Easter Go to strigidaegundogs. to tell a cocker egg hunt. weebly.com or search when to Sam has four cocker “Strigidae Gundogs” stop – they spaniels including two on Facebook have no off she home bred: Ginny and Thomas. Tia (Ginny’s mother) and Eddy, her first field trial champion and mother to Thomas, gave Sam the bug. But the journey did not have a happy start. SAM’S TOP TIPS While still a youngster, Tia was WHEN BUYING A stolen from Sam’s home. Appearing on PUPPY FOR WORK national TV, many said that Sam should Do you homework. Consider pedigree give up and accept that Tia was gone. and talk to those in the know However, a year later Tia turned up in Kent. Sam emotionally recalls: “When I went to pick her up, she was in a police cell. She immediately picked up her blanket and ran toward me. She knew exactly who I was.” Neil Varney, who organises the gundog demonstrations at the


33-34 Working do_January 2020_Land & Business 34

Health testing. Be aware of what health tests should be conducted of parents for healthy puppies Don’t buy cheap. You want to see at least the mum and other puppies at the time of choosing your pup. If the seller seems cagey, stay away

switch,” she says. “Their passion for working is unbelievable. They are as fast in the morning as they are in the afternoon and their small size allows them to work in any environment.” Sam also loves their quick learning abilities and loyal nature, which also makes them great pets, as well as being ideally suited to working. Now a Skinners food ambassador and regular field trial winner, Sam established her training business after moving to Gloucestershire. Having gone through the trauma of Tia’s theft, Sam promotes gundog theft awareness and raises the topic of keeping dogs safe with clients and during demonstrations. Gundogs make up approximately 50% of the missing dogs on doglost.co.uk, with cocker spaniels, springer spaniels and labradors the most likely to be stolen of the gundog breeds. See our selection of products for dogs on page 40


16/12/2019 17:40



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13/12/2019 16:41

Electricity Network Connection Appointments 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. If you are a landowner, an ICP, developer or community group and you need to discuss your requirements and the connection process, before making an actual application for a new connection to the network, please contact WPD on the relevant number below.


0800 121 4909 South West & Wales:

0800 028 6229 wpdconnectappoint@westernpower.co.uk Please mention that your enquiry is for connection appointments when you call. For details of our operational area please visit our website www.westernpower.co.uk

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FSC® C010890


13/12/2019 16:43



onnecting with visitors to countryside and farmland is crucial to help educate and inspire the next generation, says former CLA President Lord De Ramsey, speaking from his 8,500-acre estate in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. “For us, it is so obvious. We see it and live it,” he says. “But it is easy to forget that others do not see the connection of how farming creates and sustains habitats.” Lord De Ramsey, pictured, now in his second term as President of the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA), believes it is essential to enthuse the next generation, both from towns and rural communities. “Farming is kinder than it was 25 years ago,” he says. “There is no contradiction between modern farming and conservation, or as I like to put it, there is no contradiction between the beauty of the landscape and the plough.” Lord De Ramsey feels that to encourage the next generation, we must help to educate and explain what is behind the food on the shelves.

It is equally important to balance l environmental needs, including working with water level risk management authorities to help reduce flood risk, but also achieve sustainable water levels in drought periods. He is well placed to comment, having started his farming career at the age of 19 on 135 acres of Grade 1 fenland within the Ramsey Internal Drainage Board (IDB) area. “At Mere Farm, it was immediately obvious that working with the IDBs was essential, or we simply wouldn’t have the land to farm,” says Lord De Ramsey. “It’s not just farming. A recent wildlife survey by Natural England and the

The landscape and the plough Better managed water courses benefit homes, farmland and the natural environment, says ADA President Lord De Ramsey

ccla.org.uk cl la a..o orrg. g.uk uk

37 ADA interview_January 2020_Land & Business 37

British Trust for Ornithology on this intensively farmed arable farm totalled 56 species of birds, 14 species of butterflies, eight species of bumblebees as well as water voles and bats. That would have been a surprise to the casual observer.” Today Lord De Ramsey oversees land including three working farms producing winter wheat, barley, dried peas, oilseed rape, spring beans, potatoes and sugar beet. There are also 300 acres of grassland for sheep and horses. The relationship with Ramsey IDB, part of the Middle Level Commissioners, is still today as important as ever before, protecting the farmland from flood risk and managing water levels. “Communication is incredibly important,” Lord De Ramsey says. “Property owners and landowners are big contributors to IDB budgets, so why not play a part in how these budgets are used?” IDBs are well placed, with both local knowledge and contacts to communicate with the local communities, often via public consultancies when new work is being proposed or undertaken. Lord De Ramsey says there are also opportunities, where there is interest and ability, for the Environment Agency to hand over some of its responsibilities to drainage boards. He says: “The simple fact is that we live on a small, crowded island. The argument about natural watercourses and managed watercourses doesn’t work, as the only way it is possible to have effective, productive farmland and safe communities for this island nation is to manage our watercourses. “The focus on environmental concerns shows how better managed water courses not only benefit homes, businesses and farmland, but also help create that beautiful natural environment that draws visitors old and new to our countryside.”


16/12/2019 17:41

Sporting Art, Wildlife and Dogs Further entries invited

janeoakley@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778 www.sworder.co.uk Cambridge Road | Stansted Mountfitchet | Essex | CM24 8GE 42 St Andrew Street | Hertford | SG14 1JA 15 Cecil Court | London | WC2N 4EZ 38 JANUARY 2020 | LAND & BUSINESS

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On the money CLA member Folk2Folk matches local businesses looking for loans with individual investors. Here Managing Director Roy Warren answers our questions


Folk2Folk offers a lending service – but you also offer a chance for farmers and landowners to invest. What is the opportunity for landowners? With recent and continuing uncertainty for farmers, landowners and rural businesses alike, the opportunity to create a capital buffer for challenging times ahead might sound attractive. For those with a cash surplus, and no immediate plans to use it, investing to earn an inflation-beating interest rate could be a practical strategy to ensure they have more to cover their own or their business’s future financial needs. By investing via Folk2Folk’s peer to peer lending platform they could earn an interest rate of typically 6.5% p.a. paid monthly, while their capital is secured against land or property. Investments start from £20,000.

How well do you know the rural sector? Folk2Folk specialises in the rural sector. The company was founded by two country solicitors to support a local client base of farmers, landowners and rural dwellers. The company is still headquartered in the Cornish market town of Launceston.

How can CLA members use peer to peer lending to plan for their future at what for many is an uncertain time?

Customers use our peer to peer lending platform to secure their longer-term financial position in the following ways: What is your approach 1. Investing surplus cash to increase their to risk? capital base by typically 6.5% p.a. secured We’re very aware that we’re dealing against land/property. with individuals’ money and personally 2. Preparing for retirement with some match-making them with business short term borrowing against their borrowers. As a result, we have an land or property to perhaps purchase a enviable track record when it comes to retirement property or consolidate and defaults. I’ve been Folk2Folk’s Head of refinance existing debt. We have some Risk & Loan Portfolio for four customers who then sell their years and am now Managing farming assets, repay the FIND OUT MORE Director which demonstrates loan and become Folk2Folk how seriously the company lenders, earning a monthly W folk2folk.com T 0333 130 2876 takes risk. interest to supplement their retirement income. What sort of rural 3. Succession planning businesses do you work with? always requires a delicate balance We specialise in facilitating finance for between ensuring the retiring generation local and rural businesses and typically have enough cash without starving the the individuals who lend to them are business of much needed working capital. also rural dwellers so we’re matching One solution is to invest capital via the like-minded individuals. A ‘rural Folk2Folk platform to generate a monthly business’ can be any business run from income which could supplement the older a rural location and includes: farmers generation’s retirement without reducing and landowners diversifying, country the capital holding of the farming house hotels starting or expanding, business. manufacturing businesses branching The CLA does not endorse any particular lender out, small to medium sized property or financial product. It is important to ensure you development, golf courses upgrading carry out sufficient research and get your own advice from an independent financial adviser, and vineyards growing. including advice on the suitability of any financial product. Always obtain legal advice on any documentation before signing.


39 Folk2Folk_January 2020_Land & Business 39


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Puppy love These products will help to make sure your dogs, whether workers or pets, get the best possible treatment and nutrition


Friday Fox Combining traditional English country style with warmth and practicality, Friday Fox dog coats are hard wearing, beautifully tailored and made by hand in England. Warm, stylish & cut in a full range of sizes, we make dog coats for terriers, daschunds, whippets, greyhounds, lurchers, sporting dogs and most other breeds. We are delighted to have been making dog coats for over decade and proud to have been voted “One of the UK’s top 10 dog accessories” by The Independent Newspaper. The Friday Fox pure wool coat for Pointers, Vizslas and Weimaraners is made from the finest English Horse blanket. Soft, durable and very, very warm, they are lovely stylish coats for a walk out in the winter or keeping an older working dog extra warm at night. They are easy to fit, simply slipping over the dog’s head and fastening with the adjustable surcingle strap. These coats also have excellent moisture wicking properties. This makes them fabulous for warming and drying working dogs who are cold and wet after a long day in the field.

fridayfox.co.uk 01254 701458


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Tuffies Dog Beds Tuffies Dog Beds are creating the best in dog beds. All Tuffies beds are fully waterproof and extremely durable while keeping dog comfort as the number one priority for the design. In addition to the waterproof designs there are various convenient add ons such as machine washable fleeces for extra comfort and convenience in cleaning. Tuffies also supply one guaranteed chewproof model.

tuffies.co.uk 01888 563288

Chapel Farm Premium Dog Food David Lisett is very particular about what he feeds his dogs in the Buccleuch Kennels, with the ingredients used in the manufacture of Chapel Farm Dog Food all fit for human consumption. David spent a great deal of time in the development stages ensuring that each diet was of the highest quality. He says: “To have a happy dog it needs to be a healthy dog. What I feed our dogs is of paramount importance for both their well-being and performance. The dogs have never looked so well since being fed the diets in the Chapel Farm range.”

chapelfarmdogfood.co.uk 01848 600402


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Gundog Gear Gundog Gear is an online company selling gundog training and shooting equipment, country clothing & footwear from brands including Firedog, Aigle, Hoggs of Fife, Paramo, Croots, Bisley, Deerhunter, Jack Pyke and Stanley. Run by gundog trainer and Kennel Club Field Trial Judge Gary McCarthy, a keen shooting and trialling man and wife Emma, our mission is to provide you with the right products to meet your needs at an unbeatable price. We’re always happy to give help or advice, and we’d love to hear from you. Currently offering free delivery on all UK orders.

gundoggear.co.uk gundoggear@btconnect.com 0151 348 4762

Lintran Transit Box You can visit us - please make an appointment. Suppliers to RSPCA, Battersea Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and many more professionals. ISO registered. Let us help you make the correct choices. 30 years’ manufacturing experience.

Working Dog Food Co Working Dog Food Co offer a fresh meat, natural, Grain Free food choice for your dog. The range of adult, senior and puppy foods are great for working dogs but popular among many non workers due to the high quality, single protein source mixture which is great for even sensitive tummies. Rated high by our reviewers that can be seen across our social media, these are affordable premium diets that will lead to wagging tails and empty bowls.

workingdogfoodcompany.co.uk ukmadedogfood.co.uk 020 8938 3946

lintran.co.uk 01673 885959

Muntjac Trading Muntjac Trading Ltd is a family run supplier of high quality, original and guaranteed gundog and deer dog equipment and is the exclusive importer of the Mystique brand of products. Established by Kit Taylor in 2008 who combines a passion for gundog and deer dog work with the desire to prove that all gundog equipment is not created equal. While having a growing website, trade and trainer customer base Muntjac Trading is probably the largest gundog company to do the Game Fair circuit enabling customers from the experienced trainer to the novice the chance to handle and discuss what equipment will suit their individual needs.

muntjactrading.com 01527 870906

ArdMoor From sturdy tethers, leads & training tools to cosy dog beds, coats and drybags, ArdMoor have everything the working dog needs in the field and at home. Specialists in shooting clothing and equipment, we stock a huge range of kit to keep gundogs at the very top of their game before, during and after a shoot. Better still, CLA members can save 15% on the entire ArdMoor range. Simply visit the CLA website’s Members Offers page to get your discount code which can be redeemed at our website or over the phone.

ardmoor.co.uk 01620 671480


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n a clear but cold day in November, representatives from the worlds of agriculture and the environment gathered on a Gloucestershire farm to mark 10 years of the Championing for the Farmed Environment (CFE) partnership. Hosted by CLA Deputy President (and co-chair of CFE’s Strategy Group) Mark Tufnell, the day was a celebration of CFE (originally launched as Campaign for the Farmed Environment in 2009) and a chance to publicly recognise those putting CFE principles into practice on their farms. CFE was launched to showcase the contribution the agriculture sector makes to the environment and the CLA has been a core member of the partnership ever since. It offers a shared understanding, led by the farming sector, of how to manage the farmed environment, grouped under four themes: air, water, soil and wildlife. The proceedings kicked off with a reflection on the past decade from Jim Egan, a leading light in CFE from the start, as recognised by the Distinguished Service Award he was to receive later in the day. Jim outlined why CFE exists and what has been achieved. The focus of CFE has always been on how to integrate environmental management within a productive business, using advice, guidance and common messages about good practice developed in partnership by the farming industry. Just 10 years ago, many saw the environment as either in tension with agricultural production, or something of an afterthought. These days though, managing the farmed environment is firmly on the agenda, with agronomists and other advisers seeing it as central to the advice they offer.

Sweet harmony The relationship between nature and farming has changed in the decade since the launch of Championing the Farmed Environment, writes CLA Senior Land Use Adviser Harry Greenfield The day’s main event was holistically, and as a part of an awards ceremony for four their farm business. FIND OUT MORE farmers who epitomised To see theory made Go to cfeonline.org.uk the CFE ethos. Ranging practice at even closer from a dairy farm tackling quarters, we took advantage ammonia emissions to a of the glorious weather to farmer working with a local water tour Mark’s farm, looking at how he company to adopt catchment-friendly has embraced the CFE philosophy, with farming practices such as minimuma focus on providing wildlife habitat. tillage farming, the four winners were Using combinations of hedges, field passionate and articulate advocates margins and beetle banks he has created for sustainable a patchwork of habitats for farmland agriculture. Although birds and insects, interspersed with the each had a particular productive arable landscape of the farm. focus, such as The day ended with a final session Patrick Barker’s looking to the future. Although much love of wildlife or policy detail is yet to be worked out, Jonathan Boaz’ there is no doubt that the environment, innovative techniques and especially climate change, will to improve soil continue to be central to farming over health, along with the next 10 years. This means that CFE fellow winners Phil should be well-placed to continue to Latham and Rob provide advice, support and guidance Atkin, they consider to farmers wishing to deliver more the environment environmental benefits.

‘Ten years ago, many saw the environment as either in tension with agricultural production, or something of an afterthought’


42 CFE event_January 2020_Land & Business 42


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CLA member benefits Members can access services negotiated with selected partners who understand members’ needs and share the CLA’s values

CLA Insurance make your insurance simple. More than just a broker, we are trusted advisers who free individuals and businesses from the burden of risk. When it came time to renew his insurance, CLA member Mr Hicklin, based in Derbyshire, contacted us at CLA Insurance and asked for a no-obligation quote. With two other firms also involved in this tender, we were able to provide insurance at 48% less than the more expensive firm with exactly the same levels of cover. It wasn’t just the cost that impressed Mr Hicklin. We were also able to combine his property, home and liabilities under one

CLA Utilities CLA Utilities give expert utility advice to CLA members running rural businesses and can help you reduce your electricity, gas and water expenditure.


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You can benefit from a free assessment of your utilities bills and advice on how you can operate more efficiently. Contact CLA Utilities and challenge them to find you the best utility rates available. T: 0800 046 9074 E: utilities@cla.org.uk

CLA Healthcare CLA Healthcare understand your needs as a landowner, farmer or rural business owner. As a broker, our priority is to offer the right healthcare package for you, your family and your employees. For CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell, we were able to do just that. In 2018, Mark contacted us to discuss his Private Medical Insurance (PMI) and whether the staff in his business could benefit from PMI cover too. We carried out an independent review of the market for a business policy and then negotiated with his current insurer to transfer cover to a group policy. This offered Mark and his family the same level of cover and comprehensive benefits as well as extending healthcare to five employees. And only for a small increase on what was already being paid. Contact us for a free, no obligation healthcare review: T: 01274 717361 E: healthcare@cla.org.uk W: clahealthcare.co.uk


CLA Insurance

policy, making his insurance easier. Often it is the claims process that causes headaches for insurance customers. At CLA Insurance, we pride ourselves on providing a fast, empathic and responsive service. When Mr Hicklin needed to claim, he experienced just this. He commented that it was a quick, efficient and our team were very easy to deal with. At CLA Insurance, we are here for you. With insurance specially designed for CLA members, you benefit from excellent service, comprehensive cover and competitive prices. Contact us today for insurance advice and a no obligation quotation. T 01234 311 211 E: insurance@cla.org.uk W: clainsurance.co.uk


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CLA Member Offers CLA Member Offers give you access to a range of products and services at discounted rates

ArdMoor has the right country wear for every occasion. CLA members are able to save 15% on everything on the ArdMoor website using the code MEMBERCLA15. Simple visit ardmoor.co.uk and enter the code at checkout.

Hoval advise many CLA members on the best fuel types and heating technologies for their properties. CLA members get a 20% discount on any Hoval heating products. E: ian.dagley@hoval.co.uk

VEHICLE DISCOUNTS If you’re ready to upgrade your current vehicle then CLA’s discounts are the perfect way to do so. Substantial savings are offered across the Ford, Mitsubishi and Toyota vehicle ranges. To find out more about the discounts currently available, you can visit your local dealership or email memberservices@cla.org.uk.

IMPORTANT NOTICE The products offered within the CLA Member Services programme are provided by the suppliers mentioned and not by the CLA itself. CLA merely acts as an introducer. The CLA has exercised reasonable care in selecting the suppliers, taking account of a range of matters, which might include product range, pricing and/or service levels, depending on the service in question. However, the CLA cannot and does not give any guarantee or accept any responsibility to members as to the value for money or suitability of any particular product. It is the member’s decision whether to select the product, after having taken professional advice if necessary. Members should note that the CLA may receive commission or other payments from suppliers in respect of their status as “preferred suppliers” and/or in respect of products sold to CLA members. By using CLA Member Services, members agree that the CLA may retain all such payments. Details of such payments will be provided in respect of particular products, or on request.

The award-winning Kensa Heat Pumps are the UK’s most popular ground source heat pumps. As a CLA member, you get a 10% discount on Kensa ground source heat pump units, plus a no-obligation project consultation. T: 0845 680 4328 E: enquiries@kensaheatpumps.com

Independent power and energy consultant Roadnight Taylor offers CLA members their Stop/GoTM feasibility study from £395+VAT (a discount of £100) (see more on page 15 of this issue) T: 01993 830571 W: roadnighttaylor.co.uk/CLA-race-is-on

Find out more If you would like to know more about the CLA Member Services or Offers, please email memberservices@cla.org.uk or visit our website. Member Services: cla.org.uk/members-area/member-services


44-45 CLA Offers_January 2020_Land & Business 45

16/12/2019 17:42



CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell, chair of the CLA Board

On Board The CLA is recruiting for a new Board member. Chair of the Board and Deputy President Mark Tufnell answers our questions Why is the CLA Board recruiting now? A vacancy is due to arise in November on the Board and we are looking to attract members who may be interested. Board members normally serve a three-year term, with the possibility of renewal.

What is the CLA Board? The CLA Board’s role is to oversee the running of the organisation, holding the Director General to account and making sure that the CLA works as well as possible to deliver for members. It normally meets four times a year and is chaired by the Deputy President, now Mark Tufnell. The Board members include the CLA Officers, the Director General, the Finance Director, Membership Director, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and a number of non-executive board members who are all CLA members.


46 Board_January 2020_Land & Business 46

What issues does the Board get involved in?? At our last meeting in n October we focused on making sure the CLA is n the in a fit state to take on challenges of the nextt few years, looking at how we usee bership data, reviewing membership ntion, and d recruitment and retention, na ensuring the CLA’s finances are in ur goals. position to achieve our

What about looking oking to the future? We have developed the CLA’s plan for 2020-22, including the new CLA Purpose and Vision, and key strategic objectives to guide our work over the next three to five years. It’s really important that we have a broad range of perspectives on the Board that can help to challenge our assumptions, bring fresh ideas and make sure our decision making is robust.

What about the way the CLA uses technology? The Board recently reviewed progress with the CLA’s new database, which is an essential tool for managing the organisation’s relationship with members. This is key to making sure they get the best possible value from their membership.

What involvement do you have with the CLA’s strategic partners? The organisation has partnerships with CLA Insurance, Healthcare and Utilities, and the Board oversees these relationships, making sure that the offers meet members’ needs.

What would you say to members interested in applying? We are at a crucial time for the rural economy and the CLA is a central player in shaping the future for our members. If you feel you have the passion to make a real difference we would be delighted to hear from you. We would especially like to hear from women members and those at an earlier stage in managing their business.

INTERESTED IN APPLYING? Would you bring a fresh perspective to the CLA Board? Do you have a passion to make a difference and strengthen the CLA? Are you interested in shaping our strategy and plans? To find out more and to apply contact your local CLA office.


16/12/2019 17:43


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ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES Acorus are a national company specialising in rural development. We specialise in a variety of planning matters and can take a project from inception to completion, and eventual sale if so desired. We have the beneďŹ t of an experienced in-house design/drawing team. We work closely with each other to negotiate the complexities of rural planning whether permitted development rules, working in the green belt, conversion of existing buildings, new farm dwellings or other buildings in the countryside.

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13/12/2019 16:49



Heather Hancock, chair of the Food Standards Agency


rexit may have been up in the air for months, but at the Food Standards Agency a modernised, pro-active system is already up and running to help protect public health following our departure from Europe. The independent government agency’s chair, Heather Hancock, was the guest speaker at the CLA’s latest London Branch meeting, held at the offices of Lawrence Foote & Partners. Mrs Hancock told the audience that food and Brexit are very much intertwined. While Britain has had significant influence on the European food system in recent years, we are now well-placed to build on our reputation as world leaders in using data and technology to deliver a modern, risk-based regulatory regime. She said: “As part of our Brexit preparations we have invested in a new strategic surveillance system, expanded our National Food Crime Unit and taken on more scientists. “We are world-leading in our use of data to highlight emerging risks. For instance, when needles were found in strawberries in Australia last year, we had gathered intelligence that there was a problem, engaged with the Australian authorities, tracked trade routes and confirmed that none of the affected fruit was in the UK, all before the scare hit the press even

Brexit and food Leaving the EU will bring both opportunities and risks for the UK’s food producers, the chair of the Food Standards Agency told CLA members. Mike Sims reports in Australia, and some while before formal notifications were issued. “Of course, we can’t rule out food incidents – we deal with over 2,000 incidents every year – but when we leave the EU, the systems we’ve built put us in a good starting position.” There are challenges on the horizon, however. Mrs Hancock said: “The world is changing quickly, from online delivery apps creating more complex networks between food businesses and consumers, to the growing understanding of food allergies and intolerances and especially the

significant risks these pose among young people. “What people eat, where it comes from and how they choose to buy it are all changing rapidly and our focus is on a strong regulatory regime to protect the public among all this change. “And looking beyond our shores, a strong independent regulator is a benefit to food companies looking to reach international markets – the UK has a leading reputation in food safety that exporters very much value.” The Food Standards Agency was created in 2000 in the aftermath of the BSE scandal, working across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The crisis “destroyed lives, livelihoods, international relations and trust”, and the FSA emerged from the ruins. Years later, the horse meat scandal in 2013 served as a stark reminder of the damage that can be done when food authenticity is put at risk. Mrs Hancock said: “For us the consumer comes first, and trust in food is at the heart of what we do.”

GET INVOLVED A varied line-up of speakers are set to talk at the CLA’s London Branch over the coming months. 22 JANUARY


Professor Dieter Helm, economist and Fellow of New College, Oxford


James Palmer, first Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough


For more information and to join London Branch please call the CLA’s Membership team on 0207 235 0511.


49 Londaon Branch_January 2020_Land & Business 49


16/12/2019 17:45



Brexit myth busting Heather Hancock, chair of the Food Standards Agency, busts some myths about post-Brexit trade deals, chlorinated chicken and climate change, writes Mike Sims


Talk of chlorinated chicken flooding the UK market postBrexit is an emotive and controversial issue, but how safe is it and how is this likely to pan out? Chlorinated chicken has become something of a totemic issue in the Brexit debate. However, the public should be reassured that the high standard of food safety and consumer protection we enjoy in this country will not change when we leave the EU. In the UK, chlorine washes can be used on fresh produce, like salads, but are not allowed on meat. Only water can be used to remove surface contamination from poultry in the EU and these rules will remain in place after we leave. If any rule changes are considered post-Brexit, then we would apply a rigorous risk assessment to those proposals,


50 FSA myth_January 2020_Land & Business 50

with our absolute priority being the protection of public health.

Will trade deals have an impact on our existing regulation, and where is pressure likely to come from? There are no plans to unpick any existing food regulations because of Brexit and we are under no pressure to do so. Ministers are responsible for negotiating the UK’s post-Brexit trade deals and the Food Standards Agency (FSA)’s role is to advise them on food safety issues. As is the case today, any potential changes to food safety regulations will be scienceled, widely consulted on, and fully transparent. Consumer trust cannot be compromised.

What role will climate change play in how food is imported and exported, and on consumer demands and preferences? A changing climate is one of a number of challenges we face as part of a global economy with a complex food chain. Climate change has the potential to impact on food supply as well as food safety. To ensure we are in the best place possible to face those challenges the FSA is building the most modern and agile food safety regime in the world. A key part of this is strategic surveillance. This is a proactive data-driven approach to identify risks to our food. We are using a

variety of databases to identify and evaluate food risks, including data on weather, trade and social media. This will inform our policies and help us to target resources where they are most needed.

Will the UK be inspecting foreign suppliers to check and monitor standards? The current high standards the UK requires for imports will be maintained, whether that’s around animal welfare or food safety. The latter is the FSA’s remit and we will make sure imported food continues to be safe. This includes maintaining a robust and effective regulatory regime for the safety of imported food. We are improving our surveillance arrangements and will introduce a requirement for pre-notification of high-risk food imports from the EU. This means that if any food safety risks emerge, we can take action to ensure they are controlled.

Do you think high UK food standards make us more or less competitive in export markets? The food industry is worth around £4bn a year to the UK economy and its hard-earned global reputation is thanks to the high standards that our industry and consumers demand. Maintaining these standards will ensure our trading partners have confidence in UK food and the FSA will play a vital role in ensuring that happens.


16/12/2019 17:46

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Cymru/ Wales news Welsh infrastructure must pump-prime the Rural Powerhouse communication are the life-blood of today’s thriving economy. Today consumers take it for granted that they can browse, select, order and track goods and services using this technology. Today’s farms too conduct daily business in the same way. In Wales large parts of the country are included in the three-worst connected local authority areas in the UK. Broadband and mobile connectivity must be matched by the physical ability to move people and goods around quickly and sustainably. It’s equally vital that the electricity grid be updated to enable rural Wales to achieve its massive potential to

Parliamentary candidates back Rural Powerhouse

generate renewable energy in many projects large and small. The Rural Powerhouse is a long-term campaign which was launched and intensified in the general election period – but in fact there’s a huge amount of work to be done to promote the potential and the needs of the rural economy. Our infrastructure must play its part in meeting the current and next generation’s vital needs to create a sustainable farming and rural economy, invigorated by investment in innovation, skills and continuous improvement.



esponding to the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales’ (NICW) Annual Report launched last month, CLA Cymru has called for more focus on how development of Wales’ infrastructure promotes growth in the rural economy. The NICW has called for evidence by March 2020. In its submission CLA Cymru will urge the Commission to examine how its work can improve physical and virtual infrastructure as the life-blood of rural communities – realising the CLA’s vision of a Rural Powerhouse. Mobile and broadband


CLA Cymru Rural Tourism Forum In association with cottages.com and Rural Solutions

11 & 19 FEBRUARY

Adviser surgery days Usk and Llanrws

10 & 12 MARCH

Adviser surgery days

Lampeter and Newtown

25 & 26 MARCH

Bringing development land to market The Rural Powerhouse energises Welsh politicians on rural issues. Parliamentary candidates from the four main political parties – and the Welsh Government’s Rural Affairs Minister with our former Director, Rebecca Williams (centre) – showed their support for the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign during the general election campaign in December. Our campaign goes on and we look to support MPs to transform our messages into policy.


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Llanerch and St Clears Visit to Charles Ransford Sawmill, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire For more information go to the CLA website.


17/12/2019 09:57

CLA CYMRU DIRECTOR NIGEL HOLLETT nigel.hollett@cla.org.uk 01547 317085 @CLAWales

CLA CYMRU Orbit Business Centre Rhydycar Business Park Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1DL

The scourge of the Welsh countryside That the year-end Welsh Government figures on flytipping failed to make the headlines surprises nobody. The rural community is numb to the sight of waste – and accustomed to bearing the cost. It’s accepted as an occupational hazard. 2019 saw more than 35,000 cases formally reported in Wales – consistent with previous years – except that now the statistics exclude “sidewaste” – overspill or waste deposited near layby waste bins. It tells us that despite new regulations and powers to impose penalties for local authorities the problem is not improving. Average clearance costs is about £800 – more in time, fuel and labour – more still if this involves hazardous waste requiring special attention. Government says the total clearance cost of fly-tipped waste is around £1.7m. More than 27,000 enforcement actions were taken, 89% of prosecution outcomes resulted in a fine. The inaccessibility of local Take a seat and enjoy the view of fly-tipped waste in the Welsh authority waste transfer countryside stations and the cost of wastedisposal may both contribute to the problem. Incidents on private land are always under-reported as farmers and land managers focus on clear-up and ensuring their normal business activities can go ahead unimpeded. Land managers who fail to clear up waste deposited on their land face prosecution. Fly-tipping is a crime in which innocent victims pay penalties while perpetrators fail to carry out their own responsibilities, often pocket some cash and go unpunished – encouraging them to commit the offence again. Fly-tipped waste contaminates land and water courses, creates health and safety threats to humans, livestock and wild animals, blights the countryside and leads to heavy clear up costs for farmers, landowners and rural businesses. We are engaged with the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and other stakeholders in urging them to do more to confront the problem. But we are calling on CLA members to tell us more about their experiences with the problem. We need that evidence – which we can deploy, anonymously where necessary.

New CLA Cymru Director Welcome to our new CLA Cymru Director, Nigel Hollett. Nigel has a strong interest in agriculture and the countryside from spending much of his childhood on family farms in the Gower Peninsula. He has worked in Wales and other parts of the UK with the Environment Agency, private engineering consultancies and as the chief executive of a UK Sector Skills Council. Much of the last 10 years have been connected to skills development

and his last position was as director of corporate affairs at WorldSkills UK. Nigel looks forward to meeting colleagues, members and other visitors at CLA Cymru events, the Royal Welsh and other shows and other opportunities throughout the year.


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16/12/2019 17:48


South East news

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex

Berkshire branch welcomes new chairman property enterprise in West Berkshire, covering 9,000 acres of the North Wessex Downs AONB. In 2018 Mr Slack was awarded the British Empire Medal for voluntary services to communities in Berkshire and Kent. He is married to Emma and they have two young daughters. Mr Slack said: “It has been a privilege to

have worked alongside Andrew during his chairmanship and I am excited to be taking on the role. “Regardless of what happens next with Brexit, there are many wider changes facing farming and the rural economy, but there are exciting opportunities too. It has never been more important for the CLA to strongly represent its members and the wider agricultural and rural business sector.” Mr Slack, whose hobbies include watching England rugby and shooting, is also a Special Constable with Kent Police serving as a traffic officer in the Roads Policing Unit, a steam locomotive driver at the Kent and East Sussex

The future of farming debated Farming will change dramatically over the next 30 years, a panel of experts agreed at a CLA debate – but different visions of the future were painted. Supported by Lloyds Bank and Carter Jonas, the debate looked at the challenges and opportunities the industry is likely to face between now and 2050. Farmer, vegan and land management voices were among those to feature on the panel, who gathered at Sparsholt College near Winchester. Panelists set out how changes to consumer preferences and addressing


54-55 South East_January 2020_Land & Business 54

climate change could lead to a rise in tree planting, a shift in how farms are subsidised and an increase in indoor and vertical farming. While Tim Thorpe from the Vegan Society said agriculture needs to transition towards being plant-based to future proof itself, with increasing demand for high protein crops and non-dairy milk alternatives, others argued livestock will continue to play an important role. We have compiled a three-



he new chairman of the Berkshire branch of the CLA, David Slack, says the next few years will bring considerable changes and opportunities to the rural economy in the county. Mr Slack, who has replaced Andrew Gardiner in the role, is managing director of the Yattendon Estate, a diverse farming and

Railway and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and a member of Newbury Baptist Church. CLA Regional Director Michael Valenzia said: “We wish to place on record our sincere thanks to Andrew for his tremendous work, ideas and enthusiasm over the course of his chairmanship. “We are delighted to welcome David into the role and look forward to working closely with him.”


10am to 2pm Diversification seminar, The Orchards Events Venue, New Road, East Malling, ME19 6BJ.


9.30am to 4pm Smart Farming conference, Syngenta, Jealott’s Hill International Research Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG42 6EY. A series of succession seminars in early February, more details coming soon.

page summary report covering the main points raised during the debate – please visit the CLA website to download or print it. Speaker slides are also available online. With thanks to our event partners for their support.


16/12/2019 17:49

CLA SOUTH EAST Fosse House, East Anton Court, Icknield Way, Andover, Hants SP10 5RG

CLA SOUTH EAST DIRECTOR MICHAEL VALENZIA 01264 313434 michael.valenzia@cla.org.uk @CLASouthEast

Fly-tipping figures bleak for South East The number of fly-tipping incidents on public land has soared in some parts of the South East, the latest official figures show. Councils in England dealt with more than one million incidents of fly-tipping last

year, an 8% rise on 2017/8 and the highest level in a decade, with the true figure likely to be far higher as incidents on private land are not included. But parts of the South East have seen a far sharper rise.

Surrey Heath experienced a 47% jump, Lewes saw a 73% increase, and Maidstone suffered a 57% rise. It also comes as Portsmouth Water was forced to temporarily shut a pumping station to protect an underground source after fly-tipped metal drums were found to be leaking unknown chemicals. More than 170 containers were dumped in Lovedean, Hampshire, posing a risk to the water supply. Meanwhile in a

separate incident in Hampshire, three men have been convicted for dumping waste illegally, including rubbish from a church. Daniel Worboys, Jason Newman and Sidney Simpson received suspended prison sentences following an Environment Agency investigation. CLA South East engages extensively with police forces in the region in order to continually highlight the impact of fly-tipping and other real crime issues.

Metal drums recently fly-tipped in Hampshire (photo credit: Portsmouth Water)

New year, new debate We are kicking 2020 off with a free debate on the Isle of Wight, exploring whether farming can be both financially and environmentally sustainable. It will be held on 29 January, from 6pm to 8.30pm at the Garlic Farm, supported by BCM. The evening has a theme of ‘Food versus the environment: Can we farm profitably in harmony with nature?’, examining the challenges farmers and landowners face in balancing food production with environmental considerations. With the proposed Agriculture and Environment bills currently delayed, what should farmers be doing to plan for the future? How will

any post-Brexit trade deals affect our food and the environment, and how can our world-leading welfare standards be protected? These questions and more will be covered during the debate, which will be chaired by James Attrill, President of the CLA Isle of Wight Branch. The speaker panel is Harry Greenfield – Senior Land Use Policy Adviser at the CLA, Jamie Marsh – reserves manager at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Vix Lowthion of the Green Party, and Nick Shorter, CLA member from Velcourt. The debate is free to attend but places must be booked via our website.


54-55 South East_January 2020_Land & Business 55

16/12/2019 17:49


South West news Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire

Devon and Cornwall Police Rural Crime Conference when the family farm Manitou was stolen right from the farmyard and the financial, logistical and emotional impact this had on the family. Shaun Sawyer talked about the importance of prevention and education and how animal activism was being considered as a serious issue. He said: “We need to know what evidence is expected of the Crown Court to be able to prosecute in animal activism cases.” He also talked how

General election hustings


n the midst of the general election campaign the CLA South West team held two political hustings in Cornwall and Devon. With panellists representing all of the main political parties, there was a diverse range of questions with everything from housing to overseas plastics covered within the discussions. The first of the two debates were held in Lostwithiel, with Farming Minister George Eustice (Conservative), Lord Teverson (Lib Dems), Joy Bassett (Labour) and Colin Harker (Green). Lord Teverson and George Eustice took polar opposite approaches to Brexit, as Mr Eustice articulated that the rural sector could not


58-59 South West_January 2020_Land & Business 56

move forward without a new agricultural system and was stagnating whereas Lord Teverson argued that Brexit poses a devastating threat to the viability of agriculture. The second of the hustings was in Sourton featuring Efra Select Committee Chair Neil Parish (Conservative), Liz Pole (Labour) and David Chalmers (Lib Dems). This was another lively affair with analysis on tree planting and how ambitious all of the political parties have been on setting targets for number of required trees, without identifying where they would go. Thank you to all of the CLA members who attended either of the sessions – you certainly didn’t give the candidates an easy ride!


On 18 November CLA South West Director Ann Maidment joined the NFU and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer on the stage at Devon and Cornwall Police’s first conference dedicated to rural crime. Speaking to an audience of around 200 farmers, landowners and police, Ann highlighted some of the major crime issues currently facing landowners and farmers. She spoke of her own experience

he wants officers to be able to work with individuals in the rural and farming sector to help them through the emotional turmoil that crime can cause. A major underpinning of the day was the message that all crime must be reported. While there was recognition that 101 could be improved, online reporting is now available for nonemergency reporting. Without the intelligence gathered from reporting not only can police resources be allocated appropriately to problem areas, but cases can’t be pieced together against criminals.

CLA Advisers Members’ Clinic: 4 FEBRUARY Lifton, Devon 13 FEBRUARY, North Petherton,

Somerset An opportunity for you to bring your rural issues and queries and book a either a half hour or one hour slot with one of the CLA South West’s rural surveyor team. Graham Clark, Will Langer and Claire Wright will be available to answer your queries.

Succession – plan for the future: 4 MARCH Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire 24 MARCH Lifton, Devon

Once again we will be hosting a seminar covering the topic of succession and what to plan for when it comes to passing on the family business. This subject, often difficult to raise, will cover the step-by-step succession guide, what you should do if your son or daughter does not want to take on the family farm, if you don’t have a successor in place as well as covering the tax implications when handing over the reins. We will be hosting two seminars on this topic and as always family members can come along free of charge. There will be opportunities to ask our knowledgeable team of experts your questions. cla.org.uk

16/12/2019 17:52

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Forestry Update Around 60 members recently attended a highly successful CLA Forestry Update seminar sponsored by Tilhill Forestry at the Ramsbury Estate in Wiltshire in November. Chaired by CLA Wiltshire Chairman Charles Hobhouse, delegates heard from CLA Chief Land Use Adviser Susan Twining on emerging government policy on trees and the scale of planting needed to tackle climate change. Julian Ohlson, District Manager for Tilhill in the South of England, then covered planting grants, species selection in the context of climate change and the main tree pest and disease challenges before giving a forestry market update and forward look. Devon County Council tree officer Bob Stevenson then gave an insight into the acute challenges of ash dieback for Highways Authorities and private landowners, especially with regard to roadside trees. The day finished off with a tour of some of the estate woodlands with an explanation from Alastair Ewing of the Ramsbury Estate and his forestry managers Wessex Woodland Management. We will be holding another event in either Devon or Cornwall covering similar topics in the spring. Keep an eye out for the events programme, which will be landing on your doormat soon.

CLA SOUTH WEST Manor Farm Stables, Biddestone, Wiltshire SN14 7DH

REGIONAL DIRECTOR ANN MAIDMENT 01249 700200 ann.maidment@cla.org.uk @CLASouthwest

Gundog theft awareness Dog theft, especially of working dogs, has seen a recent increase and is a huge problem in some parts of the country. DogLost.co.uk – the leading website for lost and found pets, has stated that almost 50% of its missing dog reports actually relate to working dogs. The most commonly stolen gundogs are cocker spaniels, springer spaniels and labradors. Even if dog theft isn’t a big issue in your area, it is worth taking a few moments to think about the security of your working dogs and the simple crime prevention measures that you can take such as not leaving dogs unattended in vehicles, stepping up home and kennel security and obtaining tracking devices for your dogs. Remember, by law, all dogs must be microchipped. Keep your details up to date with the microchipping company.


58-59 South West_January 2020_Land & Business 57

16/12/2019 17:52


Midlands news Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Rutland Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire

Charitable Trust students


arper Adams University students Jamie Jay and Fran Houseman called into the Midlands regional office to find out more about the work of the CLA and to show their support for our #RuralPowerhouse campaign. Both students were recipients of the CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship, which is awarded to two students each year who are studying Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University. Speaking about the Scholarship, Jamie said: “I would like to thank the

CLA Charitable Trust for their continued support over the past three years while I have completed my studies at Harper Adams University. The award has unlocked some great opportunities, such as visiting the CLA Head Office in London, attending conferences, such as the CLA Rural Business Conference and representing the CLA at the Oxford Farming Conference. As a student looking to have a successful career in land management, these opportunities have benefited my personal development and academic achievement.

Pictured (left to right): Harper Adams graduate Jamie Jay, CLA Midlands Rural Surveyor John Greenshields and Fran Houseman


Cheshire West and Chester Council is looking for locations to create or restore ponds within the borough to benefit newts, possibly being able to cover all costs for the practical work, deal with the consent process and make a one-off payment of £500 per pond. This Great Crested Newt District Level Licensing scheme creates habitat to help offset impact from development.


56-57 Midlands_January 2020_Land & Business 58

Because new and restored ponds need to benefit newts, relevant guidelines would need to be followed. For further information contact joe.gough@ cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk or call 01244 973583.


The Year of the Gamekeeper 2020 is a multi-organisational initiative, which aims to raise the profile of gamekeepers, celebrate their unique position as custodians of the countryside,

“The financial support is very significant and has enormously helped me when considering the increased tuition fees and living costs. The extra finance has helped counter my debt and it enabled me to travel away from home on placement. It has also helped me attend seminars and conferences, purchase academic resources and professional memberships. “I believe the CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship will enormously benefit my career going forwards. My next objective is to progress into a job post-graduation, and I hope that my experiences undertaken through my scholarship will set me apart from the crowd. Once graduated I will look to complete my RICS accreditation and complete my CAAV exams. My career goals are to become a successful land agent and help to support a sustainable rural economy.” The CLA Charitable Trust is funded almost entirely by subscriptions from CLA members and provides grants to charities and community organisations in England and Wales who share their vision. For further information search for CLA Charitable Trust on the CLA website or call 0207 235 0511

as well as support and sustain the long-term future of the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust (GWT). The Trust aims to support gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their families, past, present and future and hopes to raise £220,000 by the end of this year, through encouraging every gamekeeper and member of the shooting community to do one thing in 2020 to raise funds for the GWT. For further information visit thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com

or call the Trust on 01677 470180.


We are rescheduling our planned Health and Safety event to mid-February at Woodhall Farm, Codsall Wood, Wolverhampton. The event will cover practical solutions as well as legal issues that affect all rural businesses. Full details will be sent to members via the usual channels.


16/12/2019 17:50

CLA MIDLANDS Knightley, Woodseaves, Staffordshire ST20 0JW

REGIONAL DIRECTOR MARK RICHES 01785 337010 mark.riches@cla.org.uk @CLAMidlands

The Cultivate Conference 2020

Land Development Seminar The first ever event at The View, a new venue at Hill Farm Marina in Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, was the CLA’s Land Development Seminar, kindly sponsored by Smith Williamson. Pictured here (left to right) are the speakers – CLA Midlands Rural Surveyor John Greenshields, Catesby Estates Planning Director David Morris Smith and Williamson Partner Business Tax Services Ray Abercromby and CLA Head of Planning Fenella Collins. Please contact John Greenshields at the regional office if you would like advice on developing your land.

Developing an equine business Whether livery, stud, trekking, polo or racehorses, developing an equine business is always a popular choice among members, but there are many pitfalls to avoid. Our event at Stallion AI near Whitchurch addressed many of these issues with speakers from Whittingham Riddell chartered accountants and Actons Solicitors covering many of the options. If you are thinking of diversifying into, or developing an existing equine enterprise, contact the regional office. We also have a useful advisory handbook – Horses and the Law – which may be obtained via the CLA website or by calling 0207 235 0511.

CLA members can benefit from a discounted ticket price to attend the inaugural Cultivate Conference, which takes place on Wednesday, 29 January at Heaton House Farm, near Macclesfield. Cultivate is a full day business conference and rural growth summit featuring four speakers who have transformed their own rural businesses to multi-millionpound successes, delivering effective strategies and problem-solving tactics that you can implement immediately. Two mastermind sessions will

help you pinpoint obstacles in your own growth strategy, find ways to overcome them, and walk away with effective solutions. The Cultivate Conference will help those rural businesses and individuals with a growth mindset to innovate further, to collaborate and to thrive. The normal ticket price is £175 plus VAT, but CLA members can attend for a reduced price of £125 plus VAT. To take advantage of this offer, email simon@ srhagribusiness.co.uk or visit cultivateconference.co.uk

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56-57 Midlands_January 2020_Land & Business 59

16/12/2019 17:51


North news

Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Yorkshire

Northern Farming Conference 2019 round-up


armers have the power to drive their own businesses forward by being agile and embracing new technology and approaches, despite the uncertainties presented by Brexit and climate change. This was the key message from speakers as they addressed the theme of ‘Sweating the Assets’ at the 2019 Northern Farming Conference, now in its 10th anniversary year, which attracted about 200 delegates to Hexham Auction Market in Northumberland in November last year. CLA President Mark Bridgeman urged farmers and rural businesses across the region to explore diversification to deal with changing times. Mr Bridgeman also suggested that while the

climate change agenda presents challenges, it will also create new opportunities for farmers and landowners. These include the ability to tap into private and public investment by trading carbon credits, providing ecosystem services and delivering environmental net gain through the planning system. Speakers included Mark

Afternoon speakers - Alex Brewster (farmer & Nuffield Scholar), Rob Ord (Drone Ag), Bob Middleton (CSF) & afternoon conference chairman Harry Chrisp (Gibson & Co. Solicitors)

FARMER HEALTHCHECKS An invitation to all CLA members in the farming community – the winter farmer health checks have been planned at various venues and dates into the New Year. Check-ups take place between 11am and 1.30pm on the following dates: 15 JANUARY Ripon Farm Services Open Days at Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate 16 JANUARY Farmstar Open Day, Marr, near Doncaster 5 FEBRUARY Yorkshire Machinery Show, Murton, York The farmer health checks are


60-61 North_January 2020_Land & Business 60

Suthern – national head of agriculture at Barclays, Alex Brewster – Perthshire livestock farmer and Nuffield Scholar, Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn – a director at Lycetts who farms at South Berrington Farm in Northumberland, Robert Ord – one of the founding members of Northumberland-based Drone Ag, Lyndsay Chapman – chief executive

organised, supported and sponsored by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the Yorkshire Rural Support Network, The Prices Countryside Fund, RABI, and the Farming Community Network. POLICE FARM VISITS BY REQUEST – CLEVELAND Cleveland Police are offering free farm security visits. Members interested in registering for a visit can contact CLA North Rural Adviser Libby Bateman by emailing libby.bateman@cla.org.uk or phoning 01748 907070.

Morning speakers - Mark Bridgeman (CLA), Mark Suthern (Barclays), Matthew Curry (Strutt & Parker – Conference Chairman), Lyndsay Chapman (CIEL), Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn (Lycetts)

of the Centre for Innovation Excellent in Livestock (CIEL), and Bob Middleton – national programme manager for Catchment Sensitive Farming. The conference is a joint venture between the CLA, Strutt & Parker, Womble Bond Dickinson, Armstrong Watson, Catchment Sensitive Farming, Gibson & Co Solicitors and Hexham and Northern Marts. The eleventh Northern Farming Conference will be held on 4 November 2020.

Alternatively please contact the police directly on 101 and leave a message for the Rural Crime Prevention Officer Paul Payne (collar number 8137). HAPPY NEW YEAR The CLA North team wish all our members, colleagues and associates a peaceful and prosperous New Year, and look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months. Please email the CLA North team with your news and events. And don’t forget to let us have your email address if we don’t already have it!


16/12/2019 17:54

CLA NORTH Aske Stables, Aske, Richmond, North Yorkshire DH10 5HG

Notable engagements


Members delighted in a visit to the Caterpillar manufacturing plant at Peterlee, a worldwide supplier of articulated vehicles, which included a presentation and overview of the facility prior to a

guided tour from-start-tofinish of the plant. Another CLA North member visit was undertaken at the Lakes Distillery at Setmurthy, near Cockermouth which entailed a detailed tour

Farm Update North Events A series of free events will be held to update farmers, landowners, forestry and woodland managers, and anyone interested in rural matters on the latest business, environmental and regulatory developments. The Farm Update North 2020 events will take place in Alnwick, Hexham and Newton Aycliffe, featuring speakers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency, the Farming Advice Service, National Farmers Union, Forestry Commission, Natural England, and Northumbrian Water. Each event will feature topical presentations, as well as an opportunity for attendees to speak with representatives of the organisations. CLA North Director Dorothy Fairburn and CLA North Regional Advisers will also be attending these events. Events will start at 10am (registration at 9.45am), finishing at 1pm with lunch provided. There will also be an opportunity to speak to representatives from each participating organisation. DATES AND VENUES ARE: 29 JANUARY Woodham Golf & Country Club, Burnhill Way, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4PN 5 FEBRUARY Alnwick Rugby Club, Greensfield Ave. Alnwick, NE66 1BE

REGIONAL DIRECTOR DOROTHY FAIRBURN MBE 01748 907070 north@cla.org.uk @CLANorth

around the distillery, followed by a guided ‘tasting’ session of their award-winning whiskey, the Lakes Gin and the Lakes Vodka, concluding with an ‘artisan’ lunch. In Lancashire, CLA North Director Dorothy Fairburn discussed details of the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse initiative, specifically in relation to skills and innovation, with Alison Robinson, Chief Executive and Principal of Myerscough College and University Centre in Billsborrow, Preston. Lending her support to the CLA’s initiative, Alison said: “Our future, in part, is

dependent on a government that pledges their support by investing in innovation and skills, and hence, we are on board with the CLA in calling for this from party political candidates.”

Make Your Woodland Profitable! Grant funding is currently available under Countryside Stewardship to support landowners interested in bringing unproductive land back into management, whether for timber or fuelwood production, to enhance the shoot, increase amenity value or to enhance biodiversity. We can advise you on the grant application process, implementation of work and get you the best prices for your timber.

10 FEBRUARY Hexham Auction Mart, Tynedale Suite, Hexham, NE46 3SE Basis and NRoSO points will be available. Members can register for any of the events online by visiting ‘MyCLA’ at cla.org.uk and clicking on ‘Events’, where more information can also be obtained about these. Alternatively, contact the CLA North office by telephone on 01748 907070, or by email at north@cla.org.uk.

For further information and friendly expert advice contact us on: Tel: 01653 696083 Email: enquiries@tilhill.com

www.tilhill.com LAND & BUSINESS | JANUARY 2020 61

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East news


he CLA is delighted to announce that Alison Provis will be joining the CLA East team in January as its Rural Surveyor. Alison is currently an Associate at property consultancy firm Savills, sitting within the Rural Estate Management team in Cambridge. Alison began her career in 2011 with Bidwells, based in Hertfordshire, qualifying as a rural chartered surveyor in 2013, before joining Savills in 2014 as Assistant Estate Manager for an 11,000-acre estate in Bedfordshire. Alison has also spent time with the Savills Rural Estate Management team in Cornwall. Alison’s experience will enable her to advise CLA members on a wide variety of issues including landlord and tenant matters, agricultural and land law, rights of way and land access, residential tenancies and regulation and commercial

tenancies. Speaking about her appointment, Alison said: “At such a vital and significant time in the future of agriculture and land management, I am delighted to be joining the CLA – an organisation that excels at championing the interests of landowners and making a real difference to its members. “I look forward to joining the team in January and am excited to meet with members following my arrival to learn more about their businesses and understand the issues important to them.” Alison will replace Claire Wright who is relocating to the CLA South West office.

Fly-tipping blight continues in East region Latest Defra figures show incidents of fly-tipping on public land increased by 8% across England in 2018/19 with more than one million fly-tipping incidents in the last year and more than 110,000 in the CLA East region. The figures account for waste illegally dumped on public land that has been reported to, and cleared by, local authorities. The CLA says the figures do not reflect the true scale of the crime as they do not include reports of fly-tipping on privately owned land, which costs on average £1,000 to clean up per incident.


62-63 East_January 2020_Land & Business 62

CLA East Regional Director Cath Crowther said: “Our members are all too tired of not only cleaning up other people’s rubbish but paying for the privilege of doing so. You also have to consider the potential risk of dumped waste on livestock and wildlife.”

Farm Business Update Events The popular series of free-to-attend Farm Business Update events are to be held across East Anglia in January and February 2020. There will be presentations from Championing the Farmed Environment, the Catchment Sensitive Farming Partnership, Environment Agency, NFU and representatives from local water companies. Speakers will also include Nuffield Scholars who will present on a range of topics including technology adoption, herbicide resistant weeds, success with no-till and how farmers can keep nutrients out of water. Registration for all events will begin at 9.30am and lunch will be served on conclusion of the presentations at 12.45pm. The dates for the Farm Business Update events are as follows:


Writtle Agricultural College, Essex


Dereham Football Club, Norfolk


The Farmschool, Thrales End, Hertfordshire


The Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire


Wortwell Community Centre, Norfolk


Bluntisham Village Hall, Cambridgeshire


Lavenham Village Hall, Suffolk


New rural surveyor for CLA East


Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk

To book your place call CLA East on 01638 590429 or email east@cla.org.uk cla.org.uk

18/12/2019 10:53

CLA EAST The Court, Lanwades Business Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7PN

REGIONAL DIRECTOR CATH CROWTHER 01638 590429 cath.crowther@cla.org.uk @CLAEast

Green futures events

Flooding update The CLA has written to the Environment Agency about the impact of flooding events in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The CLA called for a review of agreements for controlled flooding of agricultural land along with further work into natural flood risk management and for the Environment Agency to engage with farmers and landowners across the country. The CLA has also spoken to the Rural Payments Agency to

HERTFORDSHIRE POLICE CONTROL ROOM 5 FEBRUARY Tours at 9.45am and 10.45am Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6XF An opportunity for CLA members to visit the Hertfordshire Police Control Room in Welwyn Garden City. To book a place at a CLA event email east@ cla.org.uk or call 01638 590429.

discuss the Farming Recovery Fund and the impact of wet weather on Basic Payment Scheme and agri environment scheme commitments. CLA East Regional Director Cath Crowther met with a range of members in floodaffected areas in recent weeks to offer support. There are a range of support networks that can help farmers and landowners who have been affected by flooding. Contact the CLA East team for more information.

FORECASTING STRATEGIC CAPITAL TAX CHANGES 18 FEBRUARY 10am–12pm Granta Centre, Cambridge, £25 + VAT per person This highly topical CLA seminar will see experts from BKL, a leading firm of accounts and taxation specialists, update members on expected capital tax changes in 2020.

The CLA and a host of other agencies will be involved in the Green Futures 2020 events. Each event will include information from the CLA, Severn Trent, Environment Agency, FAS, Anglian Water, Natural England and the NFU. The five Green Futures meetings across the East Midlands will give you the best advice on how to manage support schemes and environmental issues.

28 JANUARY ABC Bakewell, DE45 1AH 3 FEBRUARY Kenwick Park, Louth, LN11 8NR 4 FEBRUARY Newark Showground, NG24 2NY 7 FEBRUARY Elsham Golf Club, North Lincs, DN20 0LS 10 FEBRUARY Kilworth Springs Golf Club, LE17 6HJ To book your place email: east.midlands@nfu.org.uk or call on 01572 824250.

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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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Welcome to


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.

yyy Public footpath Permissive

yyy footpath

Look carefully and you might spy an elusive water vole along the banks of the stream.

Entrance Information You are here

Car park

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. © Crown Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence no. AL100021607. 6302 12/14

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 woodlandtrust.org.uk where you can search 'Guestling Wood' to find out more about this spectacular place.

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Ightham Mote Main car park House Garden Mote Café Deliveries House, Garden, Shop and Mote Café open daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Estate open all year

Estate Walk Estate Walk and Scathes Wood

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Just had to tell you what a great success the “Flue Cube” has been to us, we have gone from a non-drawing, smoking ܜœ`LÕÀ˜iÀ̜>ÃÕ«iÀivwVˆi˜ÌwÀi]ÜiV>˜½Ì̅>˜ŽޜÕ enough for your excellent service & help we will certainly be recommending the “Flue Cube” to all. Thank you.” Edward & Diana Watson


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THE KNIFE SHARPENER GUY The proper outdoorsman cannot afford to be without one of these nestled in the stalking or shooting bag, stuck to the Land Rover bonnet or in a kitchen drawer. In fact a brace would be ideal. The world's best knife sharpener will sharpen most steel bladed knives. The suction-based knife sharpener is simple to use and 100% effective. It also makes the perfect gift.

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The Overwrought Cantilever Sliding Gate Developed to restrict access to farm yards and private roads. An aesthetic user-friendly barrier offering security on entrances ranging from 4 metres to 10 metres. Can be opened manually or automated. Wind and solar systems can be installed for use in remote areas. Galvanized as standard. Contact: Bill Clark T: 01623 861033 Park Farm, Kneesall, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG22 0AY Email: clarkoverwrought@aol.com www.overwroughtironwork.co.uk BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY


(Also Wild Garlic, Wild Daffodils, Wood Anemones & Bluebell Seed) We are bulb specialists and established nurserymen of 40 years who specialise in the thinning of specified areas of Snowdrops and Aconites. We pay excellent prices to thin out specified areas. Very little disturbance caused. Thinning also improves the growth and quality of the flowers which are left, enabling this procedure to be repeated in years to come. Harvesting commences January onwards (paid on a cash basis). for further details please contact EMAIL:

abbygardens@hotmail.co.uk TEL/FAX: 01945 464167 MOB: 07831 738138

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FEATHERED TREES • SPECIAL OFFERS St Mary’s Pla, Nr Sevenoaks, Kent

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The Walnut Tree Company is the leading supplier of quality Walnut timber, Walnut fruit, Sweet Chestnut, Almond, and Kentish Cobnut trees. Alexander Hunt also gives specialist advice for the garden, orchard, forest and amenities/landscape uses.

walnurees.co.uk mobile 07979 525 939

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Premium Parkland Trees Plant 10 Parkland Plant parkland Trees Trees forfor £110 (+VAT) £125.00

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LOGSPLITTERS The original British manufactured high quality log splitters.

Situated in the beautiful county of Northumberland from where we grow and supply bare root trees to our wide customer base. Trees please has grown to be a true one stop shop for those looking to plant trees.

Powerful PTO driven screw type machines equivalent to ram splitters rated in excess of 40 tons. Simple to use, robust, highly versatile and effective. Splits all sizes from ‘rings’ to kindling.

Our nursery team have over 200 collective years experience in growing and nursery production as well as a firm understanding of the forestry industry. Please get in touch today.

The best value for tractor owners. Website: www.hydrocut.co.uk


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Basic Ground Reclamation is ideal for a maintenance option. It eradicates pot holes, re-shapes the site to facilitate water to run off and leave a smart finish.


COVERAGE THROUGHOUT ENGLAND AND WALES Cement Stabilization turns our basic ground reclamation service into a permanent road surface. It is ideal for wet, eroded sites. Cement stabilization offers a surface equal in strength to concrete but at a fraction of the cost. Cement is added to the recycled material aÍ pre-calculated rates and thoroughly incorporated evenly throughout the site. The cement treated material is graded in accordance with drainage requirements and compacted.The site will then by hydrated in order for the cement to do its job. The finish left is a natural stone look. To finish the look why not add a Surface Dressing of your choice this will increase the longevity of the site but also looks fantastic. There is an endless range of chipping types and colours available.

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Brian Martin looks at the changing fortunes of the country butcher

Getting the chop W

ith recent resurgent interest in greater flavour and health benefits of game as well as free-range stock, widely promoted by TV celebrity chefs, the choice of meat available is ever A village butcher’s shop in about 1900 more appetising. A very good example was the rib of beef I bought recently from since at least 1851. He literally lived off a local butcher. It was belted Galloway the fat of the land when he butchered which had roamed Surrey Wildlife local livestock and recalled “waste Trust land – more than satisfying me as not want not”. One of the first things well as helping with important habitat he had to do as a boy was sort out the management. Delicious! first and second fat – “there was good Unfortunately, finding a good butcher, demand for both in themma days”, he especially in the countryside, has become Pig slaughtering was once a messy affair told me. difficult in recent decades, the number in The good stuff went for food, the the UK having fallen from some 21,000 dirty for tallow, used for making candles and soap and for in 1985 to some 6,000 now. The situation has been greasing machinery. The people who picked up the fat also exacerbated by the sharp decline in red-meat abattoirs, took the cow hides, which made £2-3 each before the war. from about 1890 in 1971 to only 249 now. One of the “We also sold sheepskins and all the bones,” he said. main problems is that the smaller ones have not been “The skin lorry also took most of our tripe. As a lad, able to meet the prohibitive costs of increased regulation one of my jobs was to open up the tripes, shake all the imposed since joining the EU in 1973. muck out, wash them well and hang them up to dry. Traditionally, many smaller abattoirs were managed It was the sale of all these by-products as well as meat alongside butcher’s shops and supplied the shop which made the difference in earning a reasonable living. directly, often being run jointly as a family business. I delivered meat on my bike every day, to three kitchens Their loss is very sad as, being so closely involved five mornings a week before 8am!” from field to table made such ventures pillars of close In those days, and even during and after the war, communities as well as minimising travel and stress for many cottagers reared their own pigs and when he was both animals and customers. There is some reprieve, just nine Victor started going out pig sticking (killing) with many butchers selling directly to the public at with Dad, but “there were no fridges then so it had to farmers’ markets as well as pubs and restaurants, but not be done in frosty weather. And every year, just before too long ago things were very different. Over the years I Christmas, we were asked to slaughter two beasts (cattle) have met a few of yesteryear’s champions. for his lordship (Lord Bagot), who gave the meat to his One such was Victor Wilson of Staffordshire, born tenants and staff”. 1922, whose family had been butchers at Abbots Bromley


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Land & Business - January 2020  

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