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SPS Online - temporary issue - error message

17 April 2012

The RPA is experiencing a temporary issue with SPS Online today (17th April). This means that anyone trying to submit an application will get an error message. The RPA is recommending that applications are not submitted until they have provided a further update. Please see the RPA website for further information.

SPS 2012 - RPA Customer Service Centre opens at weekends for calls

19 April 2012

The RPA is opening their Customer Service Centre at weekends from this Saturday (21st April) to answer queries about SPS 2012. The RPA helpline will be available from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays until 12th May as well as Bank Holiday Monday (7th May) and Sunday 13th May. Further information is available on the RPA website.

SPS 2009 payments RPA update

08 December 2009

The RPA has issued a 2009 SPS payments update which states that 81% of SPS claimants in England should have received full payments to date following the opening of the payment window on 1st December 2009. Further information is available on the RPA website.

SPS 2007 Payment Update

27 May 2008

Latest figures, published today, show that the total value of payments made under the 2007 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) is £1.312 billion which is 90.5% of the estimated total fund of £1.45 billion.A total of 99,437 customers have received a full SPS payment. This represents 93.2% of the estimated total claimant population of 106,700.

Sport England unveils £10 million fund for sport in rural areas

27 February 2009

Sport England will open a themed funding round on 1st April 2009 to invest in sport in rural communities. Funding opportunities will be available to organisations such as local sports clubs and community groups, with a minimum grant of £10,000. For further information, see the Sport England website.

Spelman speaks at Oxford Farming Conference - new CAP should be "fundamentally different"

05 January 2011

Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, has today delivered a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference including comments about the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which will take effect from 2014, the fact that she believes that farmers in Europe should become less reliant on subsidies and that the new CAP should look "fundamentally different". Further information about her speech relating to the new CAP can be found on the DEFRA website. Her complete speech at the OFC is also available on the DEFRA website.

South Downs to become England's ninth National Park

31 March 2009

Hilary Benn, Environment Secretary, has today announced that the South Downs is to become England's ninth National Park. This will see an area of 627 square miles becoming designated with this new status. Further information is available on the DEFRA website.

South Downs confirmed as new National Park

13 November 2009

The South Downs has been confirmed as a new National Park. A new South Downs National Park Authority is expected to be in place by April 2010. For further information, see the press release on the DEFRA website.

Solar pv extensions loophole to close on 18th October

27 September 2011

DECC has announced that the loophole which allows developers of solar pv sites to claim FiTs at the original rates for extensions to the site will be closed with effect from 18th October 2011, when a new Feed-in Tariffs Order will come into effect. More detail is available in the Members' Documents section.

Soils in Practice Events

28 October 2019

Farmers Weekly is running two Soils in Practice events, on 12th November 2019 at Coldstream in the Borders and on 14th November 2019 at Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

The events aim to help attendees understand some of the practical steps that can be taken to measure and promote healthy soil in a sustainable farm setting. Experts will present interactive theoretical and practical sessions on topics including: measuring soil components, nutrient management and pest mitigation, cover crops, organic matter utilisation and the likely implications of incoming legislation on soil health.

Details are available at

Soil Association announces no change to organic feed

10 March 2009

Following a consultation process, the Soil Association has decided against allowing a 'holiday' from the organic standards required for animal feed given to organic stock as a result of the current economic climate. The proposal earlier this year was that organic stock could be fed non-organic feed to assist farmers affected by the falling demand for organic products. As a result of this decision, all Soil Association food will have to continue to be produced to full organic standards. Further information is available on the Soil Association website.

Snow damaged buildings in Scotland - questionnaire

18 January 2010

The Scottish Government are considering offering support to farmers whose buildings have collapsed in the recent snow. Those affected are invited to complete and return a questionnaire so that more information can be gathered. The press release and questionnaire are both available on the Scottish Government website.

Sir William Worsley appointed as Forestry Commission Chair

03 February 2020

Sir William Worsley has been confirmed as the new Chair of the Forestry Commission and will take up his role on 10th February 2020. Further details can be found in the news release on the GOV.UK website.

Single Payment Scheme amendments - deadline of 1st June

28 May 2010

Members are reminded that the deadline for receipt by the RPA of amendments to SPS claims submitted by 17th May to avoid penalties is Tuesday 1st June. Any amendments must be notified in writing to the RPA.

Single Payment Scheme 2011 CAAV Members' Feedback Questionnaire available for completion

20 May 2011

The SPS 2011 CAAV Members' Feedback Questionnaire is now available for completion. You can find it if you log in, go to Members' Documents and 'Single Payment Scheme'. We would very much appreciate if you could take the time to complete this questionnaire as it greatly assists in our discussions with the RPA and DEFRA regarding 2012 SPS as well as longer term plans. The close date for responses is Friday 10th June.

Single Farm Payments start in Scotland

05 December 2011

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said that 75% of Single Farm Payments will be made within 15 days of the opening of the payment window on 1st December. See the Scottish Government website for more details.

Simulated FMD outbreak in November to test Government's ability to respond

27 October 2010

A simulated FMD national scale outbreak is to be carried out on 9/10 November 2010 to test the Government's ability to respond to disease and identify improvements that could be made to processes and plans. Further information is available on the Animal Health website.

Sheep in Lanarkshire being tested as precaution

12 September 2007

It is understood that a sheep which was showing signs of ill health is being tested as a precautionary measure at the Lawrie and Symington run agricultural centre near Lanark. For further information regarding this, please see the BBC News website

Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study concludes scheme not to be pursued

18 October 2010

The UK Government has concluded that following the findings of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study the scheme will not be pursued for the time being but may be looked at again in the future. The Feasibility Study is available on the DECC website. Welsh Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, has thanked all those involved with the study - please see the Welsh Assembly Government website for a news release.

Severn Estuary Shoreline Management Plan

28 May 2009

The Environment Agency have opened a consultation on a review of the Severn Estuary Shoreline Management Plan, details of which are available on the Environment Agency website.

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