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Charities say £3 billion per year needed to support nature-friendly farming

19 September 2019

The National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB have said that at least £2.9 billion per year is needed to support nature-friendly farming in the UK post-Brexit; just under the current CAP UK budget of £3.2 billion.

The charities said:

"For decades, farmers have struggled within the CAP’s food and farming system that delivers little profit for their produce and few incentives to deliver positive outcomes for the environment. Once we leave the EU and these payments stop, alternative policies will need to be put in place in each of the four UK countries.

"The revised figure published today provides justification for re-investing the current annual UK CAP budget to help farmers and land managers to restore nature and tackle climate change on their land, securing a sustainable future for farming and helping the UK Government and devolved administrations to achieve their own environmental ambitions."

Brexit Business Readiness Events

16 September 2019

The Government is arranging Brexit Business Readiness Events across the UK to help you prepare, starting Monday 16 September. Join us at a free event in your area to meet government advisers and to find out what actions your business needs to take to prepare.

The events will combine a keynote address, interactive support, advice stands and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts. They will provide you with specific business-focused advice and help.

Register to attend an event at: https://registration.livegroup.co.uk/brexitbusinessreadinessevents/

Further dates and locations will be announced as they are confirmed.

You can also view a typical event agenda and some Frequently Asked Questions at the address above.

Government announces £56 million allocation of farm funding across the UK

09 September 2019

Following recommendations made in an independent review led by Lord Bew which was looking at what factors should be used to determine the distribution of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 'convergence' funding, the Government has confirmed it will allocate £56.59m of new funding. This should address concerns around the formula used to distribute this 'convergence' funding across the UK so that it rewards land that previously received less CAP funding per hectare than the EU average. The agriculture funding for 2020-2022 should therefore be increased in Wales and Scotland, with Scotland receiving approximately £51.4m. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Warning: More fake CAAV emails

29 August 2019

We have been told that emails continue to circulate which claim to be from the CAAV, asking members to verify their details. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE EMAILS - they are not from the CAAV. Please ignore and delete them.

Best Practice in Compulsory Purchase and Compensation (Members Only)

27 August 2019

The CAAV's Kate Russell will chair a series of seminars on Best Practice in Compulsory Purchase and Compensation this autumn in Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, London and Manchester. CAAV members are entitled to a discount when booking before 9th September 2019 by entering the discount code CAAV820. Further information can be found at https://cptevents.co.uk/event/best-practice-in-compulsory-purchase-and-compensation-1

Warning: Fake CAAV emails

27 August 2019

There appear to be fake emails circulating which purport to be from the CAAV, asking members to validate their details for our database. These emails were not sent by the CAAV and members are advised not to respond to it. We recommend that members ignore the request and delete the email. 

HS2: Government to hold review of whether and how to proceed

21 August 2019

The Government has announced an independently-led review of HS2 to review whether and how the scheme should proceed. The review is expected to report in autumn 2019 in order to inform the "Notice to Proceed" decision for Phase 1, which is to be made by the end of the year.

Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

English water companies commit to planting 11 million trees by 2030

19 August 2019

As part of a wider commitment to achieving a carbon neutral water industry by 2030, English water companies have announced plans to plant 11 million trees over 6,000 hectares across England. Further information is available on the Water UK website.

Prince's Countryside Fund donates £50,000 funding to Yorkshire farmers affected by flooding

12 August 2019

The Prince's Countryside Fund has announced £50,000 of emergency funding to assist farmers and rural communities affected by the recent flooding in Reeth and Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire. The funding is being provided via The Addington Fund. Further information is available on the Prince's Countryside Fund website.  The Addington Fund is also working with Forage Aid to assist farmers whose livestock have been affected and are in need of forage and/or bedding.

£5.25m emergency funding for Whaley Bridge

12 August 2019

£5.25m of emergency government funding has been made available to assist local communities and businesses impacted by the recent flooding at Whaley Bridge. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Paul Maynard confirmed as HS2 Minister

09 August 2019

With Ministerial responsibilities now being clarified following Boris Johnson's appointment as Prime Minister, the Department for Transport has confirmed that responsibility for HS2 has returned to Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, who returns to a role he held previously.

£2.5 million extra funding for farmers working together on environmental projects

05 August 2019

The fourth national round of funding for the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund has opened for applications today. An additional £2.5 million fund has been made available for groups of farmers and landowners to apply for financial support to work together as a facilitation group to deliver landscape-scale environmental improvements over a three year period. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

RPA confirms Treasury-funded agri-environment claims paid

31 July 2019

Following the announcement made in June, the RPA has confirmed that the Treasury-funded payments for outstanding Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship annual revenue claims 2015-2018 have now been completed. For further information, please see GOV.UK.

Eustice reappointed as DEFRA Minister

27 July 2019

George Eustice has been reappointed as a DEFRA Minister. Having been a DEFRA Minister since May 2015, he resigned earlier this year over concerns relating to Brexit. Mr. Eustice replaces Robert Goodwill. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Prime Minister's statement on priorities for the government

26 July 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a statement in the House of Commons on the priorities for the government. The statement can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

Teresa Villiers confirmed as new Environment Secretary

25 July 2019

Following yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle which saw Michael Gove become Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Teresa Villiers has been confirmed as the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Boris Johnson delivers first speech as Prime Minister

24 July 2019

Boris Johnson has delivered his first speech as Prime Minister this afternoon. The transcript of the speech is available on the GOV.UK website.

Boris Johnson elected as new Conservative leader

23 July 2019

Boris Johnson has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and will take over as Prime Minister later this week. The ballot results were: Johnson - 92,153 and Hunt - 46,656. Further details are available on the BBC News website.

Education is crucial to agriculture’s future, says CAAV

11 July 2019

Education is crucial to agriculture’s future, says CAAV

 

Educating the younger generation and embracing technology will be crucial to safeguarding the future of agriculture in the UK, a group of professionals has warned.

The approach taken towards attracting young people to pursue an education and career in farming needs to change to ensure the industry can survive, said speakers at the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers’ (CAAV) AGM on June 28. “The industry needs more degree-qualified people and highly skilled staff, as well as more continued professional development (CPD),” said Professor David Llewellyn, vice chancellor at Harper Adams University. “Solid professionals, able to deal with technology and leadership skills are needed in modern farming.”

There’s a huge shift happening in agricultural business management. “There does need to be a new approach to food, the environment, climate impacts and health implications, but we need to close the skills gap and bring the best and brightest into farming – this will be as important as the food we produce for the future,” explained Prof Llewellyn.

“With a demographic dip in 18-year-olds, agriculture needs to look at ways of improving skills but also attracting those into the industry that do not have a natural affinity to it. Productivity – and profitability – is driven by education.”

There also needs to be a comprehensive approach to education throughout workers’ careers, not just in the teenage years, he said. “Education and skills run together.”

Advancing technologies mean a number of jobs could become fully automated, including tractor driving, which might see a loss of jobs. But there’s also hope that automation might protect family farms, as technology could make smaller farms more financially stable. In addition, Prof Llewellyn believes co-bots, rather than robots, and labour-augmented automation could be the future. “New jobs could be created while leadership and management would need to be adapted.”

Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the CAAV, said it was vital to adopt technological advances, or risk being left behind. “If we don’t pick it up, our competitors will.”

However, one of the core issues is the management of land occupation – and the latest tenancy law review could be integral to moving land into the hands of the trained. “We need the right people on the land to do the right thing with it. It doesn’t matter where land comes from, but it does matter who it goes to.”

Younger generations perceive technology differently, which could be used to attract them into agriculture, said Prof Llewellyn. With Generation Z having never lived without access to a smartphone, it is essential that they are informed that agriculture is a technologically advanced sector in which to pursue a rewarding career. “We need to consider the attitudes of young people, because if we don’t adapt as an industry, we will not attract them.

“We have a national drive to get skills into the industry at the moment – through various channels such as AHDB and the NFU, with the idea to build a new professional agenda for farming,” said Prof Llewellyn. “So we can say to young people that agriculture is the industry they should choose, as it’s professional. Education and skills need to be front and centre to fulfil our ambitions for the future. If we don’t advocate the exciting advances in the industry, then we will lose out.”

New Part-Time Master’s Course in Rural Land and Business Management

11 July 2019

New Part-Time Master’s Course in Rural Land and Business Management

University of Reading

 

The University of Reading has now approved a part-time two year version of its Master’s course in Rural Land and Business Management which can be taken in conjunction with work.  It is now available for applications for September this year, subject to numbers. 

The course is aimed at those already working in the rural sector who want to improve their career prospects by further study on an RICS-accredited Master’s course (contributing to their record for the RICS Rural APC) that will assist preparation for the CAAV examinations.  

It is designed to provide students with the specialist knowledge and skills they will need to further their careers, including economic, technological, legal and social concepts and principles.  It is to help develop a critical awareness of current problems and new insights with the exercise of initiative, sound judgement, and the ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

Those on the part-time course will study the same modules at the same time as the full time students, including:

  • Introduction to agriculture and rural industries
  • Rural property law and valuation
  • Strategic rural asset management
  • Management case studies in rural surveying
  • Rural policy and planning

The course includes a dissertation which is to be completed over the summer in Year 2.

As a part-time course, this will be:

  • over two years instead of one
  • require attending the University for one or two days a week during the 20 teaching weeks over the autumn and spring terms. 

That may make this particularly suitable for those within travelling distance of Reading.

All students will need to attend the induction programme prior to starting the course in September and the five day field trip in the summer of Year 2.

The tuition fees will be £5,225 per year for two years.

For further details, contact a.cropley@reading.ac.uk

 

New National Nature Reserve declared in Cumbria

09 July 2019

Natural England has declared Bolton Fell and Walton Mosses as a new National Nature Reserve in Cumbria. Located near Carlisle, Natural England's press release confirms that the new reserve encompasses the recently restored Bolton Fell Moss Site of Special Sceintific Interest (SSSI) and the pristine condition Walton Fell Moss SSSI. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

RICS/RAU Rural Market Survey - Call for Contributors

04 July 2019

Many members will make use of the RICS/RAU Rural Market Survey, which is the longest running independent survey of land transactions in the rural market. The survey is produced half yearly and the survey team, which is led by Nick Millard at the RAU, is collecting data for the first 6 months of 2019 now for publication at the end of July.

The survey is in two parts:

- the list of transactions, which is of particular interest to practitioners; and

- the opinion survey which, conversely, is of interest to commentators and is an important tool in updating the non-specialist press and others on the rural land market.

Whilst contributors are still keen to submit transaction reports, for which the team are very grateful, responses to the opinion survey have fallen below the levels they were previously. The RAU Team hope that as many people as possible will respond to the survey, even if only in part, to improve the robustness and utility of the data. If you have not previously contributed to the survey but would like to do so please email RicsSurvey@rau.ac.uk and the Team will send you a link and add you to the circulation list.

DEFRA announces outstanding agri-environment payments to be made in July

19 June 2019

DEFRA has announced today that Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreement holders who have not as yet received a full payment for 2015-2018 annual revenue claims should receive a Treasury-funded payment in July whilst the RPA continues to process these annual revenue claims. 

This payment should be for 100% of the estimated claim value held on the RPA's IT system at the point in time the payment is made. Emails and letters from the RPA should start going out this morning to affected agreement holders to inform them of this announcement.  Further information is available on GOV.UK. 

An interview with the RPA's CEO, Paul Caldwell, about these payments was aired on this morning's edition of BBC Radio 4's Farming Today.

Website Update Notice

18 June 2019

Please note that this website is being updated on Wednesday, 19th June 2019, and you may encounter some minor interference whilst navigating the site.

We thank you for your patience and trust you will not encounter too much inconvenience.

DEFRA announces 3 new general licences

13 June 2019

DEFRA has announced that three new general licences will be available from Friday 14th June. The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:

  • conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (WML GL34)
  • preserve public health or public safety (WML GL35)
  • prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (WML GL36)

  Further detail is available on the GOV.UK website.

Prime Minister announces net zero emissions by 2050

12 June 2019

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that the UK will work towards a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Legislation has been laid today to set this target in law. For further information, please see DEFRA's blog on GOV.UK.

Judicial Appointments Commission: Members of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber

11 June 2019

The Judicial Appointments Commission is advertising posts for fee-paid Professional Members of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The application process will open on 10th July and close on 24th July 2019. Details can be found on the JAC website at https://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/vacancies/136  

The JAC is also advertising for fee-paid Valuer Chairmen and Valuers for the same Tribunal - the closing date for these posts is 19th June 2019 and details can be found at https://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/vacancies/132

HS2 website for Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire works

11 June 2019

HS2 has published a website giving information on the progress of the scheme in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, including contact details, forthcoming events and details of the works currently being carried out. The website can be found at https://hs2inbucksandoxfordshire.commonplace.is/

Environment Agency warning over baled waste scam

05 June 2019

The Environment Agency has warned landowners to be aware that criminal gangs may seek to use land or buildings to store baled waste temporarily but then abandon the site, leaving the landowner facing the clean-up costs.

The EA has given the following advice for landlords and landowners:

  • Carry out rigorous checks on prospective new tenants. Land and property owners have a responsibility to ensure anyone leasing their land/premises complies with regulations, so it is essential that you establish how and for what they are going to use the land/property.
  • Check any empty land and property regularly and make sure it is secure.
  • It is illegal to store waste on your land without the required permits. You may be committing an offence by allowing waste to be stored on your land or property without the relevant permissions and you could be liable to prosecution and the cost of removing the waste.
  • Landlords should check before signing a contract that the contract complies with regulations. You can view whether a potential tenant holds the correct permit to carry out waste operations at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information.
  • The offer of payment to temporarily store waste is a scam, the waste will likely never be collected.
  • Be vigilant and report any unusual behaviour. If you are suspicious of prospective tenants please contact us for more information and advice.
  • If you are approached to store baled waste, even on a short term basis, refuse the material and call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Scottish RP & S website - unavailable this weekend

31 May 2019

The Scottish Rural Payments and Services website will be unavailble from midnight on Friday 31st May to midnight on Sunday 2nd June to allow for routine maintenance.

Natural Capital Management Training Course

30 May 2019

The Ecosystems Knowledge Network is offering a Natural Capital Management Training Course for rural land owners, estate managers and their advisers. The course is to be held

  • on 3rd July 2019 at Throws Farm Conference Centre, Essex, CM6 3AQ
  • on 25th September 2019 at Lilleshall National Sports & Conference Centre, Shropshire, TF10 9AT

The cost is £275 and CAAV members are entitled to a 20% discount. Further details are available on the EKN website.

UCEM - New rural route for Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship

29 May 2019

NEW UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT COURSE

RURAL ROUTE FOR CHARTERED SURVEYOR DEGREE APPRENTICESHIP

A second degree apprenticeship course giving entry to the rural profession is starting this autumn at the University College of Estate Management (UCEM) at Reading.

With the course at Harper Adams now entering its second year, the UCEM course, developed in conjunction with professional practices:

  • leads to a Real Estate degree, not a specifically rural one
  • but with a rural dissertation in the fourth and final year
  • expects the employer to enable the apprentice to satisfy all the competencies required by the RICS for its APC.

The combination of professional work and training with the course and dissertation offers a route towards qualification with the CAAV.

UCEM says:

UCEM is pleased to announce that it has added a rural route to its Chartered Surveyor Degree apprenticeship.

The rural route includes an RICS accredited BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management degree, professional practice workshops and the RICS Rural APC pathway as the end-point assessment.  The project that is completed in the final year of the four-year BSc degree will be on a Rural topic and will be supervised and marked by a Rural Real Estate academic.

This route does not include a specialist Rural degree, the employer will be required to provide the apprentice with workplace training to enable all (Level 1, 2 and 3) competencies required by the RICS for the Rural APC pathway to be met. UCEM will need to be confident that the apprentice will have the opportunity to develop these competencies in the workplace before accepting the apprentice.

The Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship is a Level 6 apprenticeship and the funding cap is £27k. Apprenticeship Levy payers will pay this sum from their Levy account. Non-Levy payers will pay 5% of the total cost of the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts for 56 months, of which the degree takes 48 months. The final 8 months allows the apprentices to finalise their structured training, case study and CPD and prepare for final APC assessment.

For further details, please contact Meryl Bonser on m.bonser@ucem.ac.uk

DEFRA launches £10m Urban Tree Challenge Fund

20 May 2019

DEFRA has announced a new Urban Tree Challenge Fund which will see £10 million funding made available to encourage the planting of more than 130,000 trees in "green urban areas" across England's towns and cities over the next two years. The fund will open for applications this week and will require match funding from successful applicants. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

DEFRA publishes first review of 25 Year Environment Plan

16 May 2019

DEFRA has published the first progress report for the 25 Year Environment Plan which was launched in January 2018. The progress report shows that up to March 2019, 90% of the plan's actions have been delivered or are being progressed. Further details can be found in the press release on GOV.UK.

Driving forward low carbon farming in Scotland

09 May 2019

A new farmer-led initiative to drive low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming practices in Scotland has been launched as part of the Farming for a Better Climate (FFBC) programme. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Tips and reminders for English BPS 2019 applications

07 May 2019

With just over one week until 15 May deadline for BPS 2019 claims, the CAAV's Alice De Soer gives essential tips about applying in England in the attached Farmers Weekly article.

House of Lords Committee calls for rural strategy for England

29 April 2019

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy has published a report calling on the Government to develop a rural strategy for England and help realise the potential of rural economies. The report "Time for a Strategy for the Rural Economy" can be downloaded from the Parliament website.

New Surveyor Members Sought for Upper Tribunal

26 April 2019

Two new Surveyor Members are sought for the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), with one to start in 2019 and the other in 2020. Full details are available on the Judicial Appointments Commission website and the closing date for applications for both posts is 7th May 2019.

Although some cases are heard in London and others elsewhere in England and Wales, home-working is permitted and daily attendance in London is not required.

Natural England: General licences to control birds

26 April 2019

Natural England has confirmed that new general licences to control certain species of wild birds will go live on GOV.UK from next week, commencing 29 April. These will:

  • cover the majority of circumstances previously covered by the revoked general licences, GL04, GL05 and GL06
  • ensure landowners can continue to take necessary action, whilst also taking into account the needs of wildlife

If action to control wild birds is necessary before then, the relevant application forms for a licence can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/wild-birds-licence-to-control-certain-species

CAAV Press release: A new threat to rural housing?

18 April 2019

Press release

17th April 2019

A new threat to rural housing?

Finding affordable rural housing is likely to be more difficult under new Government proposals to change the law on residential tenancies in England, warns the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).

For almost 40 years, houses have been let with the confidence that, once any agreed term has expired, the house can stay let and the owner can recover possession when needed with only two months’ notice. It doesn’t matter whether they need the house for family use, to sell or because of problems with the tenant; the landlord has not had to give a reason and so not face possibly lengthy and expensive court proceedings, says Kate Russell, policy and technical adviser at the CAAV. “That has given the confidence for a huge expansion of the private rented sector, which has been especially important in rural areas where housing is often more expensive to buy.” 

However, the Government has now published proposals for new legislation which would change the owner’s rights so that they would only be able to recover possession for a limited number of reasons. These might have to be proven in court, and include wanting to live in the house themselves or sell it.

“This change has already been made in Scotland with the result that houses are instead being used for holiday lets or are sold, damaging the vitality of rural communities and making it harder for those working in the countryside to find homes,” says Ms Russell. More houses may also be left empty rather than let for short periods.

The impact of the proposed changes on the English tenanted sector is therefore very concerning, she warns. “House owners will be very concerned if they cannot be sure of recovering a house when they return from abroad, need it for family, want to sell it or where the rent has not been paid. Coming as it does on top of many other recent regulations, this may lead to some owners looking at alternative uses for let houses, whether as short-term holiday accommodation, sale, or even leaving it empty rather than face the additional risks.”

Similar legislation in the 1970s saw the private let sector shrink and many landlords discouraged from improving their properties, explains Ms Russell. “We thought we had learnt that lesson.”

There may also be consequences for agricultural tenants who sub-let farm cottages. At the moment, a tenant farmer can often sub-let a surplus farm cottage, knowing it can be ended before the farm tenancy ends. However, these new proposals would make it impossible for the farm tenant to give vacant possession at the end of their tenancy if the cottage tenant has a secure tenancy, risking claims from the landlord against the farm tenant. “That could deter farm tenants from making housing available where it might be most useful for the rural community,” she says.

“We currently have a successful model in which owners are confident in letting to good tenants, but these proposals could mean fewer homes available to rent in rural areas.”

 

Notes for editors:

  • The Government has proposed new legislation to abolish s.21 notices, which allow property owners to serve a two month notice to bring an assured shorthold tenancy to an end without having to obtain a court order for possession:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-end-to-unfair-evictions

  • There is to be a public consultation on the proposals, but no date for its launch has yet been announced.

About the CAAV

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) is a specialist professional body representing, qualifying and briefing about 2,900 members practising in a diverse range of agricultural and rural work throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

CAAV members are agricultural and rural valuers who provide professional advice and valuation expertise on issues affecting the countryside from tenancy matters to sales and purchase of farms and land, from taxation and compulsory purchase to auctioneering, and from conservation issues to farming structures.

We are always happy to speak to the press – if you have any queries please contact Olivia Cooper, partner at Agri-hub PR services, on 01392 840009 or email Olivia@agri-hub.co.uk.

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