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New research shows National Nature Reserves offer £36m of benefits to society

21 February 2019

New Natural Capital Accounts research published by Natural England today shows that National Nature Reserves (NNRs) provide £36 million of benefits to society. The report includes an extended balance sheet which gives an evaluation of "NNRs as natural assets, as well as demonstrating the ecosystem services, benefits and value they provide to society." Further details are available on the GOV.UK website where there is also a link to the report.

Gove delivers speech at NFU Conference

20 February 2019

The full transcript of the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove's, speech delivered to the NFU Conference yesterday is available on GOV.UK. 

In the speech, he stated that: "We have to do better in the delivery of countryside and environmental stewardship payments. They are still in a mess, the consequence partly of historic IT procurement decisions and the split responsibility for scheme administration between Natural England and the RPA, which led to inefficiency and confusion."

He also committed to:

  • paying 95% of Countryside Stewardship (CS) 2018 claims by 31st March 2019 (including bridging payments in early April to those who are unpaid by 31st March)
  • paying 95% of CS final payments by 31st July 2019, with a move to making full CS payments (advance and final in a single payment) straightaway

He also expressed an expectation that 95% of Environmental Stewardship (ES) 2017 final payments should be completed by 31st July 2019.

Countryside Stewardship - Tips for 2019 Scheme

20 February 2019

With the application window opening earlier this week for key elements of Countryside Stewardship, Alice De Soer (Policy and Technical Adviser at the CAAV) gives tips for farmers and land managers considering applying this year in this article on the Farmers Weekly website.

Northern Ireland: Report on the Care of the Government Historic Estate

19 February 2019

Northern Ireland's Department for Communities has published the 3rd report under the Protocol for the Care of the Government Historic Estate, which sets out case studies for the conservation of historic buildings and other assets, and their future use and management. The report can be downloaded from the Department for Communities website.

NFU Publishes Future of Food 2040 Report

19 February 2019

The NFU has published The Future of Food 2040, a report which examines how changing trends on what we eat and how we eat it will affect farmers and growers in the UK. The report can be downloaded from the NFU website.

Countryside Stewardship opens for applications

18 February 2019

Key elements of the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme have opened for applications today (18th February). They include:-

  • Higher Tier;
  • Mid Tier;
  • the 4 Wildlife Offers; and
  • the Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant

 Application packs for Mid Tier can be requested online via the Rural Payments service by 31st May 2019.  Higher Tier application packs must be requested by 31st March 2019 by phoning the RPA (03000 200 301).

The 4 Wildlife Offers and the Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant can be applied for online using the Rural Payments service, but where it is not possible to apply online an application pack should be requested (by 31st March 2019 for the Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital grant and by 31st May 2019 for the Wildlife Offers).

The application deadlines are as follows:-
- Higher Tier - 3rd May 2019
- Mid Tier - 31st July 2019
- 4 Wildlife Offers - 31st July 2019
- Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant - 3rd May 2019

Scotland: Rural Economy Action Group to ensure rural-proofing

15 February 2019

The Scottish Government has announced that a new Rural Economy Action Group is to be set up to ensure that rural policy is embedded in decision-making and to promote the rural economy. Further detail is available on the Scottish Government website.

Scotland: Free training events on Compulsory Purchase

15 February 2019

The Scottish Government has announced details of a series of free to attend training and networking events, for all local authority staff and members of SCPA, RICS, SOLAR and ACES, on the subject of “Delivering a Successful Compulsory Purchase Project”.  

 The training dates will be held at the following :

  • Perth 4th March 2019 @ Perth and Kinross Council City Chambers, 2 High Street, Perth, PH1 5PH
  • Edinburgh 25th March 2019, Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

Attendees will hear from a number of experienced experts in the field of compulsory purchase and will have the opportunity to participate in workshops exploring various aspects of the process for promoting a CPO and estimating and negotiating compensation.

 To register your interest in attending one of these events, please email compulsorypo@gov.scot, and provide your name, job title, organisation, preferred training location, and your email address.

Scottish Biodiversity Challenge Fund Launched with Up To £1m Funding Available for 2019/20

15 February 2019

The first year of the Scottish Biodiversity Challenge Fund (BCF)  has been launched, with up to £1 million of funding available for 2019/20. The funding is to support 'large-scale' projects to improve habitats, protect species and encourage increased access to nature. Scottish Natural Heritage is looking for 'innovative ideas' and has published a News Release around the launch of the fund. Further information about the BCF can be found on Scottish Natural Heritage's website.

Scottish Less Favoured Areas Loan Scheme Confirmed

06 February 2019

Scotland's Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, has confirmed that nationally-funded loans of up to 90% of Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) 2018 payment values are to be made available to eligible claimants, with payments starting April 2019. Loan offer letters should start to be sent from 1st March. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website.

National Farm Management Conference 2019

22 January 2019

The Institute of Agricultural Management's National Farm Management Conference 2019 will take place in London on 13th February 2019. Fellows of the CAAV are offered the IAgrM member rate to attend - a saving of £60. Simply complete the booking form as if you are an IAgrM member.

Details and a booking form are available on the IAgrM website at https://www.iagrm.org.uk/events/

The conference attracts BASIS and NRoSO points.

RPA confirms 93.4% of BPS 2018 claims paid by 31st December 2018

16 January 2019

The RPA has confirmed that 93.4% of BPS 2018 claimants received a payment by 31st December 2018. This equates to 78,787 claimants with a value of over £1.57 billion. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Scotland to streamline forestry grant process post-Brexit

10 January 2019

Scotland's Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, has announced two initiatives to streamline the foresty grants process during a debate today in the Scottish Parliament on Future Rural Policy and Support in Scotland. The initiatives are:-

1) to review the current process for forestry grant applications; and

2) to review the Forestry Grant Scheme to allow more "small landowners" to access financial support for tree planting and woodland creation.

Further information is available on the Forestry Commission Scotland website.

£5m funding announced to eradicate sheep scab in Wales

08 January 2019

The Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has announced that £5m of Rural Development Programme funding is to be made available to help eradicate sheep scab in Wales. A news release is available on the Welsh Government website.

Gove delivers speech at Oxford Farming Conference 2019

03 January 2019

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has delivered a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference 2019. The full text of the speech is available on GOV.UK.

Environment Secretary publishes draft clauses on environmental principles and governance

19 December 2018

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has published draft clauses on environmental principles and governance which are to form part of the Environment Bill due to be introduced in 2019. Further details are available in DEFRA's press release.

New On-line Option For Subscription Renewal

19 December 2018

The 2019 subscription renewal demands are being sent out with the December News Letter.

The continuing development of the CAAV’s website now allows members to pay their subscriptions on-line, using credit or debit cards through the Members’ Area of the CAAV website.   As with other purchases on the website, payment is made through the secure facility provided by Sage Pay – no card details are held on the CAAV website.

This is an additional option, alongside payment by bank transfer and by cheque.

The facility to pay subscriptions on-line is to be available from 1pm today, Wednesday 19th December when members who have not paid the 2019 subscription will, on logging into the Members’ Area, see a screen inviting them to do so.

The procedure for renewing a subscription on-line is:

  1. Go to the CAAV website
  2. If not logged in automatically, log in to see to the Members’ Area 
  3. Once logged in and if the CAAV has not already received your subscription, a message will appear to prompt you to renew your membership
  4. Your 2019 subscription fee will appear in a box on the right hand side of the screen.
  5. Check the amount shown on the screen.
  6. To pay - Click on “Add to Basket”
  7. Then - Click on “Checkout”
  8. Follow the payment instructions on the screen.
  9. You will be asked if you are a qualified member of the RICS and complying with its regulatory requirements. This is to assist the CAAV with monitoring professional standards.
  10. Once your payment has been successfully completed you will receive an e-mail with a receipted invoice.

The screen prompt to pay does not block further access to the Members’ Area of the website which remains freely available to members

However, and as for many years, a late payment increase applies to most subscriptions that are not paid by the end of January.  All renewed subscriptions are due by February 28th.  Members who have not paid by then will cease to have access to the Members’ Area of the website or receive the News Letter and publications.

Farmers clear of bovine TB for 6 years can revert to annual testing

18 December 2018

DEFRA has confirmed that farmers in parts of the bovine TB Edge area who remain clear of bovine TB for at least six years will be allowed to revert to annual testing, rather than six-monthly testing. This change is to take effect from May 2019. A press release is available on GOV.UK.

Gove launches new Resources and Waste Strategy

18 December 2018

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has launched a new Resources and Waste Strategy. A news release is available on GOV.UK which gives further details and has a link to the Strategy document.

CAAV Examinations – Results for 2018

17 December 2018

17th December 2018

The 2018 CAAV examination results are being sent out to candidates today. 

We are pleased to welcome 83 new Fellows, a very similar number to the 84 who achieved the FAAV qualification to last year.  With a higher than average pass rate, average marks in all parts of the examinations are consistent with previous years.

We congratulate all who have been successful this year and offer best wishes for next year to those who passed part only or failed.  Those wanting a feedback session on the Written part should contact the Secretariat and for the Practical/Oral part, the local examination convenor.

We thank the examination convenors, examiners and all who have helped for their work and commitment in this important part of the CAAV’s life and future.  

We will, as every year, be reviewing this year’s examinations and the lessons to be learnt for future examinations at our January Examinations Conference to keep this key rural professional qualification up to date.

First Minister for Wales announces new cabinet

14 December 2018

The new First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, has announced his cabinet which sees Lesley Griffiths remain as Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. Full details of the cabinet are available on the Welsh Government website.

Over 95% of BPS 2018 payments made to Welsh farmers

11 December 2018

Since the BPS 2018 payment window opened on Monday 3rd December, over 95% (14,700) of Welsh BPS 2018 claimants have been paid either a BPS 2018 payment or a loan payment. Please see the Welsh Government website for further details.

Additional £80m Rural Development Programme funding announced in Wales

11 December 2018

The Welsh Government has confirmed additional funding will be made available under the Rural Development Programme as follows:-

  • £62.9m for the extension of Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts to 2021
  • Additional application round of Glastir Small Grants
  • £16m for the Sustainable Production Grant
  • Continued support under the Farm Business Grant

Please see the Welsh Government website for the news release.

BPS 2018 payments made to more than 65% of English claimants

06 December 2018

The RPA has confirmed that BPS 2018 payments were made to 55,179 claimants (over 65%) on Monday 3rd December. The RPA says it is "on track" to pay at least 90% of claimants by 31st December 2018. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Marian Spain takes over as Natural England's Interim Chief Executive

04 December 2018

Following the departure in November of Natural England's CEO, James Cross, an Interim Chief Executive, Marian Spain, has taken over this week. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

EU Withdrawal Agreement approved by EU leaders

25 November 2018

The EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU have been approved by the 27 EU leaders at a special meeting of the European Council today (25th November 2018). This now needs to be voted on by the UK Parliament, which is expected to take place in early December 2018.

Prime Minister holds press conference at 10 Downing Street

15 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has held a press conference in 10 Downing Street and her statement is available on GOV.UK.

Prime Minister updates House of Commons on Brexit negotiations

15 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has updated the House of Commons on progress with the Brexit negotiations. Please see the GOV.UK website for the Prime Minister's statement.

James Cross steps down as Natural England's CEO

09 November 2018

James Cross has stepped down today from his role as Natural England's Chief Executive and Marian Spain, an existing Natural England Board member, will be taking over as interim Chief Executive "shortly". Further details are given on GOV.UK.

Changes to valuation of in-calf cattle for TB compensation in Wales take effect today

01 November 2018

In September, the Welsh Government announced that there would be changes to the valuation of in-calf cattle in Wales for TB compensation. Those changes take effect from today (1st November 2018) and mean that written proof of Pregnancy Diagnosis will now be required when cattle are being valued. Further information is available on the Welsh Government website.

CAAV supports anti-money laundering Flag It Up campaign

26 October 2018

The CAAV is lending its support to the Government's campaign to raise awareness of anti-money laundering requirements for those involved in property sales and purchases. The Flag It Up campaign will help professionals involved in property sales to identify suspicious activity which may be connected to money laundering and to report it to the authorities.

Further information can be found in the Government press release:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-campaign-to-prevent-properties-bought-with-dirty-money

Gove announces new funding for pollinator habitat mapping

25 October 2018

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is launching a new £60,000 fund today (25th October) to "develop and test pollinator habitat mapping". Funding is also being provided to two projects to create pollinator-friendly landscapes: The Bumblebee Conservation Trust's "West Country Buzz" project in North Devon and The Martin Down farmer "Super Cluster" in Hampshire. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Fisheries Bill introduced to Parliament

25 October 2018

A Fisheries Bill is to be introduced to Parliament today (25th October). The Bill is to give the UK control of who may fish in UK waters and what terms apply. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Pilot Forestry Investment Zone launched in Cumbria

18 October 2018

A new pilot Forestry Investment Zone has been launched in Cumbria today. The pilot is to run for two years and "will be used as a test-case for rolling out the initiative more widely around the country". Please see GOV.UK for further information.

BSE Case Confirmed in Aberdeenshire

18 October 2018

The BBC News website is reporting that there has been a case of BSE confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire. Further information is also available on the Scottish Government website.

Government appoints Shale Gas Commissioner

08 October 2018

The Government has appointed a Shale Gas Commissioner to provide a link between local communities, the shale gas industry and regulators. Former MP Natascha Engel will take up the new post this week.

Natural Resources Wales confirms position on pheasant shooting

21 September 2018

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has confirmed that it will not renew leases for pheasant shooting rights on land that it manages when they end in March 2018. Further information is available on the NRW website.

£3m funding for Catchment Sensitive Farming advice on reducing ammonia emissions from agriculture

18 September 2018

It has been confirmed that £3 million funding is being made available for a specialist team under the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership to help implement the measures set out in the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Use BPS time window for change, says CAAV

12 September 2018

Press release

12 September 2018

 

Use BPS time window for change, says CAAV

The new Agriculture Bill has fired a starting gun for England’s farmers to manage post-Brexit change, according to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Farmers have been awaiting details on what post-Brexit policy and payments will look like – and now they know, they should act, says Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the CAAV. “We have been given a clear timeframe for the complete removal of BPS for English farmers.  BPS is to be phased out from 2021 to 2027 and then it will be gone. That gives a time window in which farmers and their advisers should review their businesses, consider how best to handle the likely erosion of margins, and deliver the necessary changes.”

Based on his own calculations, Mr Moody expects BPS to be cut by 5% in 2021, with those receiving larger payments seeing cuts of up to 25%, with further phasing out thereafter (see table). “This will release money for new land management schemes – although environmental payments will not replace that loss in margins.”

Farmers therefore need to plan ahead, whether to control costs or change enterprise, embrace innovation and new technology, make new investments, win planning permissions, manage succession, exploit assets, add value or improve marketing. 

“Leaving it too late will see the business on the receiving end of change, not managing it,” explains Mr Moody. “The task is to find how best the business and the family can achieve and retain a financial margin in a more commercial and challenging world.”

Some of the money removed from BPS will go towards grants to help farmers become more efficient and productive, but there will be a limited time window in which they can be claimed. Defra has also confirmed that payments will no longer be linked to active farming – enabling retirement and freeing up land for change.

“While we inevitably await much detail, the Government has now clearly stated the direction of travel and a timetable for the progressive loss of BPS,” says Mr Moody. “With that knowledge, farmers now need to drive change in their businesses, with the support of professional advisers over a sensible time frame. After a period of great uncertainty, they can now lay solid and effective foundations for the future profitability of farming and rural land use, replacing income support with improved commercial viability.”

 

Table – Likely changes in BPS, based on CAAV calculations

2020 Payment

£15,000

£30,000

£50,000

£80,000

£120,000

£250,000

2021

£14,250

£28,250

£46,500

£70,500

£102,500

£201,500

2022

£12,200

£24,400

£39,900

£60,400

£87,900

£172,700

2023

£10,200

£20,400

£33,200

£50,400

£73,200

£143,900

2024

£8,150

£16,300

£26,600

£40,300

£58,600

£115,100

2025

£6,100

£12,200

£19,900

£30,200

£43,900

£86,400

2026

£4,100

£8,200

£13,300

£20,100

£29,300

£57,600

2027

£2,000

£4,100

£6,700

£10,000

£14,700

£28,800

2028

£0

£0

£0

£0

£0

£0

 

 

About the CAAV

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) is a specialist professional body representing, qualifying and briefing over 2700 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.

 

Agriculture Bill to be introduced into Parliament today

12 September 2018

The Agriculture Bill is being introduced into Parliament today and sets out in broad terms how the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be replaced in England by an Environmental Land Management system which is to use "public money for public goods" and will begin tests and trials next year (2019) and pilots from 2021.

  • BPS will remain "on the same basis as now" for 2019 and 2020, with simplifications being made where possible. There will then be a 7 year "agricultural transition" period from 2021 to 2027 when BPS will be phased out.
  • Capping is to be applied to all BPS claimants, rather than just those with high payments as suggested in DEFRA's Health and Harmony consultation, but those with higher payments will be subject to a bigger reduction.
  • BPS payments are to be "delinked" during the "agricultural transition" period (2021-2027) from the existing requirement to carry out an "agricultural activity" on agricultural land. Instead, the payments "may be calculated according to money received in previous years", so could see an historic reference period applied.
  • BPS 2027 will be the final year of direct payments.

Further details will be given on this website once the Bill has been published.

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