While much of England is farmed for combineable crops and grazing livestock, there are significant sectors for dairy, horticulture, pigs, poultry and fruit as well as many other enterprises from mushrooms to hops.
With a wide range of farm types and structures, around 35 per cent of English farmland is rented; about half of that area is still under the protected tenancies of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and half are Farm Business tenancies under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 with more freedom for negotiations between owner and farmer. There is also substantial use of farming contracts, especially on combineable cropping.
DEFRA is planning that, after Brexit, it will replace the EU’s Basic Payment Scheme of direct area payments to farmers with an approach using the public money then available to buy environmental benefits and other public goods from land management and to improve productivity. In time, much of the public goods purchasing would be achieved through contracts with farmers under an Environmental Land Management Scheme that is being developed.
The CAAV in England
England is covered by 25 of the CAAV’s local associations, many based on counties but some on groups of counties or, like Wisbech and District on specific farming areas. These provide local forums for members as well as a varied range of professional and social meetings, tutorials and other events.
Nationally, the Farming and Environment Committee handles much of the CAAV’s work on agricultural and environmental issues in England.
The Property and Valuation, Compensation and Taxation Committees handle many other areas of policy, from land tenure to compulsory purchase, for England as well as watching the equivalent areas in the devolved territories alongside their committees.
Each year since 1977, the CAAV surveys decisions about the occupation and letting of agricultural land and issues in the Agricultural Land Occupation Survey as a barometer of conditions for tenancies and other arrangements, now accompanied by an equivalent Survey for Scotland, under its different legislation, which has been running since 2012.
The CAAV holds an annual round of spring briefing events around England to assist members and other conferences are held as needed.
Six CAAV examination centres cover England and Wales.
Publications and Briefing
A wide range of publications offer professional analysis and guidance on technical and practical topics for members accompanying extensive briefing for members on the website and through the News Letter.