BASIC PAYMENT SCHEME REGISTRATION

The team at WebbPaton are busy registering farmers and collating information for this year’s BPS claims, so if you’re still not registered and/or you need help with your claim and greening calculations, please contact us as soon as possible on 01793 842055. The timeframe for submitting applications is narrow, so please get in touch sooner rather than later!

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP ANNUAL CLAIM FORMS

If you have an existing Environmental Stewardship agreement (ELS, OELS or HLS), you should receive a claim form from Natural England over the next few weeks. Every agreement holder is now required to submit an annual claim for payment by 15th May each year and you will not be paid if you fail to return the form. If you would like assistance with your claim form, please contact us on 01793 842055.

WATER CAPITAL GRANTS NOW OPEN

If your holding is located within a ‘priority catchment area’, you are now able to apply for funding through the Water Capital Grants.

Grants of up to £10,000 per farming business are available for the items such as:
• Livestock and machinery hard-core tracks
• Fencing (post-and-wire, sheep netting and permanent electric)
• Sprayer or applicator loading and washdown area and roofing
• Covers for slurry stores and lagoons
• Roofs for slurry and silage stores
• Outdoor concrete yard renewal
• Rainwater goods

The payment rates for each item have been set by Natural England. The closest priority catchment areas are the Rivers Lambourn and Kennet and The Cotswolds. The deadline for applications is 30th April 2015. To find out if your holding is within a priority catchment area, or for assistance with an application, please contact Becky Meredith or Libby Barron on 01793 842055.

WOODLAND CAPITAL GRANTS NOW OPEN

Funding is now available for the following priority areas:
1. Woodland creation – funding to supply, plant, weed and protect young trees.
2. Woodland tree health (restoration) – restocking of trees following felling due to a tree health issue.
3. Woodland tree health and improvement) – felling diseased trees, scrub control and Rhododendron control.
4. Woodland management plans – support to prepare a new woodland management plan.

There is a range of capital items available under each priority area, as well as annual woodland creation maintenance payments. There will be additional capital items and options for existing woodland available when the new Countryside Stewardship scheme opens in July this year.

The deadline for applications is 30th April 2015 for woodland creation grants or 30th June 2015 for all other grants.

Please contact Cathy Hancock-Angell on 01793 842055 if you would like assistance with your Woodland Capital Grant application.

SOUTH MARSTON SOLAR FARM COMPLETED

A 5 megawatt solar farm at South Marston on a farmland belonging to a client of WebbPaton has been completed.  Altogether 34 acres of land will be coverered with solar panels providing electricity to  Honda.  George Paton of WebbPaton has advised this client throughout the project from conception to thtough to the build out stage. Sheep will graze the grass below the panels.

LAKE FARM, WILTSHIRE’S FIRST SOLAR FARM GOES LIVE

Wiltshire’s first solar farm at Lake Farm, Sutton Benger has been completed today.   This is one of 4 locations in Wiltshire where WebbPaton’s clients have been successful in obtaining planning permission for a solar farm.  Lake Farm  when fully developed will have over 32 acres of solar panels producing 5 megawatts of electricity.

Over a 100 acres of solar panels in Wiltshire will be developed with solar panels by WebbPaton’s farming clients working jointly with AEE Renewables UK over the next few months producing 20 megawatts of electricty.  These solar farm projects will Wiltshire biggest renewable energy producers.  For more details on renewables speak to WebbPaton’s George Paton on 01793 842055

NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONE (NVZ) CHANGES FROM 17TH MAY 2013

New legislation came into force on 17th May 2013, which establishes new NVZ boundaries and some minor changes to the rules (which will mostly apply from 1st January 2014).  The most significant changes are as follows:
·         Approximately 10,000 farms have come out of NVZ designations as a result of the new boundaries.  To check whether the NVZ status of your holding has changed, go to the Environment Agency ‘What’s in your backyard’ page on their website and enter your postcode:
http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby
·         Crop-available nitrogen from sewage sludge, compost or other organic manures will count towards the N max calculation.
·         The nitrogen efficiency value for cattle slurry will be increased to 40% and for pig slurry it will be increased to 50%, for calculating the crop available nitrogen supply from livestock manure applications.
·         Closed periods – for medium and heavy soils Defra is extending the closed period by two weeks, to 31st January each year (which will apply from this year, unless you have been designated for the first time in 2013).
·         Slurry spreading after closed periods will be reduced from 50m³ per ha at a time (with no repeat spreading within three weeks) to 30m³ per ha.
·         Where precision slurry spreaders are used, Defra is reducing the no spread zone to within 6 metres of watercourses.
·         ‘Low intensity farms’ (more than80% grassland and other criteria must be met) will no longer need to keep detailed records of the amount of fertiliser spread on each field.
WebbPaton are continuing to offer a Cross Compliance Check Service (including NVZ Requirements), so please contact us for more information.


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