ENTITLEMENTS

Basic Payment Scheme entitlements are required in order to claim farm subsidies.  WebbPaton buy and sell England Non-SDA and SDA entitlements for clients.  We also assist clients with completing their claims, answering questions on the RPA rules and cross compliance issues.  The claim deadline is 15th May each year.  The BPS which is outside of Brexit, is due to continue in some form until 2027.  In 2018 it paid claimants at £228/hectare (£90/acre) and is subject to the euro exchange rate.

 

WebbPaton have entitlements available for £120 each plus VAT, or £135 no VAT.  If you need entitlements, or if you are wondering if you are eligible to claim, just give us a call on 01793 842055 or email post@webbpaton.co.uk for further details.

LADY DAY TENANCY REMINDER

A reminder that Lady Day (25th March) – a traditional start date and term date for agricultural tenancies – is approaching.

 

Depending on the terms of the tenancy, this may provide an opportunity for the landlord or the tenant to seek a rent review or terminate the tenancy. If you received a rent review notice last year, Lady Day also marks the deadline for concluding negotiations or appointing an arbitrator if these are set to continue.

 

It is important to check the terms of your tenancy as each individual agreement is different. If you would like further advice please contact WebbPaton on 01793 842055.

GRAZING AGREEMENTS

As spring rapidly approaches many landowners will be looking to grant a Grazing and Mowing Licence over the summer months.

 

It is important to make sure Grazing and Mowing Licences are formally documented, this way both the landowner and the grazier can be sure of the terms of the agreement reached.

 

Annually WebbPaton draw up a large number of Grazing and Mowing Licences and would be delighted to assist you with your 2019 Grazing and Mowing Licence.

SWINDON-OXFORD TRANSPORT ROUTE

Oxfordshire Growth Board is consulting on where development could be in Oxfordshire between now and 2050. WebbPaton are acting for a number of farming clients promoting land throughout Oxfordshire. If you would like us to put your land forward please contact us.

We have submitted a detailed case this week that the A420 corridor between Swindon and Oxford should be upgraded. With the two towns only 27 miles apart this is a good corridor for economic development. Currently the proposed Cambridge to Oxford Expressway finishes at Didcot, so it is pointing that future traffic will travel the 49 miles from Oxford via Didcot and Newbury and then down the M4 to Junction 15 at Swindon. The question is: will lorries and traffic moving east to west across the country travel the 22 miles further or will it just add to the burden of the already overused A420 route?

With the Oxfordshire Growth Board calling for ideas the concept of new villages between Oxford and Swindon and the dualling of the A420 could see the pressure taken off elsewhere in Oxford along the most direct route to the West Country.

This was brought up at England’s Economic Heartland Committee Meeting in January. The thought of using the CAMKOX Expressway route to link Harwich to Avonmouth via Milton Keynes & Swindon makes a strong economic case.

For more details please contact George Paton at WebbPaton.

HEDGEROW & BOUNDARY GRANTS

A reminder that the 2019 Hedgerow and Boundary Grant application window opened 18th February and closes 3rd May. The Grant is a competitive scheme designed to help restore existing farm boundaries, and bring environmental and landscape benefits to your land. Only one application for each farm business can be applied for each application round, with the maximum grant available being £10,000.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested on 01793 842055.

WORKS TO CARRY OUT BY 14th MARCH

A reminder for anyone with a Countryside Stewardship agreement with the option Permanent Pasture with Low Inputs (GS2) in place. There is a small opportunity remaining to carry out the following activities by the 14th March before we enter the closed period under this option:

  • Applying restricted amounts of fertiliser or FYM
  • Undertake any activity which requires machinery
  • Cut back bracken
  • Cut back rush

 

 

Please keep in mind for the coming months that under the requirements for GS2  you are not allowed to cut for hay or silage until the 1st July.

 

Please contact any member of our team if you have any questions regarding the above or about Countryside Stewardship in general.

PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY

If you own or occupy land with public rights of way (PROW) you have an obligation to keep routes open and accessible and clearly visible at all times of the year.  PROW include footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic (BOATs).

 

In practice this may mean:

 

  • clearing hedgerow or vegetation growth over a PROW and making sure routes are not blocked by locked gates, barbed wire or fencing (including temporary fencing)
  • maintaining stiles and gates in a safe and useable condition.  In the event a structure needs to be replaced, speak to your local council who may contribute towards the cost.
  • making good the surface of cross-field PROW within 14 days of it being disturbed.  The minimum width of cross-field footpaths is 1m and 2m for bridleways.

 

These obligations are set out under GAEC 7b of the cross compliance rules.  Breach of these rules may result in a penalty being applied to your BPS payment.  For further information please contact one of the team at WebbPaton on 01793 842055.

1ST MARCH TREE & HEDGECUTTING BAN

This Friday, 1st March 2019, sees the start of the closed period that places a ban on cutting and trimming hedgerows and trees under cross compliance.

 

Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) 7a: Boundaries and 7c: Trees prevents all Basic Payment Scheme claimants, Countryside Stewardship agreement holders and Environmental Stewardship claimants from cutting/trimming hedges and trees between 1st March and 31st August (inclusive) on all eligible land in agricultural use. Those found to be in breach of these rules could see a financial penalty applied to their BPS or stewardship payments.  Countryside Stewardship option BE3 further restricts the cutting of hedges within this period – check you agreement for detailed information.

 

However these cross compliance don’t apply to roadside hedges. Landowners and occupiers have a legal duty to control the growth of roadside hedges and trees, so as not to restrict visibility or otherwise obstruct the highway.

 

For further information about the hedge cutting rules or any other cross compliance requirements, please contact the WebbPaton office on 01793 842055.

SMALL GRANTS 2019

The application window for the Small Grant Scheme has been delayed until late Spring. With ongoing technical issues still being identified from the first round of applications submitted last year, changes by the RPA continue to be made in an effort to simplify the scheme for 2019.

 

Funding looks to be the same this year with an overall budget of £30 million committed by the Government.  An application requires a minimum spend of £3,000 and up to a maximum of £12,000, with up to 40% of the eligible costs funded within your application.  Items available include but are not limited to:

  • Rotating Cow Brush
  • Auto Calf Feeder with Washing Facility
  • Sheep Electronic Weigh Scales
  • Pasture Plate Meter (Hand-held)
  • GPS for Precision farming
  • Electric Scraper Systems

 

Requirements of this scheme have proved very difficult resulting in many applications being rejected in 2018. If you are interested in applying please ring WebbPaton to avoid missing out on available funding.  You can contact any of our team on 01793 842055, email post@webbpaton.co.uk or DM us on Messenger.

BASIC PAYMENTS UPDATE

As at 19th February 2019 97.4% of 2018 BPS claimants have been paid, with a total value of £1.68 billion.

 

Any farmers still waiting for their 2018 BPS payment at the end of March will be automatically offered a 75% bridging payment in early April.

 

The BPS window for 2019 applications opens on 13th March and closes on 15th May 2019.  If you would like WebbPaton’s assistance with your 2019 BPS claim or with trading BPS entitlements please get in contact with one of our team on 01793 842055 or post@webbpaton.co.uk.

CSS BRIDGING PAYMENTS

Michael Gove has confirmed at today’s NFU Conference (19th February 2019) that bridging payments will be made for Countryside Stewardship 2018 claims, in light of the current slow progress of these payments being paid out by Natural England.

 

Bridging payments should start from early April and be made to Countryside Stewardship 2018 claimants who have not received a payment by the end of March 2019. Like last year, it is expected that the payments should be for 75% of the claim value held on the system at the time the payment.

 

To discuss CSS please ring us on 10793 842055.

 

COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP SCHEME OPENS

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme opens today (18 February) for farmers and land managers.  These agreements provide a viable, long-term source of income to those who deliver environmental benefits on their land.  Farmers and land managers who are new to taking on environmental work or with expired or expiring Environmental Stewardship agreements can apply for Mid Tier, Higher Tier, Wildlife Offers and Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant. 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

You can contact one of our team to find out more on 01793 842055 or email post@webbpaton.co.uk

2019 BPS ENTITLEMENTS FOR SALE

WebbPaton have Basic Payment Scheme entitlements for sale for the 2019 claim year.  We have England non-SDA and some 10.91 SDA entitlements.  If you need a top up or you have eligible land and would like to claim farm subsidy payments ring WebbPaton for prices and/or advice on 01793 842055.

2019 FARM BUSINESS UPDATE

WebbPaton’s final three presentation evenings for farmers and landowners take place this week.  Enthusiastically received so far, we are proud to say our contents are up-to-the minute, fact-based, fast-paced and highly informative.  The AMC have sponsored the evening and there is a complimentary hot fork supper afterwards.

 

To book a seat at The Wiltshire Golf Club near Royal Wootton Bassett please ring 01793 842055.  The evening commences at 6.30 on Thursday 31st January when doors open, and the presentation will begin promptly at 7.30.



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