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The application window for the Woodland Creation Grant is now open.  These are two-year capital grants of up to £6,800 per hectare, with the opportunity to apply for ten-year annual maintenance payments.  Applications must be submitted by 16th February 2018.  If you are interested in applying for the Woodland Creation Grant please contact Libby Barron at WebbPaton.



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The Countryside Stewardship Scheme will be open for applications again in 2018 with the first focus being on the expanded Hedgerow and Boundaries Grant. The maximum spend for improvements to hedgerows, stone walls, etc on any one farm has been increased from £5,000 to £10,000 with applications to be submitted by 30th April.  If you are interested in this grant please email Becky Meredith on before commencing the work.  Alternatively you can ring Becky (or speak to whoever is your normal contact at WebbPaton if you are an existing client) on 01793 842055.

Becky YFC Photo cropped


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WebbPaton are delighted to announce that Becky Meredith has recently passed the RICS exams and also exams for the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) with flying colours and is now a Fellow of the Association. This professional qualification denotes an in-depth knowledge of a wide range of countryside & property matters.  Becky joins others in our team who have achieved this mark of excellence enabling us to provide well-informed advice to our clients.  Her specialisms include Basic Payment Scheme claims, Countryside Stewardship (including Hedgerow & Boundaries Grants), and rural property valuations.

Maize Harvest Wilts


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WebbPaton have received instructions to sell Basic Payment Scheme entitlements which have been placed on our website.  The Rural Payments Agency will open the online transfer system in February, but meanwhile we are happy to discuss your requirements and take offers from potential buyers or to help you make an informed choice with your business decision-making.

Contact us by email or telephone – or 01793 842055.

GeorgeK 2


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Mark Webb and George Paton are delighted to welcome George King to the professional team at WebbPaton.

George, 22, grew up on a livestock farm in Leicestershire and completed his BSc (Hons) degree in Rural Land Management at The Royal Agricultural University in 2016.  Following graduation George pursued a career in Land Management at Carter Jonas for a year before joining WebbPaton in August 2017 as a Graduate Agricultural Valuer.  George will be working towards taking his CAAV exams and Royal Institute of Rural Surveyors exam in the autumn of 2018.

 In his spare time George enjoys skiing, shooting, playing tennis and partaking in Tough Mudder events.




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The European Commission has published updated greening rules which will come into effect from 1 January 2018 and logically affects cropping for this autumn. The main changes to the 2018 greening rules are as follows:

  • A complete ban on the use of Plant Protection Products on Ecological Focus Area (EFA) Fallow Land, EFA Catch and Cover Crops, and EFA Nitrogen-fixing Crops is introduced.  The ban applies from the time of sowing the crop, even if this is before 1 January 2018, to harvesting.  The ban also applies to seed dressings.
  • EFA catch crops must be maintained for a minimum of 8 weeks starting on 20 August 2018 and must be retained until at least 14 October 2018.  The period for EFA cover crops remains at 1 October to 15 January of the following year.
  • As part of crop diversification, you can declare an area as ‘mixed crops’ that contains small areas of different crops grown next to each other.  Individually these would otherwise be too small to claim (these are areas less than 0.01ha) but can be claimed as one ‘mixed crop’ area.
  • The EFA option for hedges is extended in definition to include trees in a line.  The EFA value will remain the same – each metre of length equals 10 square metres of area for EFA (as long as if you claim this option you have management responsibility for both sides of the hedge and/or line of trees).
  • The EFA buffer strips option is extended in definition to include field margins as well as buffer strips.  In addition to buffer strips adjacent or parallel with a water course, you can also claim field margins towards your EFA.  The minimum width of 1 metre remains.  The EFA value of field margins will be the same as EFA buffer strips – every metre in length equals 9 square metres of area for EFA.

If you would like to discuss any of the changes to greening requirements further please do not hesitate to contact one of our team at WebbPaton.



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Trading has started on Basic Payments for 2017.  WebbPaton buy and sell BPS entitlements.  For more information and latest prices call Susan Elmes on 01793 842055 or email


We also provide cross compliance and BP5 advice, so if you’re busy and need some help give us a call on the same number to explore how we can assist.

Phil Godwin's Photo


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The RPA have begun to remit the 2016 BPS payments on time, with WebbPaton clients reporting receipt of funds in their bank accounts today.  Remittance advices are also arriving with the morning post.  As part of our service to BPS clients we will be checking that they are correct.

Meanwhile, online transfers of land and/or entitlements prior to the 2017 claims submission period should be available from mid January and mid February respectively.  Paper RLE1 forms can be submitted prior to that but are unlikely to be processed by the RPA until after the 15th May 2017 deadline.

WebbPaton are available to trade entitlements between sellers and buyers in anticipation of submitting the transfer when online transfers commence.



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Coming soon!  When the festive season has faded to a memory WebbPaton will be running our popular annual Farm Business Update meetings.  This year we will include an update on the evergreen topic of Basic Payment Scheme and Cross Compliance, a look at life after Brexit for farm businesses, renewables, and helpful tips on farm building conversions, avoiding farm disasters, duty of care and so on.  This will all be followed by a freshly-cooked hot supper with our compliments.  Farmers and farming-related solicitors, accountants and bankers are invited to come along, just call to reserve a place.

Doors open for registration from 6.30pm onwards with a free bar, then the seminars will all commence at 7.30pm on the following dates:

Monday 23rd January at Chippenham Golf Club, Malmesbury Road SN15 5LT

Wednesday 25th January at North Wilts Golf Club, Bishops Cannings, Devizes SN10 2LP

Monday 30th January at Wrag Barn Golf & Country Club, Highworth SN6 7QQ

Tuesday 31st January at Wrag Barn Golf & Country Club, Highworth SN6 7QQ

Thursday 2nd February at The Wiltshire Hotel & Golf Club, Vastern, Royal Wootton Bassett SN4 7PB

The seminars are sponsored by the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.  Catherine Elmes of Farm XS Ltd will also be available to answer any queries on farm waste recycling and handing out recycled black bin bags.

Susan Elmes at WebbPaton will be happy to supply further details or to reserve you a place.  Call her on 01793 842055


Farm Rent Review


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The RPA have announced entitlement values for 2016.  When converted from euros to sterling this year’s improved exchange rate of €1 = £0.85228 has helped lift the payment by 16.5% compared to 2015.  The Financial Discipline Mechanism (FDM) rate applicable to payments in excess of €2,000 has been confirmed by the European Commission as 1.353905%.

Non SDA payments including greening for 2016 will be €252.98 (£215.61).

SDA payments including greening for 2016 will be €251.16 (£214.06).

Moorland payments including greening for 2016 will be €66.36 (£56.56).

The team at WebbPaton remain ready to answer any queries on BPS and entitlements, and to offer assistance (if needed) with handling BPS claims and Defra matters.

Website Photo 2016


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Interest in trading entitlements for the 2017 claim year has begun to pick up in the last few days. Sellers are coming forward to claim an early sale, but more is needed. With at least two claim years available BPS entitlements are a worthwhile investment for farmers with eligible land, the returns being unmatched.  Call WebbPaton to chat to a member of our team, and if you would like help with putting your claim together we can do that too.  To explore how we can assist please ring 01793 842055.



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With less than one week of entitlement trading left before the RPA entitlement transfer window for 2016 closes on 16th May purchasers are urged to buy their extra entitlements sooner rather than later.  Whilst it is not too late to buy, payment must be on a same day transfer.

Entitlements sales rose over the past week but prices are steady at £160 to £180 each for England non-SDA.  WebbPaton have a few SDA entitlements for sale at £220 each.

Supplies of non-SDA without VAT for those buyers who are not VAT registered are currently readily available.

Call our friendly entitlement trading team on 01793 842055, or you can email Susan Elmes on  Offers can also be made through this website.



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WebbPaton have Basic Payment Scheme entitlements for sale.  With the slow delivery of 2015 Entitlement Claim Statements and still a large number of unpaid claims its unsurprising that trading has been quieter this year.

When you complete your claim for 2016 you may find you have a shortfall in the number of entitlements that you require.  We have SDA and entitlements without VAT; as a guide prices for England non-SDA are currently around £200 each plus VAT, but this can vary so call WebbPaton for a price on 01793 842055.  Our helpful team will guide you through the process of purchase and transfer, so that’s one less worry for you.

Chris Walker Bluebells


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The window for Woodland Creation grants under the new Countryside Stewardship has now opened for applications.  This is a standalone grant under the main Countryside Stewardship scheme which provides a one-off payment towards the cost of supplying and planting trees and associated items, such as fencing, required to create a woodland.  The grant is competitive and applications will be scored and accepted subject to the available budget.

The application window for Woodland Creation grants is open until 31st March 2016.  Successful applicants will be issued an agreement from July 2016 onwards.  For more information on how to apply please contact WebbPaton on 01793 842055.



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The following is a Press Release published in Farmers Weekly on 5th February 2016:

Farmers should be careful to dispose of their waste plastic in accordance with the law or risk huge fines, following the conviction of a business in Oxfordshire.

Since 2006 farmers have been required to dispose of their waste plastic through a licensed business, yet many are still illegally burying or burning waste on-farm, or unwittingly using unlicensed carriers, says Mark Webb, director of recycling firm Farm XS.

“By flouting the rules, farmers lay themselves open to fines of up to £50,000, plus legal costs,” he warns.  “In addition, they may have to cover the costs of any environmental clean-up, which could be astronomical.”

Mr Webb’s warning comes after a business in Oxfordshire was fined £20,000 plus costs for illegally storing, treating and burning waste at Chowle Farm, Faringdon.  The firm was prosecuted for operating a skip hire business illegally from the site, and allowing the disposal of large quantities of tyres.

“All farmers have a duty of care to ensure the person they give their waste to is licensed and deals with it properly,” says Mr Webb. “Make sure you see a copy of the license and receive a waste transfer note – this will be checked by farm assurance schemes.”

Farmers dealing with their own waste require a farm waste exemption, and if they are transporting it will also need a lower tier waste carriers license, adds Mr Webb.  “The Environment Agency is clamping down on unregistered waste carriers, and stopped 71 vehicles in Operation Salamandar in the South East of England in just one day last month.  Of those, 26 face possible prosecution for duty of care offences.”

Although farmers’ margins are under intense pressure right now, the cost of waste disposal does not have to be prohibitive. Farm XS charges a membership fee of less than £1/acre for an average size farm for plastic recycling, with no weight fees on top, says Mr Webb.  “Taken in context of a possible £50,000 fine – on top of the environmental damage caused by illegal activities – it’s madness for farmers to risk falling foul of the law.”

Wiltshire Agricultural Consultant


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The 2016 round of Farm Business Updates will be presented by WebbPaton on:


Monday 25th January from 6.30pm at Chippenham Golf Club

Wednesday 27th January from 6.30pm at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

Thursday 28th January from 10.30am at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

Monday 1st February at Wrag Barn Golf Club in Highworth (northwest of Swindon)

Tuesday 2nd February at Wrag Barn Golf Club

Thursday 4th February at The Wiltshire Hotel & Golf Club near Royal Wootton Bassett

A range of relevant and important topics will be covered in a fast-moving entertaining way, all followed by a hot complimentary meal.  WebbPaton agents and FarmXS people will be present to answer any questions you may have.


Ring the office to book your place on 01793 842055.  We look forward to seeing you there!


Farm Rent Review


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The RPA has announced that almost 51% of claimants should have now received their BPS 2015 payment.  However, there have been errors in some of the payment amounts (particularly where RLE1 forms were submitted to transfer entitlements and/or amend maps), so please check the amount carefully and contact us if you have any questions.  The RPA is intending to start posting out 2015 BPS Claim Statements to farmers from mid-January, so please send it to us to check.  If we dealt with your 2015 BPS claim, this is all part of the service we offer! 

The claims process is changing again and going online for 2016, so if we have not previously completed your BPS claim but you would like assistance this year, please contact us to register your interest.


WebbPaton Land Agents


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1. SMR 7 – Cattle identification and registration

Cattle keepers must still record (in their holding register) the dam’s ear tag number for animals born on their holding. However, they no longer need to record the dam’s ear tag number for animals arriving on their holding. This changed on 6 April 2015 and is now updated in the latest guidance

2. GAEC 7c – Trees

RPA has clarified that not only fruit or nut trees in orchards, but also other trees acting as windbreaks in an orchard, vineyard, hop yard or hop garden are exempt from the 1 March to the 31 August (inclusive) cutting and trimming rules. This applies from 1 January 2016.

3. GAEC 1 – Establishment of buffer strips along watercourses

From 1 January 2017, land parcels of 2 hectares or less next to watercourses will have to comply with the need to protect watercourses against pollution and run-off from agricultural sources, by maintaining buffer strips. Therefore, for all land:

  • within 2 metres of the centre of a watercourse or field ditch
  • from the edge of the watercourse or field ditch to 1 metre on the landward side of the top of the bank

both of the following apply:

  • you must take all reasonable steps to maintain a green cover
  • you must not cultivate or apply fertilisers or pesticides.

[This change doesn’t apply to GAEC 7a – Boundaries.]

Please contact us if you need assistance with any aspect of Cross Compliance.

footpath sign


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WebbPaton are still busy helping landowners to submit the CA16 application forms and maps to protect their land from future rights of way or village green claims.  The deposit protects the land for 20 years and it is important to have it lodged with the Council whether or not you have existing rights of way – it protects you against new claims. Most Councils charge in the region of £280 for the first parcel of land and £68.25 for each additional parcel separated by public highway. It is worth noting that Swindon Council does not currently charge for CA16 applications, but they may add a charge in the near future, so act fast and get your CA16 application submitted if you own land within the Swindon Borough!




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People born before 31st December 1964 are no longer exempt from holding a certificate of competence for using an agricultural pesticide product.  It is a legal requirement to follow the rules outlined in ‘The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012’.  If you do not adhere to the rules, you will also risk prosecution and a reduction in your BPS and certain Pillar II payments.  If you do not hold a certificate of competence or specified certificate, but require the application of professional pesticides to your land, you may employ a contractor or neighbouring farmer.  It would be your responsibility to check that they hold an appropriate specified certificate.