Bird survey shows half-million acres of farmland is dedicated to wildlife

South West Farmer: : Starlings were seen on over 40% of the farms taking part and were the most abundant bird recorded in the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Big Farmland Bird Count. (Photo credit: Peter Thompson, GWCT.

6:50am Monday 14th April 2014

Bird survey shows half-million acres of farmland is dedicated to wildlife Despite it being the wettest winter since records began more than 500 farmers, covering nearly half-million acres of UK farmland, rose to the challenge of taking part in the first year of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Big Farmland Bird Count in February.

Residential farm offers privacy and seclusion

South West Farmer: Brook Farm, Ivybridge

10:40am Friday 11th April 2014

Rarely do farms come available for sale in South Devon as they are what some may describe as a “prize possession” not only because of the lifestyle that may be enjoyed with the wide open spaces but also because of the privacy they offer with the dwelling usually being surrounded by it’s own land.

South West Water funding helps keep Penwith wild

South West Farmer: Wild Penwith Volunteer tasks such as clearing invasive plant species helps benefit stream wildlife including otters photo by Elliot Smith

2:19pm Thursday 10th April 2014

Since last September Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Wild Penwith Volunteers have carried out over 160 hours of practical conservation work across west Penwith, helping to restore eight acres of important wildlife habitat; all thanks to funding from South West Water. The Trust, Cornwall’s leading local wildlife charity protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places are delighted that the company have just agreed to support Wild Penwith for another year.

20-acre solar installation secures a bright future for West Devon farm

South West Farmer: Linda and Geoff Petherick retired from milk production in 2006 after a period of low milk prices saw their farm’s overdraft escalate.

9:24am Thursday 10th April 2014

Leasing a proportion of their farm for a solar PV (photovoltaic) development and replacing their dairy cows with sheep has secured the future of Eastacombe Farm for Geoff and Linda Petherick.

Keep pressure up on red tape challenge, says NFU

South West Farmer: Minette Batters is a strong contender in the NFU deputy and vice-presidential elections

1:58pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

The NFU says that although progress is being made by Government in cutting red tape, it must act with more urgency so that farmers can see the benefits on the ground.

Urgent action on food waste needed

South West Farmer: CONTROVERSIAL: A bill to introduce National Service had its second reading in Parliament

9:16am Tuesday 8th April 2014

The House of Lords EU Committee has today called for urgent action on food waste in Europe highlighting that at least 90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the EU each year.

NFU respond to Kendall's AHDB appointment

South West Farmer: CALL: NFU President Peter Kendall during the National Farmer’s Union annual Conference at the ICC, Birmingham

3:38pm Monday 7th April 2014

NFU President Meurig Raymond has said he looks forward to working closely with Peter Kendall.

Where would you build your dream Grand Design home in north Devon

South West Farmer: Body found in search for missing Devon man

10:06am Monday 7th April 2014

AN Opportunity has arisen for buyers to build two ‘grand design’ homes on land at Heal Farm in Umberleigh, north Devon.

'Significant' land-based skills shortage in UK

South West Farmer: Plans for huge solar farm on MP Richard Drax’s estate facing judicial review

8:36am Monday 7th April 2014

The Baroness Young of Old Scone hosted an event on Thursday which saw the launch of an updated report on the future skills and employment needs of the land-based and environmental industries.

Flooded farmers have until May 9 to apply for grant under Farming Recovery Fund

South West Farmer: Ben Compton of Bruton Knowles

6:50am Friday 4th April 2014

Farmers affected by the severe flooding in early 2014 have until 9 May to apply for a grant under the Farming Recovery Fund (FRF).

Act Now to Take Full Advantage of the Latest Changes to Rural Planning

South West Farmer: Steve Quartermain

11:13am Wednesday 26th March 2014

Rural Solutions the nationwide planning and development specialist is urging rural land owners to act now to take full advantage of the latest changes to Rural Planning policy.

Five-fold increase in UK landslides

4:00am Saturday 14th September 2013

Over the last 14 months there has been a five-fold increase in reported landslides in the UK, scientists say.

Landowners win sweet chestnut import ban to prevent blight

6:00am Saturday 20th July 2013

The Country Landowners Association has successfully lobbied the government to bring in a ban on imports of sweet chestnut trees from areas affected by blight.

Change in planning rules a victory for common sense, says NFU

3:23pm Monday 13th May 2013

The National Farmers Union is claiming victory in its campaign to make it easier to convert redundant agricultural buildings, following the announcement from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles that planning rules will be relaxed.

SW farmers dispute the way anti-floods cash is spent

8:38am Monday 22nd April 2013

Farmers on the Somerset Levels, whose land flooded in January, say they do not agree with how a £600,000 help-fund is being spent.

Somerset wind farm plan rejected

9:13am Wednesday 10th April 2013

Plans to build four wind turbines on the Somerset Levels have been rejected by Sedgemoor District Council.

Duchy of Cornwall needs radical overhaul, says peer

10:00am Saturday 6th April 2013

The Duchy of Cornwall should be radically overhauled, according to a Cornish Labour peer.

Further delay to domestic Renewable Heat Initiative

6:50am Friday 29th March 2013

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic customers has been hit by further delays.

Planning rules "set for further relaxation"

8:58am Friday 22nd March 2013

The Daily Telegraph says it has a recording of a meeting at which Nick Boles, the planning minister, promised some of the country’s biggest property developers he is poised to scrap many development rules.

Renewable energy survey gets underway

2:15pm Tuesday 19th March 2013

A new survey called ‘Renewable Energy: What do you need to know?’ has been launched to identify what information farmers and landowners need to help overcome the confusion surrounding investing in renewable energy.

Farms divided and sold in lots

6:00pm Saturday 16th March 2013

Lower Uppacott at Tawstock, Barnstaple – with attractive period farmhouse and separate cottage, further barns with potential, delightful gardens, woodland and pasture ground and various acreages and totalling 80 acres in all, has been sold in separate lots to three separate purchasers.

Common land reclaimed in Cornwall

8:30am Tuesday 19th February 2013

Carn Galva Common, west of Zennor, has been reclaimed as registered common land using legislation pioneered in Cornwall.

Cornish family uses wind to reduce energy costs

2:00pm Monday 18th February 2013

Across the country, from Cornwall to Orkney, people are reducing energy costs and carbon emissions by generating their own energy using the power in the wind.

Farmland prices reach record highs

9:24am Friday 15th February 2013

Farmland prices reached record levels during the second half of 2012, as demand for commercial farmland continued to grow, says the latest Royal Chartered Institution of Surveyors Rural Land Market Survey, H2 2012.

Up to 700 farmers helped by Exmoor Hill Farm Project

11:50am Wednesday 13th February 2013

More than 700 livestock farmers have now been helped through a project set up three years ago to give a welcome boost to the Exmoor farming industry.

Soils at all-time nutrient low

8:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013

Soils are at an all-time nutrient low according to the lead agronomist of a firm providing national fertiliser programmes.

Sort out soils or crop yields suffer

10:00am Sunday 10th February 2013

Arable farmers need to ensure they cure any over-wintered compaction ahead of spring drilling, or risk poorer crop performance and lower yields, warns James Kissock, territory manager for Great Plains.

Power to the small wind turbine

4:50pm Friday 8th February 2013

Across the country, from Cornwall to Orkney, people are reducing energy costs and carbon emissions by generating their own energy using the power in the wind.

Concerns over low soil nitrogen levels

5:00pm Wednesday 6th February 2013

With difficult growing conditions last season many crops were unlikely to have used all the nitrogen fertiliser applied, so soil reserves were generally higher than you might expect at the end of August.

Dairy farm sells under strong competition

8:00am Wednesday 6th February 2013

Hare Farm at Buckland St Mary near Chard, Somerset has been sold for in excess of the £1.5 million guide price under competition from competing interested parties.

Commercial stock farm for sale

4:00pm Tuesday 5th February 2013

Whitefield Farm, Knowstone, South Molton, Devon – extending to a ring fence of 235 acres of productive arable and pasture land – is being marketed by Stags at a guide price of £1.6 million.

Generate free heat and power with GreenGenUK

11:20am Monday 4th February 2013

A one stop shop for renewable energy information, GreenGenUK offers advice on what technology is best for farms, guidance on planning permission or a full proposal for an installation. Farmers can rest assured a member of the green team at GreenGenUK will be able to help on all these matters.

Bad weather causes high levels of silage spoilage

7:30am Monday 4th February 2013

This has been one of the most challenging years for grassland farmers and many silage clamps this winter have been opened up only to reveal high levels of spoilage caused by secondary fermentation.

Be a biomass early bird

3:00pm Friday 1st February 2013

At the moment the payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are very generous, they are index linked, paid for 20 years and can pay for a biomass boiler installation in well under five years, thereafter they form a useful additional income stream.

Focus on wind power

5:00pm Thursday 31st January 2013

While recent reductions to feed-in-tariff rates have disappointed many, changes to the structure of the scheme now offer new benefits to landowners, farmers, businesses and communities able to install multiple small wind turbines on their land.

'Muck carpet' aids nutrient management

7:30am Wednesday 30th January 2013

A “muck carpet” illustrating how different types and levels of manure can affect grassland is helping get nutrient management messages across to livestock farmers.

Lime is key to improving soil pH and maximising fertiliser utilisation

6:10pm Tuesday 29th January 2013

When it comes to soil husbandry agricultural lime plays a major role in the profitability of both grass and arable crops.

NFU urges EU policy makers to learn from sheep tagging mistakes

12:50pm Sunday 27th January 2013

The NFU has urged European policy makers to learn from their mistakes on the law governing the electronic tagging of sheep when implementing new rules for bovine electronic identification (EID).

Boost for farmers planning renewable energy projects

9:10am Sunday 27th January 2013

In order to encourage the installation of solar projects on buildings, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced that buildingmounted solar PV projects will receive a separate Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC).

Mr Tonks is no chicken: St Ewe Free Range Eggs shell out on second PV system from Cornwall Solar Panels

6:20pm Saturday 26th January 2013

With Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems now becoming a popular agricultural investment, Mr Richard Tonks of St Ewe Free Range Eggs is putting in to place phase two of his journey into smart investing, energy independence and becoming a low carbon, environmentally friendly business.

Farmers warned over 'key changes' to pesticide regulations

8:40am Saturday 26th January 2013

Farmers and crop sprayer operators must be aware of new pesticide regulations, according to farm business consultancy firm Strutt & Parker.

Superb land market sales for 2012

South West Farmer: Superb land market sales for 2012

11:20am Thursday 24th January 2013

The 2012 land market saw some superb sales of land reinforced by the lack of supply to meet the demand from both farmers and investors.

Controlling slurry gas is top priority

6:10am Tuesday 22nd January 2013

CONTROLLING the life-threatening gas emitted from stored slurry must now become a top priority health and safety issue for all UK livestock farmers, says Liz Russell, managing director of the Lancashire-based company Envirosystems.

Cuts threaten environmental farming schemes

6:00pm Monday 21st January 2013

A SURVEY of farmers across the south west has revealed that 96 per cent think environmental work on their farms would be impacted if payments for wildlife-friendly farming, known as agri-environment schemes, were stopped or reduced.

South west farmers urged to take financial advice over storage

3:00pm Monday 21st January 2013

FARMERS who use their buildings for storage purposes are being urged to take expert financial advice to avoid falling into a new VAT trap.

Cornish farmers get help to reduce pollutants

11:00am Monday 21st January 2013

FARMERS with land close to the River Fowey in Cornwall are getting a helping hand from South West Water to make improvements to their farms that in turn will help reduce pollutants seeping into the river.

Grants available to south west farmers for improvement grants

2:20pm Sunday 20th January 2013

THE Catchment Sensitive Farming initiative is making a record £21.5 million available this year to help farmers carry out improvement works that will improve drinking water quality and enhance local wetland environments.

Talk on the wildlife and history of west Penwith’s rough ground

11:20am Sunday 20th January 2013

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Wild Penwith project team will be presenting an evening talk about the moors, heathlands and other habitats of Penwith at the Methodist Hall, Chapel Street, St Just on Thursday 31st January at 6.30pm.

Improve respiratory health in stables with ventilated walls

6:30am Sunday 20th January 2013

Horse owners or yard managers could dramatically improve respiratory health by installing an innovative perforated wall on stabling and indoor schools.

Empty buildings could be a tax headache

11:00am Friday 18th January 2013

FARMERS who were encouraged to turn unused buildings in to commercial units to increase the diversity of rural business may now be regretting the move as properties are handed back by cash-stricken tenants.

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