18th December 2020


Rural Rap

BLEAN WOODS, THE SEASALTER LEVELS AND WRAIL HILL LOCAL NATURE RESERVE WILL RECEIVE £1.9M FROM THE GREEN RECOVERY CHALLENGE FUND, reports the Kent Wildlife Trust.  The funds have been awarded to a partnership led by the RSPB in partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust and Canterbury City Council and will be used to restore nature at a significant landscape scale over all three connected sites.  The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a government-led, short-term competitive fund to kick-start environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs. kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/news/celebration-major-landscape-scale-nature-restoration-project-kent-gets-ps19m-cash-boost

CABINET MINISTERS ARE DRAWING UP A MULTI-BILLION BAILOUT PACKAGE TO BOLSTER INDUSTRIES HIT HARDEST BY A NO-DEAL, reports the Telegraph.  The proposals include resilience deals for industries who face trade disruption or being hit with punishing EU tariffs.  The package is expected to involve between £8bn and £10bn of funding and is inspired by Operation Kingfisher.  At least four areas of the economy are understood to have been identified as “sectors hit hardest”: agriculture and food producers, chemical suppliers, the automotive industry, and fishing.   telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/12/billions-no-deal-brexit-help-farmers-factories/?WT.mc_id=tmgliveapp_iosshare_AwX6qWR55mX4

THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE SEEKS TO SET OUT THE AREAS OF RURAL LEGISLATION THAT WILL CHANGE.  These include European Firearms Pass, the export of birds in-feather, and pet travel regulations.  The European Firearms Apss will no longer be available to British citizens or recognised by border forces for EU citizens entering the country.  Birds in-feather may no longer be sold directly to buyers in Europe, and may not be exported to Europe without Vet certification.  The UK will have Part 2 Listed Status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme as of next year, meaning new requirements will be in place for travel to the EU and Northern Ireland.  This page will be kept updated as new guidance on different areas becomes available.   countryside-alliance.org/news/2020/12/brexit-post-transition-changes-from-1st-jan-2021

NEXT YEAR’S CROP OF BRITISH STRAWBERRIES COULD BE UNDER THREAT IF LORRY QUEUES BECOME TOO LONG, reports the Grocer.  According to British Summer Fruits, of the 100m plants used to grow strawberry crops in the UK each year, 95% are currently brought in on lorries from continental Europe, with the remainder grown domestically.  While live plants will not be subjected to customs checks until mid-2021, there are fears that they could get caught up lorry queues.  If they were held up for more than two days, this could lead to a “serious risk of a significant impact for growers.”  thegrocer.co.uk/fruit-and-veg/uk-strawberry-crop-threatened-by-brexit-border-delays-industry-warns/651467

EXTREME WEATHER AND THE PANDEMIC HAVE BEEN BLAMED FOR A SHARP DROP IN THIS YEAR’S TOTAL AGRICULTURAL INCOME, reports Farming UK.  TIFF, a measure of performance of the UK ag industry, is expected to be £4.2bn, a fall of £1.1bn (21%) on last year.  Adverse weather conditions and the ongoing coronavirus crisis were “key influencing factors” for the decline, the DEFRA forecast explained.  The exceptionally wet 2019 autumn, flooding in January, a dry spring, a hot summer and heavy August rain all impacted crop harvests and yields this year.   farminguk.com/news/weather-and-pandemic-cause-farm-profits-to-drop-21-_57212.html

DEFRA’S FARM BUSINESS INCOME ANALYSIS SHOWS ARABLE AND HORTICULTURE TO BE DOWN, WHILE LIVESTOCK IS UP, reports Farming UK.  The average income was lower for cereal, general cropping, lowland grazing livestock, mixed and horticulture farms.  Cereal and general cropping income fell by 7% and 21% respectively.  However dairy farm income increased by an average of 6%, with increases in milk production and revenue from other cattle enterprises offsetting lower average milk prices.



RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

To receive the Rural Rap direct to your inbox please contact info@ruralplc.com