2nd July 2021


Rural Rap

SALES OF PINE NEEDLE TEA HAVE ROCKETED AFTER UNFOUNDED COVID CLAIMS, reports the Kent Messenger.  Some reality TV celebrities have posted on social media suggestions that sumarin, a component of the tea, prevents people from catching the virus.  Consequently, sales of the speciality tea have soared over 5,000% for the Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, based in Pluckley, near Ashford.  The company said the demand has come from nowhere and it has sold 4,800kg of the stuff since mid-May – 160x the yearly average of 30kg.  All claims relating to its anti-Covid properties have been rubbished and have “no basis in science.”

A CANTERBURY FARMER IS SHOCKED TO SEE HIS LAND EARMARKED FOR DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT HIM HAVING BEEN INFORMED, reports the Kent Messenger.  Tim and Angela Burleigh, farm owners in Herne, said they did not know developers had earmarked 80 acres of their land for new houses until they read their local paper.  Building firms have put forward 177 sites across the Canterbury district for consideration in the Local Plan.  The Burleighs have no intention of selling the plots.  Developers are allowed to apply for planning permission on land that they do not own and without consent.

ONE PERSON A WEEK, ON AVERAGE, IS KILLED OR SERIOUSLY INJURED AS A RESULT OF AGRICULTURAL WORK, writes the CLA.  The sector is hampered by having one of the highest death and injury rates of any industry in the UK.  While other sectors are seeing a decrease in workplace related injury and fatalities, in agriculture the figures remain steady.  This is mostly due to isolated working conditions, large powerful machinery, and an ageing workforce.  28% of fatalities are caused by vehicles such as telescopic handlers, tractors, trailers, farm equipment or allterrain vehicles, and 10% by contact with powered machinery such as seed drills, PTOs and balers.  16% of fatalities were killed by cattle, and 15% by a fall from height.

FARMERS WILL BE ABLE TO EARN UP TO £70/HA FOR IMPROVING SOIL HEALTH, reports Farming UK.  The government laid out an update this week on its post-Brexit Agricultural Transition Plan.  It sets out further details around how farmers will receive payments for different schemes.  It highlighted an early roll-out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive from Spring 2022.  Livestock farmers will be eligible for a free vet-led annual health and welfare review, and farmers will be able to earn up to £70/ha for soil health improvements.  The government has committed to maintaining the current levels of investment in farming of £2.4bn a year.

OVER 100 FARMS OPENED THEIR GATES ON SUNDAY FOR OPEN FARM SUNDAY 2021, reports Farming UK.  Thousands of people took the opportunity to visit a working farm across the country.  Fewer farms than usual chose to open due to current Covid regulations, with pre-booking a key requirement.  Of the farms that did open, 1 in 3 did so for the first time.  Most farms offered socially-distanced farm walks or guided tours, giving visitors an opportunity to talk directly with farmers.


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