23rd January 2021
Change is coming………
We have had lots of calls in the office since the Christmas break. Many have been from farmers and landowners asking questions regarding the future reduction of their Basic Payment Scheme payments and how the new Environmental Land Management Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and other ‘productivity’ grants may be able to help ‘fill the gap’ in the coming years.
Please see our ‘Agri Blog’ below which sets out an overview of what change is happening, the various schemes available, how and when you can access them along with useful links to find out more.
10 February 2020
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust have launched this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count.
Landowners and land managers are being asked to spend half an hour logging the birds they see on their land.
The count is a good way of identifying whether any conservation schemes run by farmers are having any effect on species.
To take part (up to 16th Feb) visit https://www.bfbc.org.uk/
13 January 2020
We are delighted to announce that Joanna has taken on the role of Secretary and Treasurer of the Shropshire, Montgomeryshire and District Agricultural Valuers Association.
The Local Association provides support to its members, of which there are over 100, and backs up the excellent work that the CAAV do for chartered surveyors across the country.
Jo says “I look forward to taking on this role and hope that I live up to expectations – I’m not sure I will beat Richard Jones’ 31 year record term in office!”.
1 January 2020
Happy New Year!
2 December 2019
Farmers will begin receiving their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme money from today – have you had yours?! Don’t forget to make sure the RPA have your up-to-date account details.
Also, this year Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreement holders will start receiving one full payment against their claim instead of the usual two. Do keep an eye out for this and ensure you receive the correct amount.
We can help raise any discrepancies with BPS, CS or ES payments with the RPA. Do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to help.
25 November 2019
A query form for the Countryside and Environmental Stewardship Schemes has been launched today by the RPA.
Should you have questions about your scheme – specifically querying payments or decisions you should fill this form in. It can be downloaded from the Rural grants and payments section of the gov.uk website.
If you need any help completing the form or are unsure whether your query requires it do contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.
20 November 2019
Do you farm within the priority catchment in Severn Trent Water’s region?
You may be eligible for grant help with infrastructure and land management investment on your holding.
The grant programme, STEPS, is now open to applications with the closing date being 31st Jan 2020.
For more information and to see if you are eligible contact us at email@example.com or 01939 260302.
18 November 2019
Williams Round are excited to be joining OnTheMarket.com
As a small independent firm, we are very pleased to be launching a new service and offer existing and new clients the opportunity to market their land and properties. With low overheads and a small amount of stock we can offer a personalised service at an affordable level.
As a launch offer, we will carry out your first letting free of charge and can offer a reduced fee on the first sale. For further information and the terms and conditions please contact us;
Phone: 01939 260302
We can sell or let rural and residential properties including:
- Farm cottages
- Barns and buildings
- Development land
2 October 2019
Land and Property Valuations
We are delighted to announce that we are now able to undertake formal Red Book Valuations of rural, residential and commercial property across Shropshire and the surrounding areas.
We are excited to be working with the newly launched Summerfield Surveyors Ltd owned by Emily Summerfield MRICS. Emily has a comprehensive background in carrying out valuations, having qualified as a residential surveyor in London then moving back to her home county of Shropshire as a valuations surveyor for a regional firm.
Having completed her Rural Land Management degree at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester in 2005, Emily moved to London and qualified in May 2010 as a residential surveyor with Cluttons where she worked for over three years. Emily then moved onto Douglas and Gordon in Chelsea, London and practiced as a residential valuer carrying out red book valuations for lending, tax, insurance and matrimonial purposes as well as leasehold enfranchisement for both leaseholders and freeholders.
After the birth of her first child, Emily and her husband moved back to North Shropshire where Emily’s parents are dairy farmers. Emily has for the last three years worked at Andrew Dixon and Company as a valuation surveyor, valuing residential, commercial and rural premises.
Emily has now set up her own company, Summerfield Surveyors Ltd carrying out red book valuations on all types of property in Shropshire and the surrounding areas.
As a RICS registered valuer and Chartered Surveyor, Emily is fully qualified to carry out valuations for a wide range of purposes including lending, probate, tax, transfers and for financial reporting amongst many others.
Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on 01939 260302 for further information or if you would like a valuation carried out.
16 September 2019
Avoiding RPA penalties…
Within the top 10 compliance failures are issues relating to buffer strips, boundaries and maintenance of public rights of way. These can easily be avoided and now is a good time to plan ahead and ensure that you are within the regulations.
With harvest out of the way, now is a good time to walk arable ground and assess the condition of the boundaries. We can offer you a farm visit to talk through your current statutory management requirements and cross compliance regulations according to your BPS and any agri-environment scheme claims.
We can also provide you with up to date digital maps of your holding which can be annotated with scheme information for any contractors or land managers. This will all help to mitigate against RPA penalties should the inspectors come to visit you!
10 July 2019
The second round of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme has opened with a total of £15million available. It is open to all farmers, including those who applied for round one, who want to achieve improvements in;
· technical efficiency
· animal health and welfare
· resource efficiency
· nutrient management
Applications must be in by the start of September and Williams Round are happy to advise on and submit applications on your behalf. Do contact us for further information on 01939 260302 or email us email@example.com
The shooting season is in full force and it’s a good opportunity to consider how the field edges are being managed to provide nesting and shelter for farmland birds such as yellowhammer and grey partridge as well as traditional game.
It is good practice to avoid cutting all hedges each year to allow for berries and fruit as well as providing good cover.
Habitats on the farm can be used to meet greening and cross compliance requirements, not just agri-environment schemes.
If you are planning on investing in equipment to boost productivity on your farm, it is worth considering applying for the RDPE Countryside Productivity Grant which closes on 3rd December 2018.
The grant can be used for buying and installing new technology and systems such as;
- robotic equipment in crop and livestock production
- on farm renewable energy
- LED lighting for crop production
- Efficient use of slurries and manures
A minimum eligible cost of a project would be £87,500 in order to secure 40% funding.
For further information please do contact us or see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658195/Improving_Farm_Productivity_handbook_v2.pdf
Contract Farming: In order to prove a trading business, we are seeing more farmers entering into contracting arrangements rather than simply letting land.
Contract farming agreements can be straightforward and workable encouraging a profitable business for both parties. It is essential that agreements are written and watertight and are managed appropriately, which doesn’t have to cost the earth.
We are on hand to assist with the set up and ongoing management of these agreements for the advantage of both farmer and contractor and would be pleased to help.
Offered on behalf of a client:
Horse/livery yard for up to ten horses including several good quality pasture fields totalling approx. 6 acres ( additional land available by separate negotiation). Yard includes large open barn with four stalls and a number of traditional stable units. Lock up tack/feed room.
One bedroom flat also available at £250 pcm
Hungerford, Corevdale, SY7 9
In addition, seven hours of paid work (£10 per hr) per week exercising 2x 14.2hh ponies nearby.
£15 per horse per week.
(Electric, water not inc.)
For further details please contact Jo on 07792 417998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About 145 acres parkland and open grazing in South Shropshire available on a grazing licence for a couple of months over the winter.
For further details contact Williams Round email@example.com or 01939 260302.
Droughts for 2019?
After a very difficult summer for farmers the Environment Agency yesterday warned of droughts again in 2019. Although we have now had some rain (and your lawn might have perked up!) water resources across the country are still too low. Our fingers are crossed for a higher than average winter rainfall to prevent water restrictions hitting us in the spring which is a real possibility according to the National Drought Group.
We would be really interested to hear how this summer affected your farming enterprises. We’re hoping for just enough rainy days over the coming months to solve (and not cause more) problems.
The Agriculture Bill and Direct Payments
DEFRA’s policy statement last Friday seeks to set out how the Agriculture Bill will work for food, farming and the environment with a “green BREXIT”.
Here’s a simplified timeline of how Direct Payments will be affected:
2019-2020: simplification but continuation of payments
2021: first year of progressive reductions
2027: final year of Direct Payment
The first year’s reduction will be a reduction of 5% to 25% based on the amount of Direct Payment received.
There will be time-limited initiatives offered during transition for farmers as well as the new environmental land management contracts.
For more information see the Food and Farming page on gov.uk or contact us if you would like any advice.
Woodland Carbon Code
Williams Round are excited to be a Project Developer for the ‘Woodland Carbon Code’
Do you own or farm unproductive marginal land? Are you looking to plant up new woodland areas on your holding? If so, it is seriously worth looking at potential creation grant schemes and becoming Woodland Carbon Code certified.
Planting woodland to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, known as woodland carbon capture, is a cost-effective way of compensating for emissions while also providing many other social and environmental benefits. People who want to invest in carbon capture projects need to feel confident that the woodlands will be well managed and really will capture the CO2 claimed. Certification against the Woodland Carbon Code meets this need by providing this evidence. It also creates real and verifiable carbon ‘rights’ which can be sold to recoup the costs of creating the woodland and generate an income.
The benefits to you as a Landowner
Selling the rights to the carbon captured by Woodland Carbon Code- certified woodlands can provide new income for landowners, potentially supplementing other income streams from timber, woodfuel and sporting activities. A new native woodland can capture 300-400 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per hectare (tCO2e/ha) by year 50, and 400-500 tCO2e/ha by year 100. Recent UK woodland carbon sales have realised between £3 and £10/tCO2e. Currently, around 70 per cent of the carbon rights are sold in advance, enabling some landowners to quickly recoup their outlay. The remainder are sold later, as the woodland matures.
If you have recently planted or propose to create new woodland (including through a woodland creation grant) please do contact us to see if we can get your project registered.
For more information have a look at the documents below which provide detail on the scheme.
10th November 2017
Rural Development Programme for England – New Grants
Two new grants were launched at the end of October which could see farmers receiving a minimum of £35,000 for either.
Improving Farm Productivity: funding can help towards the purchase and installation of new equipment including robotic equipment and renewable energy.
Adding Value to Agri-food: grants can be put towards buildings for processing or buying of new equipment and it is aimed at processors of primary agricultural or horticultural products.
14th September 2017
Water water everywhere…
Have your say on public and private drinking water regulations.
DEFRA has launched a consultation ending on 24th October. This is something that affects all landowners particularly with sampling and testing of private supplies like boreholes and the fees authorities charge for works with these supplies.
Visit DEFRA’s consultation here https://consult.defra.gov.uk/water-quality/drinking-water-regulations-2017/ and you can either email or complete the online survey.
13th September 2017
The Green Deal – is it a big deal?
We thought you might be interested to learn that the Green Deal plan is available again for residential property which can help landlords and tenants as well as owner-occupiers. By making energy efficency improvements to a property and repaying through electricity bills, you can keep yourself or your tenants warmer for less! There are some issues to be careful about so make sure you have read all the information.
With legislation coming in from 1st April 2018 that let properties will need an energy rating of E or above on their EPC, it might be worth looking into this further.
More information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures
Download our Winter 2016/17 Newsletter here:
8th March 2017
SPRING BUDGET 2017
The Chancellor’s Spring Budget today has a number of announcements which will affect many rural and agricultural businesses. Below is a snapshot of some of the key messages;
• Tax treatment of employer provided accommodation and board and lodgings consultation – this is likely to affect many farmers who provide cottages for workers
• Businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief will have their bill limited to an increase of no more than £50 per month
• VAT registration threshold will increase from £83,000 to £85,000 and the deregistration threshold from £81,000 to £83,000
• Income Tax: the personal allowance will be increased to £11,500
7th March 2017
Our morning meet up next week (Thursday 16th) is a discussion on share and contract farming with Henry Montgomery over a delicious breakfast.
The event is being held at Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre which is a state of the art facility for small food producers and businesses.
Time: 8am – 9.30am
16th March – “Share and contract farming – a general discussion” with Henry Montgomery, Montgomery Management
Location: Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre, Vanguard Way, Battlefield, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG (parking available on site)
The cost is £10 + VAT. We will also be running a farm walk at no extra cost to Morning Meet Up attendees in the summer. Further details will be sent out nearer the time.
3rd March 2017
You can now apply online for Basic Payment Scheme 2017 as well as transferring land and entitlements. If you need any help getting online or applying do contact us – we can assist!
27th February 2017
Avian Influenza – FROM TOMORROW (28th Feb) there are NEW rules in place for keepers of poultry.
England – there are specific Higher Risk Areas as well as a prevention zone across the whole country.
Check DEFRA’s interactive map and latest guidelines here;
Wales – until 30th April the whole of Wales will remain a prevention zone and there are new rules to follow.
Look on the Welsh Government’s website for details: http://gov.wales/…/environmentcountr…/ahw/disease/avianflu/…
14th February 2017
There are a number of Rural Development Grants available to farmers to assist them with their businesses. £120million will be available to claim and applications will soon be open to farmers and businesses. For more information do contact us.
6th February 2017
As well as submitting your claim for Basic Payment Scheme, transfers can also be done online. The Rural Payments Agency has confirmed that the ability to do land transfers online has been delayed until mid-February inline with entitlements transfers.
If you need any help with transfers – lease or sale of either land or entitlements please do not hesitate to contact us.
1st February 2017
Natural England has now opened it application window for their Hedgerow and Boundaries Grant 2017.
The grant is a one-off grant and the deadline is 28th April.
Farmers can apply for a one-off grant towards the restoration of a range of traditional boundaries including hedgerows, dry stone walls, stone-faced banks and earth banks.
If you want to do any hedge or boundary restoration on your land or holding please contact us for more details and assistance with your application.
25th January 2017
Don’t forget that you can apply for these woodland grants under Countryside Stewardship:
- Woodland Creation Grant – deadline 1st March
A capital grant for 2 year tree planting programme and a 10 year maintenance grant of £200 per hectare may also be available.
- Woodland Management Plan – apply online from mid-February or by post now
Financial support to produce UK Forestry Standard compliant woodland management plan.
24th January 2017
Basic Payment Scheme 2017 … Time to get your ducks in a row
If you need to transfer land or entitlements or resolve mapping issues, now is the time to do it.
We can help with all BPS matters – just give us a call on 01939 260302
10th January 2017
Thinking of selling your rural land or property this year?
Come and have a chat and see how we can help. We can do a free market appraisal for you.
3rd January 2017
Happy New Year to all our friends! We hope 2017 is a successful and happy year for you all.
We have some exciting things planned for this year including our Morning Meet Ups.
At each Morning Meet Up, we will have a guest speaker leading an informal discussion whilst we enjoy a delicious breakfast. The events are being held at Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre which is a state of the art facility for small food producers and businesses.
Time: 8am – 9.30am
19th January – “ Genetics in a changing world” with Hugh Pocock of Cogent
16th February – “Facing up to the challenges in beef production” with James Evans, Partridge Farm Stabiliser Cattle
16th March – “Share and contract farming – a general discussion” with Henry Montgomery, Montgomery Management
Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre, Vanguard Way, Battlefield, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG (parking available on site)
The total cost of the three meet ups including a full cooked breakfast is £30 plus VAT.
We will also be running a farm walk at no extra cost to Morning Meet Up members in the summer. Further details will be sent out nearer the time.
1st December 2016
The 2016 BPS payment window is open!
We hope that you all receive your payments shortly – let us know if the RPA has been on time for you. Those who have had inspections or mapping issues are likely to be delayed.
If you need any help with any BPS claims or issues do contact us.
Where there’s muck there’s brass…
The Farming Ammonia Reduction Grant scheme has been launched today by Natural England. Beef and dairy farmers in England can apply for a grant towards the cost of covering an existing slurry store to assist with reducing ammonia emissions and improve slurry as a fertiliser.
If you currently have an uncovered store and would like to see if you are eligible contact us today to find out. The closing date for applications is 31st January 2017.
29th November 2016
We are excited to be running a series of Morning Meet Ups with a fabulous cooked breakfast and influential speakers from the agricultural and property industry.
For more information and to book please download the booking form below or contact Victoria Pocock firstname.lastname@example.org
28th November 2016
Are you affected by the new North Shropshire electricty route?
Following the consultation which ended in early September, SP Energy Networks advise they have taken the huge number of comments they received into consideration.
They are now inviting any affected landowners and occupiers to contact them, preferring to negotiate voluntary land rights rather than using statutory powers.
If you would like any further information or advice please do not hesitate to contact us – we are able to act for owners and occupiers at all stages of this project.
23rd November 2016
Philip Hammond has made his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor. Below are a couple of key points affecting the rural area in which we live and work and local businesses including farming businesses.
- £1.8 billion from Local Growth Fund to regions – a proportion of this should reach the Marches LEP helping the economic vitality and sustainable employment of our diverse region.
- Higher rate income tax threshold will rise to £50,000 by May 2017.
- £2.3 billion fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas and a further £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes.
- Lettings fees charged by letting agents to tenants will be banned.
- In June 2017, insurance premium tax will rise from 10% to 12%.
- Rural Rate Relief (business rates) to be increased to 100% for some businesses in very rural areas including food shops, post offices and general stores.