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					     Worcestershire Rural Hub Limited
is committed to helping the rural businesses
                                                              May 2012
             of Worcestershire
                                               Dear All,
         Steering Group Members
          Bill Beckett (Chairman)
          Pauline Yardley                      We have attended two meetings of the new Rural
          Richard Jordan                       Farming Network. Henry Lucas (Chair of
          Lisa Walker                          Warwickshire Rural Hub) and myself, with other
          Valerie Breakwell                    area representatives met with Minister Jim Paice
                                               at the NFU Conference recently in Birmingham.
      For further information contact:
                                               The meeting set the scene for future meetings and
                                               looked at terms of engagement for the RFN.
             The Wicketts,
                Pensax                         Following this meeting I recently attended Defra
               Abberley                        offices in Westminster for an inaugural meeting of
             Worcestershire                    the national group.
               WR6 6AJ
                                               We are now moving forward later this week with
                                               an initial meeting of a joint group consisting of
            Tel: 01299 832083                  members from both Warwickshire and
                                               Worcestershire counties.
                                               This will start to set the agenda for our local group
                                               and look at structure, organisation and              communications for the immediate future.

                07833 051602                   In our next newsletter i will include a report from
                    or                         our meeting and inform you of who your local
                                               contacts will be.
                                               We will also be inviting ministers to visit the
                07833 051601                   counties in the autumn and will keep you closely
                                               informed of progress.

                                               Kind regards
                                               Val and Pauline
                               RDPE Network News 9

  Welcome to the ninth edition of “RDPE Network News”, designed to let
 you know what’s new in the Rural Development Programme for England
              (RDPE) and what’s happening across Europe.


      The new Rural Economy Grant was launched last week. Grants, which could be worth more
      than £1 million each, will enable entrepreneurs in rural areas to take life-changing
      opportunities to grow their businesses through the Rural Economy Grant scheme, increasing
      both their competitiveness and profits.

      The National RDPE Skills Framework is part of a suite of nationally consistent products and
      services to improve and enhance delivery of the Rural Development Programme for England
      (RDPE). Defra has issued an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice inviting
      training providers to complete a Pre qualification Questionnaire, for a framework agreement
      to deliver a range of skills and training funded by the Rural Development Programme for

      Natural England have put together a comprehensive package of information on their website
      to help farmers, land managers, agents and partners to understand how they will administer
      the Environmental Stewardship Scheme during the remaining period of the Rural
      Development Programme for England (RDPE), which closes in December 2013.

     European Information

      The European Network for Rural Development (EN RD) has published the summary findings
      leaflet for the thematic working groups on targeting territorial specificities and needs in rural
      development programmes (TWG 1), linkages between agriculture and the wider rural
      economy (TWG 2), and public goods and public intervention (TWG 3).
      The new ‘RDP in Action’ guide, published by the Rural Network for Northern Ireland,
      highlights the range of activities which are taking place across Rural Northern Ireland with
      help from the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (NIRDP).
      ‘Ekotrend Myjava’, a company based in the Trencin region of Slovakia, has received a grant
      from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for its project, which is
      helping to modernise organic food processing technology in the region.
What's On

The Forestry Commission is offering free training days for professional woodland
managers aimed at demystifying the Woodfuel Woodland Improvement Grant.

Sharing Useful Information

Axis 1: Free Range Egg Production. This project will help to fund this capital investment
which include rainwater harvesting and bore hole works and pump.

Axis 2: Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common. This project aims to restore the
Cotswold stone wall along the historic boundary of the common. The wall will help to
secure the site to deliver the grazing of this important SSSI by local cattle, which will help
to deliver favourable condition on the limestone grassland and restore a diverse range of
habitats, including wildflowers and butterflies, for all to enjoy.

Axis 3: Exmoor Unplugged. This project will fund a scheme to provide electric bike hire
across Exmoor and the Quantocks to expand the tourism offer of the area and the access
to car free travel.

The Carnegie Trust UK has released the findings of its short research study to explore the
landscape of rural development networks across the UK and Ireland. The purpose of this
research was to identify the range and diversity of networks in existence. The study also
sought to explore the benefits that membership of these networks brought to their users.
They key findings and both the Executive Summary and the Full report can be viewed

The EN RD has released the final report of the National Rural Network's Thematic Initiative
on Rural Entrepreneurship. This work promises to be a useful source of information for
various interest groups. It does not bring to an end this initiative a number of events will
follow including a technical seminar, an EU Rural Review and a Workshop all planned for
the future.

If you would like to contribute information to this bulletin or have ideas and
feedback     on     its   development       we’d     like     to    hear     from     you.   E-
mail,          call 0117       372    3634 or    tweet    us    via
@RDPENetwork. You can sign up to our RSS Feeds to keep up to date with the
Network's activity and with developments to the RDPE in between newsletters.
                         Woodland Owners Survey

The Independent Panel on Forestry Woodland Owners Survey is now live and can be found
at It will close on 7th May at 12 noon.

 Martin Glynn of RDI would be most grateful if you could distribute this link to your members, partners
and stakeholders as extensively as possible through e-news, website listing, facebook, twitter etc.etc. and
encourage them to submit responses and forward the link to others.

The Independent Panel on Forestry will be issuing its final report later this year and the results of this
survey will inform the panel's recommendations to government. Therefore the greater the response, and
the broader the range of respondents, the more comprehensive and accurate the information we will be
able to provide to the panel.

 The survey is being run in conjunction with the British Woodland Survey 2012, which will follow this
up with a more in-depth survey later in the year. To save respondents having to re-enter information at
that later stage there is an option for them to provide their e-mail address, which will securely store and
cross reference their responses now to the later survey. Whilst we would encourage respondents to enter
their e-mail address and participate in the follow up survey it is by no means obligatory and we would
not want respondents to be discouraged from participating if they do not wish to submit their e-mail
address at this stage. The team undertaking the IPF survey, the IPF and Defra will not have access to the
e-mail addresses.

                                         Forthcoming Events

Tree Disease Workshops

Heartwoods and the West Midlands Forestry Framework invites you to a workshop to find out
about the latest research in how to manage this urgent problem. You will learn how to recognise a
variety of tree diseases and how to manage them to reduce losses, and contact and prevent their

 A leading professional from Forest Research will be looking at current concerns and future
threats, covering, oak declines, phytophthora diseases, red-band needle blight, bleeding cankers, and
likely new diseases that may arrive in the UK.

FERA will be providing a detailed insight into what we have learned from the impact of phytophthora
ramorum in the South-West and Wales and what the implications are for the West Midlands. The
workshop includes indoor presentations followed by tours of local woodlands to see trees and plants
where disease is now evident. This one day event will be run in two locations within the West Midlands:

23rd May 2012:        Mortimer Park, Kingsland, Herefordshire HR6 9SB

24th May 2012:    The Chalet Pavilion, Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6
6JG Contact Heartwoods on 01952 435860 or to book a place.
Promoting Rural Economic Growth

A national policy conference • Tuesday 19th June • Birmingham

Exploring the government's rural economic growth strategy and the range of measures it is
implementing as part of the Rural Economy Growth Review — examining work both within Defra
and across government, assessing examples of successful approaches to boosting rural businesses,
and asking what more we still need to do? It is being run by Policy Communications and there is a
cost involved of £190 (charities and community groups) / £240 (public sector organisations and business
networks) / £340 (private sector firms). There is a £50 discount if booked by this Thursday 26th April.

Telephone 020 3402 2079 • email

Big Society 2012: Accessing Funding, Delivering Change
Thursday 5th July 2012 in central London. A conference organised by The
government’s vision is for the Big Society to become a concept, in which charities, voluntary groups,
community organisations, mutuals and social enterprises collectively make up a civil society that plays a
vital role in connecting the government with the grass roots of its society. Following the Building a
Stronger Civil Society strategy, and review of the Open Public Service Whitepaper, March 2012, the
government has unveiled the Big Society Capital as part of their drive to grow the economy and build a
bigger, stronger society. With £600million of funding the Big Society Capital will aim to help social
entrepreneurs increase social investment and promote social action and community empowerment. In
conjunction with the Big Society Capital, the government is also announcing further initiatives aimed at
expanding the social investment market in the UK.

This is expensive £225 for a place if you are in the voluntary sector! With 15% discount in the early bird
                                        In Association with
                                     Country Land and Business

  Wind         Solar       Hydro     Anaerobic     Biomass        Heat     Solar      Energy
 Turbines       PV         Power     Digestion     Heating       Pumps    Thermal    Efficiency

   FiT for FARMING Networking Event 10th May 2012,
                   Stoneleigh Park
 The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) means landowners
who invest in renewable energy technologies can claim attractive payments for the electricity
                                 and heat that they generate.

However, for those with busy work schedules, it can be difficult to commit the necessary time
 to assess the opportunities, decide on the best technologies to utilise and the most suitable
                                    suppliers to work with.

 The Midlands FiT for FARMING networking event provides a time-efficient opportunity for
  those planning renewable projects to have pre-arranged appointments with technology
companies and services firms, in order to evaluate options and short-list potential companies
                                        to work with.

 A wide range of companies are using the event to host meetings to discuss the viability and
      practicalities of potential renewable projects, including: Wind Turbines, Solar PV,
  Hydropower, Anaerobic Digestion, Solar Thermal, Heat Pumps and Biomass Heat Projects

 Participation is free for those looking to invest in a renewable project on their own land. On
  the run-up to the event all registered participants are invited to select, either online or by
phone, which companies they would like to meet with and so create themselves a programme
                             of individual pre-arranged appointments.

             The networking event is open from 9:00 – 17:00 on 10th May 2012,
      with appointments scheduled at times convenient for each individual participant.

            Online Registration:
                 Telephone Registration: 01883 344799
SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY                                      FREE WORKSHOP

Wednesday 23 May – Marlbrook Hall, Elton, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2HR
                     Registration and coffee 10.30 Workshop 11.00 – 4.00

Are you taking pictures for your business and wish they were better? Do you want to
understand how to get your pictures fit for your purpose?
Learn what your camera settings mean, how to avoid common mistakes when taking pictures
and getting those pictures in the right format and size that you want. Find out how to take
pictures that will have the right impact for your business. This hands-on seminar will help you to
understand image production from start to finish.
What you will learn:
                   what your customer requires from a visual image

This FREE workshop is being run by Cheryl Doshi and will be a practical session where you will be
able to gain experience by using your own digital camera, and laptop if you have one.
Cheryl Doshi is a freelance professional photographer with over 6 years experience. She has a
wide range of customers from Lloyds Pharmacy , Beattie Communications and the Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust through to individual pubs, restaurants, and of course Farm Stay members.
If you are interested in attending then please contact us:
                -mailing the following information:
   The Date and Location of the workshop you wish to attend
   Your name & business, address and contact telephone number (including a mobile please)
and if you have your own laptop

 The workshop is limited to 12 people and places will be allocated on a first come first served
                              Book Now!
        Best Practice Visit – Westley Farm, Gloucestershire
                          Monday 14th May 2012 11am – 3pm
               Westley Farm, Chalford, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 8HP
                         Tel: 01285 760262
                 Registration from 10.30am: Workshop 11am – 3pm
                   Open to all Farm Stay members, and other West Midlands farms providing accommodation

                  Diversify and Innovate - making the most of what’s on the farm
                                to extend and sustain your business

                                 Westley Farm Cottages and Yurts

Hege and Julian Usborne have five self-catering holiday cottages and 4 luxury Yurts scattered
over an 80 acre Cotswold hill farm in Gloucestershire between Cirencester and Stroud,
England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They have a Silver Award under the
Green Tourism Scheme, have embraced HLS and are involved with the Gloucestershire Wildlife
By offering a variety of day and weekend courses throughout the year such as Bushcraft, Natural
Gardening and Survival Skills Julian and Hege have extended their season and broadened their
appeal. In addition they are promoting green/low impact weddings.
Nick and Helen who deliver the Bushcraft and Gardening courses will be in attendance so you
can have first hand experience of what they offer by brewing your coffee and cookies the
Bushcraft way. Have a tour around the sites, and gardens where gardening courses take place
and cutting flowers are grown in addition to vegetables and salads. Weather permitting lunch
will be a seasonally based, informal alfresco affair cooked in the earth oven.
After lunch a local supplier of Eco Pods will display one of his pods in the garden - a relatively
cheap way to enter into the green/eco glamping market. Ruth, a photographer, will also be
available to talk about the courses she runs at the farm.

Some walking over uneven ground will be involved so you will need stout footwear and
appropriate weather proof clothing.

If you are interested in attending then please contact us:

Register by e-mailing with Westley Farm 14 May in the subject line and the
following information:

Your name & business, address and contact telephone number (including a mobile please)
It’s FREE and includes lunch.

   The workshop is limited to 12 people and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
                                        Drought Update
                                Worcestershire briefing                                  April 2012

 On 16 April 2012 we declared drought in the Midlands. Large parts of England are
 now in drought. This briefing explains our role managing drought and the
 potential impact on the environment and water users.

 The current situation in Worcestershire
 2011 was the driest year in the Midlands for 90 years. This winter (Oct 2011 - March 2012) we received
 approximately 68 per cent of the long term average rainfall we would normally expect. As a result soils are drier
 than average and river flows and groundwater levels are low for this time of year.

 What are we doing?
 Our role is to balance the water needs of people, businesses and the environment. We have increased our
 monitoring of groundwater levels, river flows and the environment to help us identify issues early and manage
 these with businesses, farmers, professional partners in the Local Resilience Forum and water companies. We
 are ready to quickly respond to drought related environmental incidents for example fish in distress.

 We are working closely with Severn Trent Water to ensure public water supply needs are met. We assess and
 artificially manage water flow in the River Severn to maintain good environmental conditions and public water
 supply. When rainfall is low and River Severn flows are not sufficient additional water is released from surface
 water reservoirs at Llyn Clywedog, Lake Vyrnwy in Wales, and groundwater from the Shropshire Groundwater

 We are working sensitively with agricultural water abstractors to provide a flexible approach to our local
 abstraction where this is practicable. We hope that this will make it easier for farmers this year.

 We are working with the Local Resilience Forum, who have included drought on their risk register. We are also
 working with Worcestershire Environmental Partnership to manage the impact of the dry weather on the local

 With our partners we are promoting water saving messages to the public and business.

 Potential risks for the environment, communities and businesses
 Public water supplies - Severn Trent Water have no immediate concerns over public water supply for this year
 and do not currently envisage introducing a hosepipe ban during 2012.

       Private water supplies - there are significant numbers of wells, springs or boreholes which may dry up if groundwater
   levels continue to fall. This is a key issue we are working with to assess and manage with the Local Resilience Forum. As
private water supplies run low they are more likely to become contaminated or polluted. Once supplies fail they are unlikely to
   recover for several months. Home owners can increase the depth of their borehole if appropriate. Advice on private water
               supply issues is available at
 Agriculture - in the West Midlands there are approximately 1,300 spray irrigation water abstraction licences.
 Due to lower river water levels than normal some farmers are already experiencing abstraction restrictions.
 These restrictions protect the environment and other abstraction licence holders including public water supply

 We work closely with farmers to let them know when, and how much water they can abstract, and monitor
 licence compliance. A small number of farmers have contacted us to request flexibility in their abstraction
 licence. We assess each request on its own merits. In some cases we cannot allow changes to the licence due
 to environmental risk or the need to protect other abstractors. But where possible we will try to make water
 available for one year, after which we expect abstractors to find sustainable solutions by creating winter storage
reservoirs, rainwater harvesting, or joining abstractors groups to share water. We have produced a number of
joint publications to help farmers with the NFU, Defra, Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) and UK
Irrigation Association (UKIA).

We frequently contact the National Farmers' Union, the Country Land & Business Association and other bodies
regarding the impact of the dry weather on agriculture.

Fish and wildlife - We are carefully monitoring fish and plant life. During low river flows high concentrations of
pollutants or effluent causing algal pollution can kill fish and damage habitats. We are monitoring the River Teme
and River Redlake in Worcestershire. These rivers were badly affected last year. In some instances we would
rescue fish from stretches of river which are drying up.

Action by water users
Saving water - by making small changes to the way we live, for example switching off the tap when brushing
your teeth and not washing your car or windows we can all make a noticeable difference to the current situation.

Environmental incidents - if anyone sees fish gasping for air or any signs of pollution or unauthorised water
abstraction please report this to our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Further information - is available from our interactive drought map at www.environment- or go to

If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.

   Dafydd Evans Area Manager, Midlands Environment Agency Riversmeet House, Newtown Industrial Estate, Northway
     Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 8JG Direct line: 01684 864345 Email:

          Nutrient Planning For Farmers & Growers‘Making The Most Of Your Muck’
A one   day course with Dr Bob Bulmer, which will include
        Improving nutrient management techniques
        Maximising value of organic manures
        Gaining an understanding of environmental regulations/legislation
        Improving profit margins
        Reducing environmental impact
        Calculating nutrient requirements of major crops
        Demand for macro nutrients
                             8 Basis Points are awarded for attending this course
This one day course will be delivered on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at our Aspire Campus, Tenbury Wells and
  repeated onThursday 24th May 2012 at our Walford Campus, Baschurch, Shrewsbury the cost is £40 per
                              person, which includes a lunch and refreshments.

             To be eligible for the courses you must be a Farmer/Grower in the West Midlands Region
            For further information/or to reserve a place please contact
               Liz Donald on 01939 262154 or
                      Farm Meat - Improving Sales & Profits
                                                      Session 1
                                             Monday, 21 May 2012
                            The Bunch of Carrots Hampton Bishop Hereford HR1 4JR

                                     Farm Meat Sales - Improve Sales and Profitability
For farmers who are producing meat and meat products sold from the farm gate, through farmers markets or farm shops.
                                            2 lunchtime sessions to help you:
                     Evaluate your business. Identify what works well. Explore how you can improve
 Look at costing and pricing along with marketing and promotion. Set and monitor sales targets in order to improve profit
                                         11am - 2.30pm including Pie and a Pint

                                                     Session 2
                                           Monday, 18th June 2012

   You are very welcome to come to both sessions. Cost is £31 per session.To book as place please contact as below:

                                              Growing Rural Enterprise
                                 Nick 07767 844921
                                 Julie 07971 666474

                Herefordshire Rural Hub. Holme Lacy Campus. Holme Lacy. Hereford HR2 6LL

                                        Tel: 01432 870033 or 07970181628

       Local Advertisements and Events
                                            Don’t Forget:-
                                Three Counties Show
                                    th     th
                                  15 to 17 June
            Worcestershire Young Farmers Clubs
                 Annual County Show 26th May
      Bullockhurst Farm, Rock, Nr. Kidderminster DY14 9SE
                   Shropshire Show 26 May 2012
                     Staffordshire County Show
                             th    th
                            6 & 7 June
                           Far Forest Country Show
                                  12th August
                                           th     nd
                        CLA Game Fair 20 – 22 July
                         Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire
                                    Worcestershire Farmers Markets
      Droitwich: 5 May 9am – 2pm      Bromsgrove: 12th May 9am – 5pm
Malvern: Abbey Road 19th May 9am - 2pm    St. Peters Garden Centre: 26th May
                               JANET LOMAS
                     Independent Environmental Advice
                                      Could you do with help with any of the following?
                                                       Grant applications
              (O)ELS or Higher Level Stewardship; management plans for orchards, woodland and ponds.
       Need any reassurance or help to understand requirements of NVZs/field records?
       RPA inspections are becoming more stringent: do you know what is expected of you under Cross
        Compliance or your ELS/HLS options? Would you pass inspection?
       Do you have a Manure risk map? Is your Soil Protection Review completed? Are you organised?
                                    Do you need advice on habitat management, such as ....
       Restoring, creating or managing an orchard or pond; planting trees or hedges, hedge restoration,
        management of woodland, grassland, trees or other habitats?
       Advice for smallholders on creation and management of environmental features, and advice for
        management of grassland for horses?
     Pick up the phone and see if I can put your mind at rest. I have 15 years’ experience as a FWAG adviser.
                        Janet Lomas, Home Farm, Madresfield near Malvern, WR13 5AJ.
          Tel: 01684 578857. M: 07827 970600

                                               USE YOUR NEWSLETTER
We are able to offer space within our newsletter for classified advertisements and events as follows:

Local rural events, such as shows, open days, charity events or rural interest events can be inserted free of charge.
Situations Vacant and Situations Wanted can also be inserted free of charge.
Items for sale or wanted can be advertised and carry a small charge of £5 for a quarter page and £10 for a half page.
Business and Service Advertisements That are relevant to rural industries can also be inserted for £10 per quarter page and £20 per
half page.
We would need copy by 15 of the month for the following months news letter to ensure insertion. Copy can be either a word
document or PDF, sent by email to:
                                    For more details contact Pauline, either on the email above or
                                                          Tel: 07833 051601.
                                Our news letter is circulated to over 800 rural businesses in the area
   Disclaimer – The Worcestershire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from
                       any action taken in reliance on the information contained in this newsletter.

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