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Agricultural Law News

Edward Worthy - The name to note for Agriculture & Estates

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We are very pleased to announce the firm has been recognised for its excellent knowledge and expertise in the area of agriculture and estates law in this year’s Legal 500.  Each year The Legal 500 analyses law firms around the globe to bring...

Subsidies after Brexit: will the green pound start to wither?

Edward Worthy
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This green and pleasant land is facing some major changes. While the news has been focused on the impact of Brexit on urban industry and businesses like banking and finance, it is the UK’s farmers who are preparing themselves for some of the biggest...

Dairy farmer fined and ordered to pay more than £19,000 in costs for polluting river

David Farrugia
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In May 2016, slurry held in a lagoon on a dairy farm overflowed into a ditch chamber that had not been correctly sealed off. The slurry killed approximately 1,700 fish in the River Frome and prevented water leisure activities taking place in the river. The...

Farming company fined £50,000 for Health & Safety breach

Spencer Davis
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

The dangers of failing to perform health and safety checks on your farm

Edward Worthy
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

40% of farmland left unsold

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article published by  Farmers Weekly  four in every 10 acres of farmland marketed in 2016 remained unsold or were withdrawn by the end of last year, according to data from  Strutt & Parker . This was the highest proportion of...

Farmers call for tougher laws on drones

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm leaders are demanding stricter rules on the use of drones in the wake of booming Christmas sales and the launch of a government consultation. While on-farm use has many potential benefits and...

New Woodland Carbon Fund

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Lockhart-Garratt  millions more trees will be planted across the country thanks to grants from the Woodland Carbon Fund, which has opened for applications today. More than £19million has been made available by...

A gaggle of geese gone!

Edward Worthy
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Rustlers have stolen a gaggle of Christmas geese worth up to £100,000 in an overnight raid on a farm. A police spokesman said: “Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the Bawburgh area near...

Solar rooftop threatened with massive business rates hike

Edward Worthy
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In a recent  Farmers Weekly  article by Suzie Horne it is reported farm rooftop solar installations could be hit by a six-to-eight-fold hike in business rates from next April if government plans go ahead. Most at risk are projects where the...

The impact of Brexit on agriculture and the rural economy

Edward Worthy
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On Wednesday, the  Essex Agricultural Society  hosted an important rural question time at  Writtle College  on the facts behind the 'Brexit' debate and the impact on agriculture and the rural economy. The high profile panel...

How to fly drones safely and legally

Edward Worthy
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Technology has become an increasingly important part of modern farming. The latest innovation comes in the form of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones. Drones are enabling farmers to fine-tune chemical and fertiliser application plans, and the...

Essex farmers frustrated by councils' planning stance on barn conversions

Edward Worthy
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Farmers and landowners in Essex are being frustrated in their attempts to convert old agricultural buildings to much-needed homes in the countryside. Recently published figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reveal that...

Eastern region's farmers facing an uncertain future without EU Referendum commitments

Edward Worthy
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The eastern region’s farm businesses and rural communities face an uncertain future if Ministers fail to instigate carefully considered, long-term plans upon the result of the European Union (EU) referendum, the CLA says. The organisation, which...

Concerns over roll-out of Coast Path

Edward Worthy
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The concerns of Suffolk and Essex farmers and landowners regarding the impact of the England Coast Path on their property and businesses were discussed at a CLA forum held today (26 February) at the Burness Parish Rooms in Melton, Suffolk. The event...

CLA calls on Ministers to complete Compulsory Purchase reform as HS2 law reaches milestone

Edward Worthy
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Ministers must complete reforms to make the compulsory purchase system fairer for rural businesses affected by the HS2 scheme says the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses. This week the HS2 Select Committee, which has been hearing...

Floods push up agricultural insurance claims

Edward Worthy
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This winter's heavy flooding in parts of Scotland, northern England and north-west Wales is thought to be the worst for several years. The disruption has hit the farming community particularly hard, with farmers expected to make insurance claims for more...

Talking about droughts whilst many are underwater!

Edward Worthy
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After struggling to cope with the heaviest rainfall on record,  Farmers Weekly  report that water companies are being urged to examine how they would cope with the worst drought for a century. The recommendation is contained in  Environment...

5 of the most shocking farm crime stories of 2015

Edward Worthy
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According to a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm crime has continued to dog the agriculture industry during 2015 with the National Rural Crime Network estimating the cost of such incidents could be as much as £800m. Topping the list...

Longer farm tenancies?

Edward Worthy
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DEFRA minister  George Eustice  has called for longer farmland tenancies, stating that in doing so would encourage more people into the industry. Landowners should be encouraged to let out more of their land for longer periods (for farming)...

Gang jailed for series of power tool raids on farms

Spencer Davis
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Four men who targeted farm outbuildings in Wales, stealing thousands of pounds have been caught and put behind bars. Speaking after sentencing, detective chief inspector Neil Harrison, of North Wales Police, told the Daily Post that the group was...

Farmers must display EU billboards under new Stewardship rules

Edward Worthy
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Under the Government's new Countryside Stewardship scheme, which comes into force on 1 January 2016, farmers will be expected to erect EU billboards on their land. The new rule is contained in  section 8.4 of the Government’s latest...

The high cost of rural crime

Edward Worthy
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Rural crime in England and Wales costs more than £800 million a year, according to a survey carried out by the  National Rural Crime Network  (NRCN). This is twenty-one times more than previous estimates suggest. The figure is calculated by...

Economic recovery gives rise to surge in wages

Spencer Davis
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Low unemployment and competition for best workers means companies are being forced to pay higher wages. Salaries are up this year by 2.9% nationally. For professionals such as accountants, IT staff and marketing executives it is even higher at 5.7%, and for...

Dairy farmers asked to engage with migrant labour survey

Edward Worthy
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Dairy farmers are being asked to take part in a survey on their use of migrant workers to help make a focal point their crucial role in the workforce.  The Royal Association for British Dairy Farmers  (RABDF) survey takes five minutes to complete...

Agricultural tax relief?

Spencer Davis
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Prior to April 2011, Agricultural Building Allowances were available on the cost of an agricultural building, allowing a tax deduction for the cost of the building over a number of years.  Following the abolition of the scheme, however, there is no...

15 quad bikes a week are being stolen from farms.

Spencer Davis
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According to a recent NFU survey, the most targeted items over the past 12 months were fuel, tools and quad bikes, which is the same as in 2013. In 2014, the NFU processed claims for 820 quad bikes, which equates to more than 15 being stolen every single...

Son working for 10p an hour inherits £1m

Lisa Carter
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James Davies, 54, dedicated his life to the £1million business after father Tom promised him: ‘One day all this will be yours’. But after his death it was revealed his will stated the farm should be split equally between Mr Davies and his...

Great news for the Schools Food and Farming Day...

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The  Essex Agricultural Society  have been awarded the first prize of £750.00 in the recent Chelmsford Grant Awards. This award will go a long way to help finance the annual Schools Food and Farming Day held at Writtle Agricultural College. ...

Essex Farmers to profit from Tour de France

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With the third stage of the world-famous cycle race passing through Cambridgeshire and Essex on 7 July 2014, the  Country Land and Business Association  (CLA) are encouraging Farmers to use some of their land for car parking and campsites. ...

Criminal Gangs target low value tractors

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Rural Insurer, NFU Mutual, warn that criminal gangs have been targeting low to mid value tractors for export to Africa in particular. A typical trend is emerging where Tractors are stolen from Farms, loaded onto Lorries then shipped abroad to developing...

Tea room without tea!

Edward Worthy
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With the need for diversification more and more farmers are looking for creative ways to subsidise their income. In a recent ' Farmers Weekly ' article Mark Saich, a beef farmer from Sussex is putting the finishing touches to his £150,000...

Change to Agricultural Workers Legislation

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However, the coalition government have abolished the legislation that provides for such benefits (Agricultural Wages Order) to allow for the simplification of employment practices and to remove unnecessary regulatory burden. The abolition of the AWO...

Tractor Speed & Weight Restrictions

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The current legislation states that a tractor is not supposed to exceed 32kph (20mph) and the legal weight limit for agricultural vehicles is 24.39t for the tractor, trailer and the trailer’s contents (known as the Gross Train Weight or GTW).  ...

English Countryside of the Future

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The consultation has opened up a debate as to who should benefit from the subsidies. Many other EU countries are looking to use their grant to directly aid their farmers. The UK government, however, is of the opinion that their farmers will have to work for...

Dangers of a farm tenancy agreement

Edward Worthy
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A farm tenancy agreement is vitally important when a farmer is to use a landowners land for agricultural purposes. However, farmers have been urged to seek professional help when signing, as such agreements can often contain onerous terms that the tenant had...

Crossing the line between Rural and Urban

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Since the introduction of the Land Registration Act 2002, certain transactions have automatically triggered the first registration of a property or area of land.  Such transactions trigger registration where the land/property has been sold, a lease has...

Think carefully before using restrictive covenants to secure overage payments!

Edward Worthy
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The High Court's decision in Cosmichome Ltd v Southampton City Council [2013] EWHC 1378 (Ch) which was issued on 23rd May serves as a warning to those relying on restrictive covenants to secure development clawback payments. The...

Successful Young Farmers Show!

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People from all over Essex and beyond flocked to Boyton Cross to enjoy everything that is rural at this year’s  Essex Young Farmers Show . Once again our marquee was packed with farming families and rural business owners taking the opportunity of...

Virtual farming in East Anglia

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With many people becoming more interested in where their food comes from and the increase of home grown food, the National Trust with the support of the NFU set up a “virtual farm” experiment called MyFarm in Cambridgeshire.  The project...

RAIN - The cost to farmers...

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Ed Bailey, president of NFU Cymru told the BBC that feed for livestock has been particularly affected. Wheat crops were hit by the summer rain with yield in England down by almost 15% on the five year average, with productivity down to 1980's levels....

Farmland still on the increase

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According to a report released by  Savills Research UK  farmland values are on course for a tenth consecutive year of annual growth. This is following a 3.9% increase for all land types during the first half of 2012. Interestingly the volume of...

Excellent News For Dairy Farmers

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According to the  BBC  the government have announced Dairy farmers and the processing firms they supply have agreed on the broad principles of a deal in their dispute over prices. This agreement relates to a voluntary code of practice designed to...

Farmer's son wins appeal

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The son was promised land on the death of his father but this was not written into the Will instead his sister inherited father's estate.  He therefore, challenged his father's Will under the principle of proprietary...

Pass it on is the message to farming families

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Under the inheritance tax rules, business property and agricultural property are not taxed. In the case of agricultural property, the relief is available for agricultural land and also buildings such as a cottage or farmhouse, if they are appropriate to the...

Essex Schools Food Farming Day

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A team of 180 stewards from local farms and business throughout Essex attended  Writtle Agricultural College  and guided 3000 local school children around 5 different farm zones:  livestock, machinery, crops, food and countryside. The aim of...

Essex Young Farmers Show

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The ever popular  Essex Young Farmers Show  is here again and Gepp & Sons are proud to be continuing their support for this great event. We would be delighted to see you all on Sunday 20th May at Boyton Hall, just off the A1060 to the...

A popular farm diversification route

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A popular farm diversification route Over the last couple of decades the farming community has been forced to think of other ways of making money because of the low prices of cereals and other arable crops. Among the many ideas that farmers came up with, the...

Essex Young Farmers Country Show

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The Essex Young Farmers Country Show has quickly become one of the premier agricultural shows in the county, with almost 14,000 visitors.The 2011 Show is on Sunday May 22nd at Boyton Hall, Roxwell A1060, CM1 4LN. The Show is organised and run entirely by...

Protecting your Heritage and your Crops

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Metal detecting has become a common hobby and even profession in the last 10 years with more and more people taking it up. Finds that have been published in the media like the recently found Staffordshire Hoard (2009) excite the hobby even further. This...

The Essex Schools Food & Farming Day

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This interactive educational event, organised by Essex Agricultural Society, in partnership with Writtle College and Essex County Council is a fun and informative event, held at Writtle College. It enables pupils to connect with how their food is produced...

They want your land

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Despite the recession and continuing bad news world wide I am still experiencing considerable activity both from developers wishing to take options on land likely to come for development within the next ten to 15 years and from farmers anxious to snap up any...