Defra have decided to postpone their plans to require the increased level of movement recording that we were threatened with last month. Common sense has prevailed recognising the practical problems recording livestock movements by land parcel caused. But this is only a postponement to a later date.
We, along with the Foundation for Common Land, the NFU and others have become increasingly concerned about how the new Basic Payment Scheme will be implemented on common land. We need decisions soon before purdah starts at the end of March. Purdah is the pre-election period when central and local government can't make announcements about any new or controversial government initiatives. The Foundation for Common Land has recently written to the Defra Minster, George Eustace and we hope he listens.
A planning inspector has refused Natural England consent to erect a fence around an area of limestone pavement on common land in Upper Eden, known as Fell End Clouds, Cumbria.
Fell End Clouds is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Natural England considers that temporary fencing is needed to prevent sheep from grazing on its rare and unusual species of plants .in order to bring it back into “favourable condition”.
We have been told by Natural England that from next year (2015), existing Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement holders will be required to submit a claim form by 15 May each year, in order to receive their scheduled ES payments. This new claim form is required because the EU rules that apply to current ES agreements are changing, as part of the new Rural Development Programme which starts next year.
We have received the following from Steve Lund, Delivery Manager, Natural England, Cumbria
I want to make sure that the Federation of Cumbria Commoners and its members are aware of the upcoming changes to payments for HLS agreements which have been publicised over the last few months but which will have a considerable impact on some agreements.