DEFRA / Natural England

Update of Common Land Environmental Stewardship Supplement: Natural England

Natural England have updated the 'Common Land and Shared Grazing: Supplement to the Environmental Stewardship Handbooks' September 2011

This supplement contains important additional information which should be read and understood by applicants to Environmental Stewardship (ES) in respect of common land and shared grazing, before an application is submitted. This document supplements the 3rd edition of the scheme handbooks and provides important additional information about making an application.

To download the updated supplement and application form click here:

The Federation's principles for SPS on Commons Post 2013

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners is a member of the Defra Working Group on Post 2013 Pillar 1 support on commons. After much debate at our last committee meeting we have issued a paper setting out our guiding principles - see below. However we recognise that this is a fast developing area and our ideas may change as and when other details of post 2013 reform come to light.

Let's not rush into change on our uplands

The July issue of Cumbria Farmer has an article from Julia Aglionby, one or our committee members. In this article Julia considers Natural England’s target to see 25% of the uplands wooded by 2060.

Julia believes that a sudden increase in woodland planting is not sensible or practical for the following reasons:
• The current stewardship schemes on commons are not fit for the task, as woodland establishment requires sheep exclusion for 20 – 50 years and Natural England can only offer payments for 10 years

First issue of Natural England's Land Management Update

To read Natural England's new newsletter, keeping farmers, stakeholders and land managers up-to-date on Environmental Stewardship and Land Management click here.

New white paper on the natural environment

The Government is to undertake a review of how it can marry its goals of improving the natural environment and increasing food production.

Commons and Pillar 1 Support post-2013

The Defra Commons Team invited comments on a paper they submitted to the National Common Land Stakeholder Group's meeting on 23 May 2011, as a basis for discussion about the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 support in relation to common land, and particularly actively grazed upland commons, in England.

The read the Federation's response click on the link below.

To download a copy of the Defra paper, click on the link below.

Defra Uplands Policy Review

The conclusions of the Uplands Policy Review were launched at Newton Rigg agricultural college on March 10th. Caroline Spellman, the Secretary of State said:

“England’s upland communities face difficult challenges, as do other remote parts of rural England, yet these are places with a remarkable range of human and natural assets and they can have a bright future. I am determined that these areas will not be overlooked and that is why I will champion their interests right from the centre of Government.

New defra Common Land Web Pages

Defra has made changes to it web pages on common land. Their pages can be accessed by going to www.defra.gov.uk, clicking onRural and Countrysideand thenProtected or designated areas. Alternatively you can use this shortcut: http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/rural/protected/

DEFRA Sheep EID 2011 Briefing

Defra have produced a new briefing and Q & A guidance on sheep movement reporting requirements. To find out more please click on the file.

Natural England relaxes rules on supplementary feeding to help livestock farmers in AE schemes through the big freeze

Natural England recognises the severe problems faced by livestock farmers as a result of freezing weather conditions and has announced steps today to make it easier for them to feed their animals.

Farmers in agri-environment schemes which normally impose restrictions on supplementary feeding will now be able to give their livestock additional feed to help maintain animal welfare during the cold period. This is a temporary relaxation and takes immediate effect for the duration of the severe cold weather.

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