General News

General News

Part 1 of Commons Act 2006 to be implemented in Cumbria

Defra ministers announced today via a Written Ministerial Statement published in Parliament that there will be a further implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 in England.

Defra publishes plans for CAP reform – we plan to respond and would like your views

Defra’s CAP reform consultation is out and will seek views on a wide range of policy areas. The document is available on-line.

Information about respiratory diseases in sheep

A webinar about parasite forecast in sheep, prevention and cure, is now available on the Nadis website

Classic Agri-environment schemes expiring in 2014

ESAs and Countryside Stewardship agreements expiring in 2014 can enter ELS or HLS during the 2014 transition period.

FCC letter to Natural England re PIFs

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners have written to Poul Christensen, Chairman of Natural England to express our disappointment in the way that Natural England have managed the whole issue of Permanently Ineligible Features (PIFs)  in agri-environment agreements on common land.

We believe that delaying payment while sorting out minor changes due to PIFs in an agreement is disproportionate, unfair and causes hardship. NE should have considered alternatives to holding up of payments including;

Minister to review planning in the National Parks

Nick Boles has announced a review of planning policies in National Parks with the intention of ensuring the right balance between encouraging economic development and protecting the environment.

The planning minister’s announcement came last week during a debate initiated by Simon Hart MP.

Electronic movement reporting consultation launched

On 29 July 2013, DEFRA launched a consultation which paves the way for the introduction of the new sheep database and reporting system in England in spring 2014. This consultation also relates to goats and deer although as little change is proposed, the NFU response will focus on sheep. This consultation covers several areas including some less controversial housekeeping changes that must be made to the regulations; however it includes the proposal to remove the derogation for non-electronic slaughter tags.

The key points to consider include:

Report: the impact of moorland grazing and stocking rates

Natural England acknowledges that there remains concern and disagreement about the effects of grazing on the upland landscape and biodiversity, in particular about stocking rates, different livestock types, and the timing and spatial pattern of grazing regimes. The purpose of this report was to comprehensively review the effects of different grazing regimes and stocking rates

80% of moorland commons are claiming SPS

Figures from the Rural Payments Agency show that SPS is claimed on around 78% of all comon land in England. Over 80% of the moorland commons are coverd by SPS claims and SPS is paid on around two thirds of lowland commons.

The total value of SPS claims on common land is  £19,313,847 of which £9,135,589 is paid out to moorand commons, but a further £7,335,784 is not claimed for this is mainly on the lowland commons.

Farmers should be rewarded for ecosystems services delivery

Farmers and land managers should be appropriately rewarded for the work they do in maintaining and enhancing the supply of ecosystems services from the UK countryside is one of the recommendations from CRE Policy Brief 3 "What do ecosystems services offer the UK rural economy?" Centre for Rural Economy, University of Newcastle.

What are ecosystems services?

Ecosystem services include the essential natural services provided by the land, including:

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