Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across England

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading.

Full details, including an interactive map

Defra measures for the temporary control zones in Herefordshire

This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese are also urged to strengthen their biosecurity measures in order to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the
Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77

Keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301

Keepers should familiarise themselves with Avian Bird Flu Advice

DEFRA consultation “Reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilisers”

Ammonia is an air pollutant that is detrimental to our natural environment and is a pre-curser to particulate matter, which is detrimental to human health. Our statutory obligations to restore our degraded habitats and to reduce our ammonia emissions by 8% by 2020 and by 16% by 2030 mean that we must act urgently to tackle our ammonia emissions. As ammonia emissions are predominantly from agriculture (87%) and around 8% are from the use of solid urea fertilisers, this consultation seeks your views on three policy options that give us the greatest ammonia emission reductions from regulating the use or sale of sold urea fertilisers.

The consultation is open until 26th January 2021

To have your say visit

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme – Round 3

The Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme Round 3 is now open for applications.

The CPSG provides investment towards specific items of equipment which will improve productivity and efficiency for farming and horticultural businesses. Please read the guidance carefully to decide whether the items under this scheme meet the investment plans for your business, and if you qualify for support.

Full guidance is in the online handbook (which you can read online or download and print out).  It explains what Round 3 of the CPSG grant is for, who is eligible, how to apply and if successful, how to claim.

 You must submit your application using the online portal by noon on 4th November 2020. Applications cannot be submitted after this date.

Marches Small Business Recovery Grant – applications open Weds 14th October

Marches Small Business Recovery Grant launched

 A new £630,000 grant scheme to help small businesses across the Marches which have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been launched today.

Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 are available through the Marches Small Business Recovery Grant, which will help both tourism businesses and those in the wider economy.

Only small businesses in Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire and Herefordshire (the Marches area) with up to ten full-time employees and who can demonstrate a negative impact due to the coronavirus crisis are able to apply.

The grants will be available for projects running between November and January. Costs can cover specialist advice – including HR, accountancy, legal, financial, health and safety, IT/digital and sector-related consultancy – and/or equipment to address immediate needs in response to Covid-19.

Telford & Wrekin Council, says it anticipates high demand for the scheme, which will be run on a first-come first-served basis from its launch on October 14.

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “This funding is focussed on supporting some of the smaller businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. These are part of the lifeblood of our economy employing many local people.

“We expect demand to be high and there is a finite pot of money allocated from the European Regional Development Fund for the Marches. I would therefore urge businesses to check the eligibility criteria carefully and respond quickly as it is likely that the funds will be allocated very quickly and we may not be able to meet the demand.”

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership region has been allocated £215,000 to support tourism businesses and £415,000 for businesses in other sectors through the European Regional Development Fund.

Gill Hamer, Chief executive of the Marches LEP, said the funding was vitally needed by small businesses across the region.

“We know the tourism industry in our region in particular has been ravaged by the impact of Covid-19 and these grants will offer some essential help at a time of great worry and stress.

“The impact on the wider economy has also been profound and we know from our own research that it is smaller businesses which have often been put at most risk.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP said: “We have always said that we would stand behind our businesses and communities as we rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding does exactly that.

“Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild. Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive.”

The money is drawn from the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Applications will open on Wednesday 14th October at 9am so please take the opportunity to review the information we’ve initially provided on the dedicated website www.marches-sbrg.co.uk around eligibility and what’s needed in order to prepare and make a successful application.


Are you worried about the future of your farm

The Defra Future Farming Resilience Fund is providing support to farmers and land managers in Herefordshire. 

You are invited to join the programme.

The challenges caused by Coronavirus, extreme weather and the forthcoming changes to agricultural support as a result of leaving the EU may put significant stress on our businesses. This could leave many farmers and land managers in England needing to adapt their business model and carefully considering options for the future. This programme will provide information, tools, advice and support to farmers through this period of change.

The full programme includes:

Resilience planning – introduction to tools and policy changes. 

  • Join a session led by The Anderson Centre who will introduce some tools and tips on reviewing business performance.
  • You will also receive insight on the future changes to agricultural policy and the opportunities and threats these may bring.

This session will now take place via a webinar on

  • Tuesday 27th October 10am,
  • Tuesday 27th October 2pm
  • Thursday 29th October 7pm,

You choose the time to suit you and your business.

One-to-one farm resilience reviews.  A specialist business adviser from The Anderson Centre will support you in identifying the potential risks and opportunities for your business.

Your own business plan.  A personalised plan identifying actions to help mitigate the risks your business faces and to support you in its implementation.

Group Workshops.  Bringing together local farmers to talk about the risks and opportunities, to share ideas and learn from each other.

All the advice provided will be completely free of charge, but you will be required to complete an agreement letter, plus a survey at the start and the end of the programme. Places are limited so booking is essential and unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that everyone who registers will be offered a place.


During Coronavirus restrictions we will be able to deliver some services remotely using telephone and other electronic methods.  While the future of the social distancing restrictions is still uncertain, we do expect to be able to provide face to face support on-farm as the programme progresses.

How can you get involved?  ….  

To register your interest click HERE

If you require help with the registration or have any questions, please contact the Ricardo Future Farming Resilience Project team:

Tel  01235 753530 or email FFRF@ricardo.com


Prince’s Countryside Fund Farm Resilience Program

Herefordshire Rural Hub are delighted to announce that they have been chosen to run a new Farm Resilience Programme for The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

 Family farm businesses are invited to register now for The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, run by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

To be held in North Herefordshire and coordinated by The Herefordshire Rural Hub, the multi-million-pound programme allows up to 20 farming families to take part.

 Participants receive free business skills and environmental management training worth £2000 per farm, delivered by expert consultants including Kite, the Andersons Centre, and Savills. The training helps farming families to make changes to improve their business and ensure their viability.

 Workshops will be held in Shobdon, North Herefordshire and will run from January to June 2021 but enrolment in the programme is NOW.

For further information and to register your interest, please visit: www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience

Or contact Sarah Starkey at Herefordshire Rural Hub
Email:  farming2020@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk   or telephone: 07974 438 517

Three Counties Farming Awards 2020 Update – Nominations deadline 18th September

The Hereford Times Food and Drink Awards are now  asking if you can nominate deserving people working closely with you in the agricultural/farming sector.  In fact, some of you may well be interested in nominating yourselves.

Hereford Times are running the Three Counties Farmer Awards looking to recognise creativity, best practice and outstanding work in farming across the Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire region.

Many of you who grow your own produce may want to enter yourselves, and you may well consider nominating others you might be working closely with, people who provide you with the fruit, hops, meat etc that you use in your business – those quality producers who make it possible for you to shine in the Food and Drink industry.

It’s quick and easy to nominate yourself or someone else.  Just go to https://www.herefordtimes.com/awards/tcf/ and fill in the online form.

Don’t forget – Entries close on September 18.

Categories are:

  • Sheep Farmer Award;
  • Farm Conservation;
  • Cattle Farmer;
  • Family Run Farm;
  • Pig Farmer;
  • Young Farmer (under 25);
  • Poultry Farmer;
  • Farming Hero;
  • Arable Farmer;
  • Farming Contractor;
  • Fruit/Hop Farmer;
  • Outstanding Achievement.

This year’s awards ceremony takes place in November in the form of a digital live broadcast and includes a star-studded array of stars either hosting or dropping in with special messages.