Are you a landowner in North Herefordshire? Would you like help and advice in creating wildflower-rich habitats on your land?

UK conservation charity Buglife are working with partners in Shropshire and North Herefordshire to build a landscape scale, habitat connectivity project across the two counties. The project will seek to restore and create wildflower-rich habitats in our countryside following Buglife’s national B-lines network.

The B-lines network is a connected framework of 3km wide pathways that run across the entire UK, connecting all of our counties. The pathways join up our best remaining patches of wildflower habitat, and tell us where the most strategic place for habitat creation and restoration is to achieve landscape connectivity and enable wildlife to move through our landscape. Buglife and partners have been working in Shropshire to fill in these pathways with hay meadows, species-rich grazing pastures and wildflower-rich arable margins, and we are now looking to develop a project that takes in the B-line that crosses from Shropshire into Herefordshire.

In North Herefordshire we are working with the Herefordshire Meadows group to find interested landowners  who would like to be involved in this exciting project. If you are a landowner within the B-line shown on the map and you would like to submit your interest to being involved in this new project we would love to hear from you. We will be able to offer landowners advice, wildflower seed, tailored management plans and financial assistance with initial works on the ground.

You can look at our online interactive B-lines map at buglife.org.uk

Email Project Officer Kate Jones on kate.jones@buglife.org.uk by February 11th to register your interest in being involved in the project.

AHDB levy payers invited to have their say

In April this year AHDB levy payers will be able to have their say and influence the work AHDB does across the beef, lamb, dairy, pork and cereals and oilseed sectors. They will also be able to voice, what they think are the major challenges across the industry.

AHDB has looked at what they believe is important to levy payers and will be asking questions about whether this is the right focus.

For beef and lamb, this includes the work that goes into protecting the reputation of the industry. Marketing the benefits of beef and lamb to consumers at home and abroad through our We Eat Balanced campaign and exports work. Or the work that helps you build on the already strong environmental credentials of beef and lamb in the UK.

There’s the technical advice and guidance shared through manuals, tools and at events, including the Strategic and Monitor Farms. And the work on disease prevention, including BVDFree, tackling one of the biggest disease issues facing the cattle industry today, costing UK farmers, in total, between £25–£61m per year.

AHDB’s genetic improvement work provides an important way for producers to lift the productivity and profitability of their livestock enterprises. Genetic gain within the UK is currently worth £10.7m to the sheep industry and £4.9m per annum to the beef industry, with much of this work underpinned by AHDB’s programme of research, delivery and knowledge exchange.

AHDB also provides daily market prices and analysis of what’s on the horizon and what consumers are thinking and spending their money on.

You need to register to have your say and shape the future of AHDB at ahdb.org.uk/shape-the-future Registration should take no more than five minutes and needs to be completed by 31 March. You will then be contacted to have your say from 11 April for four weeks.

Free Mental Health First Aid and Awareness Training for Herefordshire

New Courses 2022 – FREE for Herefordshire 
Mental Health First Aid (2-day)
and Awareness Training (3 hours)

Mental Health First Aid Training normally costs £300 per person. Today its FREE! 
Who is this free training for: staff and volunteers of Herefordshire voluntary and community groups.

Herefordshire Council has funded this Talk Community programme of training courses (Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Awareness) to help community organisations support the mental health and wellbeing of local residents as well as their volunteers and workers.

Mental Health Awareness training

– 3 hours, face to face
– or online

This 3 hour course is designed and delivered by Herefordshire Mind to enable you to understand more about wellbeing and mental health and what it means for you and your community. Things can impact on all of us that change our wellbeing and mental health for better or worse. This short session will increase awareness for you and others around you.
It will give you:
· an awareness of what is meant by mental health and mental health problems
· a knowledge of what vulnerability is and some tools to protect mental wellbeing
· information about how mental health conditions are diagnosed
· an overview of some of the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions and what treatments are available
· what options are available to help support people with their mental health or when they are in crisis
Everyone will receive a resource pack including copies of the presentation together with useful information covering things like:
· Find the words (how to speak to your GP about a mental health issue)
· Self-esteem
· Anger
· Loneliness
· Stress
Who is it aimed at:
This is for you if you are over the age of 18, based in Herefordshire and looking for a basic introduction to mental health or taking your first steps into mental health first aid training. Priority is given to key partners supporting the delivery of the Talk Community approach. Find out more about Talk Communities HERE

Dates and Venues:

Online:

  • Thursday 20th January 10am -1pm   
  •  Wednesday 26th January 1.30pm-4.30pm 
  • Friday 4th February 10am -1pm   
  • Wednesday 9th February 1.30pm-4.30pm 
  • Thursday 17th February 10am -1pm

Face to Face:

  • Wednesday 2 March 10am -1pm at Cider Museum
  •  Friday 11th March 10am -1pm at Ledbury Community Centre
  • Thursday 17th March 10am -1pm at The Hope Centre, Bromyard

How to book: –

We will confirm bookings in January, once we have collated initial requests for places: 
· Call Fran Wheatley on 01684 312730 (voicemail available)
· Email: francesw@comfirst.org.uk
· Or book via the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College website

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training

– 2 days face to face

With 1 in 4 adults suffering from mental ill health per year and 1 in 6 people reporting experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression), in the last week, the chances are that you know someone who may be struggling.

This interactive, internationally recognised course will give you the skills and confidence to become a Mental Health First Aider including:
· an understanding of what mental health is and the range of things that can affect our wellbeing
· a knowledge of the most common mental health conditions
· the practical skills to spot the triggers, signs and symptoms of a range of mental health problems
· the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan
· how to practice listening without judgement and with empathy
· how to help someone by guiding them to further support and the knowledge of a range of local and national resources
· An understanding of how to keep yourself safe whilst providing Mental Health First Aid and how to look after your own wellbeing.

MHFA is an internationally recognised, certificated training course delivered by local trainers who are trained and licensed by MHFA England. By training as a Mental Health First Aider you will become part of a community of over 77,000 people in England trained to support.

Everyone will take away a resource pack including a comprehensive MHFA manual, a personal workbook and action plan, a quick reference pocket card and local, national and online signposting resources.

This training is FREE, but would normally cost £300 per person to attend

Who is it aimed at:
This is for you if you are over the age of 18, based in Herefordshire and keen to learn how to be able to better reassure and support someone who is going through a tough time; or if you are working as a volunteer or in a paid role where you are more likely to come across people needing help to find the right source of support for their mental health. Priority is given to key partners supporting the delivery of the Talk Community approach. Find out more about Talk Communities HERE

Dates and Venues for 2-day course (face to face):

Museum of Cider, Hereford https://www.cidermuseum.co.uk/visiting  
· 
Day 1 – Tuesday 15th February- 9am-5pm
· Day 2 –  Wednesday 16th February- 9am-5pm

· Day 1 – Thursday 17th March- 9am-5pm
· Day 2 –  Wednesday 23rd March- 9am-5pm

Larruperz Centre Ross On Wye 
– 
Day 1 – Friday 1st April- 9am-5pm
– Day 2 – Friday 8th April- 9am-5pm

How to book: –

We will confirm bookings in January, once we have collated initial requests for places: 
· Call Fran Wheatley on 01684 312730 (voicemail available)
· Email: francesw@comfirst.org.uk
· Or book via the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College

Herefordshire Council unveils new Climate and Nature Partnership Board

All systems go: green light for climate action programme in Herefordshire

In the wake of Cop26 Herefordshire Council established its Climate and Nature Partnership Board. The board will support the objective for Herefordshire to be a thriving zero-carbon and nature rich county by 2030.

The Council has appointed 15 individuals to help drive the implementation of the countywide Climate and Nature Action Plan, which has been co-developed with people and organisations across Herefordshire.

The Action Plan covers six key topics  –  transport;  energy;  housing and buildings;  waste;  food;  farming and land use. Gareth Williams and Ian Howie, both with farming connections in the county have been appointed to the Farming and Land Use sub-group.

The Board will steer the county’s Climate and Nature Action Plan, commission projects to help deliver it, monitor progress and is part of a long term push by the county to lead by example in taking action to mitigate climate change and bring about positive change for the benefit of everyone.

Councillor Ellie Chowns, Cabinet member for the environment and economy said “This is a key step in bringing people together to drive forward climate and nature action across the whole county.  We’re all passionate about protecting Herefordshire’s wonderful natural environment and wildlife for the benefit of future generations” adding we are extremely fortunate to have attracted such an exceptional, committed and diverse group of individuals to the Board, who will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge through their roles in conservation, wildlife, architecture, the media, community energy, research, farming and land management, agricultural policy and running businesses.

The Board will encourage everyone in the county – individuals, groups and businesses to get involved in taking action on climate and nature.

Ellie Chowns, Herefordshire cabinet member for Economy and Environment, Herefordshire who will chair the board, said “We want to encourage everyone living, working and running businesses in Herefordshire to do their bit and take action to reduce their carbon footprint. Tackling the climate emergency needs us all to play our part so that everyone can continue to enjoy what our county can offer for many years to come.”

Farming Investment Fund now open for applications

The Farming Investment Fund opens today (Tuesday 16 November).

Farmers, foresters and growers from across England are urged to apply for grants to buy new equipment and infrastructure to help to improve efficiency and help us build back greener. This could include solar powered electric fences, water treatment systems that use ultraviolet light rather than chemicals and cameras for monitoring livestock.

The fund will be split across two strands. Firstly, the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will focus on smaller grants for equipment from a set list including electronic seeders and chemical-free disinfection systems. Please note the deadline for this window of applications is midday on 7th January 2022.

Secondly, the Farming Transformation Fund will cover more substantial technology, with the potential to transform business performance. This strand will focus initially on water management with grants available to improve water use on farms for things like crops irrigation and constructing on-farm reservoirs.  If you are applying for this you will need to complete the initial online application through the online checker before 12th January 2022.  Projects with the best fit with the priorities will then be invited to submit a full application (deadline 30th June 2022).

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared across Great Britain

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ)

Press Notice – Bird flu – Latest situation: Avian influenza prevention zone declared across Great Britain

  • Following a number of detections of avian influenza in wild birds across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.
  • This means that from 5pm on Wednesday 3 November 2021 it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their birds.
  • The AIPZ now in force across GB, does not include a requirement to house birds. However, this is being kept under constant review. With the increased risk of Avian Influenza during the winter, the need to include a mandatory housing requirement in the AIPZ may arise. Further disease control measures will be based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.
  • Biosecurity guidance and information on the latest avian influenza situation and the AIPZ are available at:
  • England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
  • Scotland: www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza
  • Wales: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza-bird-flu

Risk Levels

  • The risk of incursion of highly pathogenic (HPAI) avian influenza H5 in wild birds has increased from medium (event occurs regularly) to high (event occurs often) for wild birds.
  • The risk of poultry and captive bird exposure to HPAI H5 across Great Britain has increased from low (with medium uncertainty) to medium (with medium uncertainty) where biosecurity on premises is below the required standard. Where stringent biosecurity measures are in place, the risk has increased from low (with low uncertainty) to low (with medium uncertainty).
  • Further details on the evidence which supported these decisions can be found in Defra and the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) risk assessments available on GOV.UK

Keepers must keep a close watch on their birds for any signs of disease, and seek prompt advice from a vet if they have any concerns.

Clinical signs indicative of avian influenza must be reported:-

  • In England to Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
  • In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. 

Farming Innovation Programme – 3 projects launched.

A new long-term funding programme to support farmers, growers, foresters and other businesses to embrace innovative ways to maximise productivity and drive sustainability has opened for applications.

The Farming Innovation Programme, one of the new measures set out in the Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan, will support ambitious projects to transform productivity and enhance environmental sustainability in England’s agricultural and horticultural sectors, whilst driving the sectors towards net zero.

The 3 projects that have opened for applications are:

  • Research Starter Projects

These are designed to help farmers, growers, and foresters based in England develop bold, ambitious, early-stage ideas and build a collaborative team. 

Applications for Research Starter Projects close 24th November 2021. 

  • Feasibility Projects

These are designed to test the feasibility of early-stage solutions and to inform decisions on subsequent, larger scale research and development projects.

Applications for Feasibility Projects close 1st December 2021. 

  • Small Research and Development Partnership Projects

These are designed to carry out research for innovative solutions that have the potential to substantially improve the overall productivity, sustainability, and resilience of the sectors. 

Applications for Small Research and Development Partnership Projects close 1st December 2021. 

For more information on the above projects, and how to apply go to the Farming Innovation Site

Applications for the Large Research and Development Partnership Projects will launch in 2022.

Herefordshire Council “Revive and Thrive” business support grants

Grants are now available to help businesses start-up and move into new premises

Businesses that are looking to take a first-step into retail or move into commercial premises in Herefordshire for the first time can now get grant funding support.

Start-up businesses wishing to try retail with either a pop-up type arrangement or taking on a retail premises can now apply for a grant of £500 – £2,500 towards rent, marketing and small equipment purchases.

Existing businesses wishing to take on retail or commercial premises for the first time can now apply for a grant of £2,500 – £10,000 towards rent, alterations/making good premises and purchasing equipment.

The ‘revive and thrive’ business support grants are being funded from the Government’s Covid-19 outbreak management funds grant as part of Herefordshire Council’s Covid-19 recovery plan, supporting economic recovery and improving wellbeing in Herefordshire.

Businesses wanting to find out more about the grants available can find out more here, or request an Expression of Interest from email: reviveandthrive@herefordshire.gov.uk

FARMBENCH – free benchmarking for your 2021 harvest

IT’S FREE AND FRIENDLY HELP from DJM Consulting to get you set up on the FREE Farmbench programme!*

WHAT IS IT?

Free, easy to use, online tool by AHDB to help you to interpret your enterprise data:

  • Help identify business strengths and weaknesses
  • Anonymously compare data with other similar farm businesses

Group reports and feedback/discussion breakfast groups hosted by DJMC

HOW WILL IT HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

Make evidence-based informed decisions to:

  • Improve business performance and profitability
  • Measure – change – analyse
  • Protect your business against market volatility

Create a plan to future proof your business

The service predominantly covering the five counties of the West Midlands has a limited budget for the 2021 harvest year– so register now to secure your place!

For further information, and to REGISTER please contact:-

Helen Newbrook at DJM Consulting   01746 714089    helen@theruralbusiness.co.uk

*To be eligible you must grow at least 1ha of a combinable crop in 2021 and must not have entered or submitted for validation, data for harvest 2020