Help to Stop the Drop

Herefordshire Council’s  Stop the Drop litter campaign is going from strength to strength with almost 300 Herefordshire businesses signed up to the Litter Pledge.  This figure includes large farms such as Haygrove Ltd, Westons Cider, Oakchurch, Court Farm and Leisure and S & A Produce.

Haygrove Ltd were one of the first businesses to sign up to the Litter Pledge. They are committed to keeping their land clear of litter and Chris Millson, Sustainability Manager had this to say about their support for the campaign:-

“Haygrove is proud to have signed up to the Stop the Drop initiative. It resonates with our view that much needs to be done to solve a litter problem that has rapidly reached crisis levels, but also with our view that much can be done!

The campaign aligns well with our existing programmes. Haygrove has set an ambitious target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2023. Working towards this goal, we have managed to increase the proportion of waste that has been recycled every year, since 2014. Last year not only did our recycling rate reach 69%, but we also saw a reduction in the total amount of waste produced – a good demonstration of our belief  that waste management starts with reduce, reuse, then recycle. But we still have a long way to go.

Our fight against waste has been positive for the environment, good for the morale of our team, and good for business. Recycling pays in many ways, but you can’t recycle unless you first Stop the Drop!”

Jane Denny, Herefordshire Council said “It’s great to see so many businesses signing up and supporting the Stop the Drop campaign. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Herefordshire clear of litter including farmers in their role as guardians of the countryside. We’d like to encourage more farmers to sign up to the litter pledge to demonstrate their commitment to keeping the Herefordshire countryside litter free.”

The pledge can be signed online  at . We’ll send you a certificate for displaying in your premises which as well as being featured on the Herefordshire Council website will collectively spread the message that litter is not acceptable. Please encourage others to do the same.

Farmers have to deal with a wide variety of waste products and this government website provides guidance on how to manage it.

Plastics form a large portion of farm waste and can be recycled via Farm Plastics Recycling

More information about the Stop the Drop campaign can be found here

Impact of the Hot Weather on Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreements

The hot weather conditions are leading to hay crops being ready earlier than normal, or farmers wanting to alter grazing, cropping and supplementary feeding requirements due to the heatwave.

If you cannot meet agreement requirements due to adverse weather conditions, you can ask Natural England for either

  • a Derogation under Environmental Stewardship (ES) 
    Click here for ELS  Derogation form
    Click here for HLS  Derogation form

  • a Minor and Temporary Adjustment (MTA) under Countryside Stewardship (CS) – Mid/Higher Tier.
    Click  here for MTA form

Alternatively you can call Natural England CS Delivery Services 0300 060 3900

More information on MTAs is in the CS Mid Tier manual (section 6.20 on pages 64-65), and in the Higher Tier manual (section 6.21 on pages 70-71).

Agreement holders should get in contact with Natural England as soon as possible, explaining the issue and the actions they would like to take, as they need to obtain their derogation or MTA before they need to make changes to agreement management.

Where a derogation is given, such as for early cutting of hay, the agreement holder should ensure they avoid areas with ground nesting birds.

Reminder about Derogations for Cutting hedges in August

BPS claimants who wish to sow Oilseed Rape and/or Temporary Grassland in August, and who need to be able to cut hedges in those fields before 1st September, must apply for a derogation in order to avoid breaching cross compliance requirement GAEC 7a Boundaries.

Applications must be made on paper or by email to the RPA.  They have set a 15 working day response target, and you must have received your written confirmation before the work can commence. So please apply early!

The correspondence to the RPA should be clearly marked ‘Cross compliance derogation’, and should contain the following information:

Claimant name and address   /   SBI number   /   Field reference numbers

Confirmation that you wish to sow oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland on these parcels in August

If you wish to cut both sides of a hedge, you will need to list both the relevant field numbers

and be sowing oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland in both fields.


All paper derogation requests need to go to:  Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 352, Worksop, S80 9FG.

The letter must be clearly marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’.


Email requests must be sent to: and marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’

Ensure emails are only sent from email addresses which are registered with RPA on rural payments online

and the person sending the email is registered to the business and has permission to act for the business.

Full guidance can be found in the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2018

Protect yourself from the Blandford Fly

At this time of year Blandford flies are at their height.
They are predominantly found near bodies of water and can give a nasty bite – most commonly to the leg or ankle. Most bites are just painful and uncomfortable, but some can become infected and require medical attention.

The link below provides details of how to protect yourself against being bitten, symptoms to look out for and when to seek medical advice.

2018 National Rural Crime Survey – open until 10th June

Do you think rural crime has gone up or down in your area? Do you feel safer? What’s your view of the police in your community?

After the last survey 3 years ago, the National Rural Crime Network produced a series of recommendations and, in many areas, the police took steps to improve matters. So, now, they want to know what’s changed – what is the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in rural communities, and the impact it has where you live or work.

The 2018 survey is open until 10th June at

Important Changes to Red Tractor Beef and Lamb Standards

As of 1st June 2018 you will be assessed against new Red Tractor Beef and Lamb standards, relating to antibiotic use on farm.

These amendments reflect the industry’s commitment to being responsible users of antibiotics. In brief, members will be required to work with their vet to review health and performance data. The review must be written down and a template for the vet to fill in can be found here.

This review includes looking at medicine records and prescription data that outlines total antibiotic use, to make recommendations as to where farms can use antibiotics as responsibly as possible.

Other changes include the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics and recommendations for disease prevention strategies.

Please read this document here to ensure you are compliant.

Meeting for beef, lamb and dairy vets on Red Tractor changes

24th May, 7.00pm at Ledbury Rugby Club

Red Tractor is hosting a meeting for farm vets to update them on the new Red Tractor beef, lamb and dairy standards

More information and how to book can be found here.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25th May 2018.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) are governing the changes made to Data Protection and as such should be the “go to” place for guidance information and updates on these new regulations.

Their guide to the GDPR explains the provisions of the GDPR to help organisations comply with its requirements. It is for those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.
Click here for the guide.

Getting ready for the GDPR

  • Click here for the ICO 12-step guide to the GDPR
  • Click here for the ICO’s very useful checklist that you can work with to ensure you are following the right steps