Latest situation with Avian Influenza in England

Latest situation with Avian Influenza

Defra announced today (19th March) that the risk of avian influenza to both wild and kept birds has reduced to ‘medium’.

  • The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) requiring enhanced biosecurity will remain in force, but Wednesday 31 March 2021 will be the last day poultry and other captive birds will need to be housed (housing restrictions end 23:59 31 March 2021).
  • Bird gatherings are still prohibited.
  • High standards of biosecurity remain essential as infection may still be present in the environment.


Please see the AIPZ section for further details of the measures that apply in the AIPZ and the Defra guidance on How to prepare for when your free-range birds can be let outside again

This includes:

  • cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces,
  • fencing off ponds or standing water,
  • reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.


When the birds are allowed out from 1st April, poultry and captive bird keepers will need to keep taking extra precautions, such as:

  • cleaning and disinfecting equipment and vehicles,
  • limiting access to non-essential people on site,
  • anyone coming into contact with the birds changing their clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures.

Herefordshire Council’s “Seasonal Workers on Farms Survey 2021”

Herefordshire farmers are invited to take part in Herefordshire Council’s Seasonal Workers on Farms Survey 2021.  The survey asks for your best estimates about the number of seasonal workers from overseas that you expect to employ during the course of this year, and also about your experiences last year.

The Council know that Herefordshire welcomes thousands of workers from overseas each year, and that farms and growers have a really good understanding about the needs of their own workforce.  However, there is no source of this data for the county as a whole: for example, to know how reliant our economy as a whole is on seasonal workers; how many workers may be in the county at any one time – and when the peak months are; or which languages are most commonly spoken.

This gap in their collective understanding was highlighted last year, when the local COVID-19 response needed to support employers to implement appropriate measures to keep workers safe and prevent the spread of the virus.  The Council hope that by reinstating our annual survey, which you may have contributed to in the past, they can be more proactive in that support this year and in the future.

You can submit your completed survey in a number of ways:

You can complete this survey online by entering the following into your browser

Click on this link below to download and print out the survey for you to complete.
Seasonal migrant workers on Herefordshire farms survey 2021 – FINAL 1.1

  • You can scan your completed questionnaire and email it to
  • Or you can return your completed questionnaire by post to the Herefordshire Council Research Team, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE.

Please send your responses by Wednesday 17th March  as soon as possible – deadline extended by at least 2 weeks.  

Even if you don’t employ seasonal workers from overseas, if you submit a nil return the Council can update their records – and it will stop them sending you a reminder.  They appreciate how busy you are, so if you have any questions or there is any way they can help, please get in touch at or on 01432 261944.

Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier Advice programme 2021

Chris Seabridge & Associates Ltd are delivering the above contract for East and West Midlands on behalf of Natural England.

They are delivering the following activities aimed at outlining the Tier System and designing robust agreements to benefit businesses and the local environment.

1) Countryside Stewardship FREE online Events.

The events will be hosted on the following dates and will be delivered by Jim Egan.

  • Thursday 25th March at 1.00pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 30th March at 7.00pm – 8.30pm
  • Monday 12th April at 8.30am – 10.00am
  • Tuesday 4th May at 2.00pm – 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 19th May at 7.00pm – 8.30pm

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email quoting the event you would like to attend.
Please provide name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when booking.
You will then be emailed the joining details.

2) FREE online 1:1 Advice sessions 

Delivered by approved Farm Advisers.  The sessions will cover

  • a) Application Preparation Advice
  • b) Pre application Submission Advice.

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email
Please provide name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number.
A suitable appointment will then be arranged.

3) They will also be providing

1-to-1 advice on CS Mid Tier Options requiring approval 

More information will follow as lockdown restrictions hopefully release.

Bartonsham Meadows grazing land available for rent

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of Bartonsham Meadows have recently been informed that grazing land at Bartonsham Meadows will be available for rent this year.  The Church Commissioners are keen to find someone, for one or two years initially, to manage the site on the edge of Hereford City, with a view to longer term agreement options in future years.  Over the past year Friends of Bartonsham Meadows have been working in partnership with HWT and in discussion with the Church Commissioners to support a transition to regenerative and socially beneficial land-use practices on the meadows.  We are now seeking to work with a like-minded land manager/farmer to help make this a reality.  The site comprises of circa 110 acres of floodplain meadow on the southern side of Hereford City and was formerly the home of Bartonsham Dairy.

Click on the link below to see the map of the Bartonsham Farm Meadows

Bartonsham Farm Area

For more information please contact Andrew Nixon at the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Email: or phone 07468 790 307


Free online workshops for farmers in Wye Valley and Malvern Hills AONBs

If you farm in the Wye Valley or Malvern Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), you are invited to attend a free online workshop to:

  • Find out about the latest changes to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme
  • Hear from farmers already in agri-environment schemes
  • Learn about the ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ scheme, announced in the Agricultural Transition Plan, to support farmers and land managers in AONBs and National Parks, to help them diversify their income streams and lay the groundwork for the Environmental Land Management scheme.

There is a choice of 3 workshops.

  • Monday 22nd February (5-6:30pm), or
  • Thursday 4th March (5-6:30pm), or
  • Tuesday 23rd March (1-2:30pm).

Register for one of these workshops now at


Farmers and land managers in the Malvern Hills AONB can contact

Paul Esrich (AONB Partnership Manager) for more information.
Email:   Tel: 01905 845057


For the Wye Valley AONB contact Nick Critchley (AONB Development Officer).
Email:   Tel: 07904 017982

 To help farmers in the Wye Valley AONB …

… to prepare for landscape, habitat and nature recovery schemes, the Wye Valley AONB Partnership are also able to offer the following:

  • Phase 1 Habitat maps showing semi-natural vegetation and wildlife habitats on your farm, or if the data doesn’t exist a free survey.
  • AONB Management Plan information, including Landscape Management Zones, features and Special Qualities relevant to your farm.

To request Wye Valley AONB data or for more information, please contact Wye Valley AONB Development Officer, Nick Critchley at or 07904 017982.

The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021

On the 27th January 2021 Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs for Wales announced her decision to introduce agricultural pollution regulations, which will apply to the whole of Wales.

The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021 will apply from 1st April 2021 for an initial set of measurements. The remainder will be phased in over a period of 3 years.

In summary, the regulations include the following requirements:

  • Nutrient management planning;
  • Sustainable fertiliser applications linked to the requirement of the crop;
  • Protection of water from pollution related to when, where and how fertiliser are spread; and
  • Manure and silage storage standards.

The Welsh Government has made support available to farmers through the Rural Development Plan’s Farm Business Grant (FBG) and Sustainable Production Grant (SPG) schemes to improve nutrient management and to reduce farm pollution.

  • The next FBG application window will be open between 1 March and 9 April 2021.
  • The next SPG window opens on 1 February and will close on 12 March.

Further information can be found at:

The new regulations will replace the existing NVZ regulations.

From 1 April 2021

Storage of manure and silage

  • 14 days’ notice must be given to NRW before construction begins on a new or improved slurry or silage store (this change applies from 28 April).
  • Other than the requirement to notify NRW before construction of a store begins, the silage storage requirements will remain the same (as SSAFO).

Exempt Structures

  • Installations that were in use or built before March 1991 or where a contract for construction was entered into before March and completed before September 1991 are “exempt structures”.
  • An old store may be used, but the storage capacity requirements of these Regulations must still be met by 1 August 2024.

Controlling the spreading of nitrogen fertiliser (includes manufactured nitrogen fertiliser, slurry and other organic manures):

  • If you intend to spread nitrogen fertiliser you must first inspect the field to consider the risk of nitrogen getting into surface water.
  • You must not spread nitrogen fertiliser on land if there is a significant risk of nitrogen getting into surface water, taking into account factors such as weather and slope.
  • Mandatory buffer zones will be established (as per existing cross compliance requirements).

Closed periods for spreading manufactured nitrogen fertiliser

  • on grassland, from 15 September to 15 January*
  • on tillage land, from 1 September to 15 January*

*Exemptions apply which are explained in the full guidance.

Incorporation of manure

  • Organic manure applied to bare soil must be incorporated within 24 hours in most circumstances.*

*Exemptions may apply eg. if precision spreading equipment is used.

From 1 January 2023

Risk Maps

  • If you intend to spread manure on the holding you must produce and maintain a risk map which highlights the areas on which spreading may cause pollution, including buffer zones and surface waters.
  • Sites suitable for field heaps should be marked if manure is to be stored in field heaps.

Storage of Organic Manure

Other than slurry, any organic manure must be stored:
– in a vessel;
– in a covered building;
– on an impermeable surface; or
– in a free standing temporary field heap

Temporary Field Heaps

  • Rules on the placement of manure field heaps will apply to minimise the risk of any leaching and run off reaching waterbodies.

Nutrient Management Planning

  • A Nutrient Management Plan must be established for any nitrogen fertiliser application, which includes the soil nitrogen supply and the requirement of the crop.

Import/Export of Manure 

  • Any import/export of manure onto/off the holding must be recorded.

Nutrient applications

  • Fertiliser applications must not exceed specified crop limits.
  • Fertiliser must be applied as accurately as possible and spreading trajectory must be below 4 meters from the ground.


  • Records associated with Nutrient Management Plans and fertiliser applications must be kept.
  • Exemptions from certain requirements will apply to extensive farms.

Holding limit 

  • A limit of 250kg per individual hectare is applied to the spreading of organic manure for any 12 month rolling period.
  • No more than 170kg of nitrogen from manure can be applied each year, averaged across the holding, either directly deposited by the animal or by spreading.

From 1 August 2024

Closed periods 

  • The spreading of slurry (and other manures but not farmyard manure) will be prohibited during the following periods (certain exemptions will apply*):
Soil Type Grassland Tillage Land
Sandy or shallow soil 1 September – 31 December 1 August – 31 December
All other soils 15 October – 15 January 1 October – 31 January
  • Spreading after the closed period until the end of February will be limited to 30 cubic metres per hectare (8 tonnes per hectare of poultry manure) at any one time, and there must be at least three weeks between each spreading.

*Details of exemptions are provided in the full guidance

Slurry Storage capacity

  • 5 months of slurry storage will be required for any slurry produced by any livestock, other than pigs or poultry.
  • For slurry produced by pigs and poultry, 6 months of slurry storage will be required.

Note: the rainfall figures and calculations used to determine the storage you will need to meet the requirements of the new regulations differs from those of the existing SSAFO regulations. Because of this, the difference between 4 months SSAFO and 5 months required by the new regulations is not necessarily equivalent to an additional month of storage. In some cases, such as in low rainfall areas, the new requirement may be lower than the existing SSAFO requirement. Where the requirement in the new regulations is greater, you should assess the most effective way to meet the new storage requirement, such as improved clean and dirty water separation.

Irrespective of the minimum storage requirement, you must ensure you have sufficient storage available to enable you to comply with the other requirements of the regulations.

Detailed guidance documents will be published on the Welsh Government website providing a step-by-step approach to the implementation of the regulations.  The latest information can be found on the following pages:

Win a FREE machine for a year to get your business ‘Up to Speed’ thanks to The Prince’s Countryside Fund and New Holland Agriculture

New Holland have teamed up for a second year with The Prince’s Countryside Fund for the ‘Up to Speed’ scheme offering three aspiring farmers the opportunity to kickstart their business with the loan of a New Holland machine.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund and New Holland Agriculture’s ‘Up to Speed’ scheme is now open for its second-year applications. We are pleased to offer three lucky recipients the use of a New Holland machine for a year.

Following the success of the first year of the scheme, the Fund and New Holland are looking forward to working together again to ensure that forward-thinking farmers can get their business ‘Up to Speed’. The scheme is open to any British farmer who can justify how the loan of a New Holland machine will help their business develop and become ‘Up to Speed’. This may be:

  • A new entrant who could use the machine to kickstart their business.
  • An existing farmer who is looking to become more efficient on farm.
  • A farmer who is looking to develop and/or diversify their current enterprise.

There are three different New Holland machines available for loan: a Boomer Compact Tractor, a T6 Tractor, and a TH Telehandler. Applicants must be aged 18 and over, with a British driving or tractor licence, a UK citizen with a UK passport and a resident in the UK. All you must do to apply is fill in an application form and upload a short supporting video explaining why you deserve the machine.

JB Gill, JLS band member, farmer and ambassador for The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “A year ago I launched the ‘Up to Speed’ scheme with The Prince’s Countryside Fund and New Holland and recently, I heard first-hand how much difference the New Holland machines have made (and still are making) to the businesses of the 2020 winners. It is an incredible opportunity for farmers, so do consider applying! Good luck and I look forward to meeting the inspiring winners of ‘Up to Speed’ 2021.

Rob David, 2020 ‘Up to Speed’ Scheme winner, said: “I won the loan of a New Holland T6.165 tractor through the ‘Up to Speed’ scheme. In May, I took on some extra land, which I would not have considered without the New Holland tractor. Since then, the extra land has allowed me to buy some cattle and more breeding ewes too. The tractor has given me so much more freedom, saved me time and money – and just made life much easier! In the nine months I’ve had the tractor so far it has enabled my business to grow. I’d urge everyone to apply!

Pat Smith, New Holland Business Director UK said: “We are very excited to be teaming up with The Prince’s Countryside Fund for a second year. This is a unique opportunity for three forward-thinking farmers in the UK. We at New Holland are very proud to be the major tractor manufacturer in the UK, we value our heritage here in Basildon, Essex, and we are dedicated to supporting British agriculture and British farmers. Following the success of our first year of the scheme, we look forward to supporting the next three lucky beneficiaries!

Applications open at 12pm on 1st February 2021, and close at midnight on Monday 1st March 2021.

To find out more, and apply, please visit:

Red Tractor Farm Standards Consultation

Your chance to shape Red Tractor’s Farm Standards

Red Tractor have opened a consultation on how their standards should look from November 2021.  Their proposals have been developed over 12 months, working in partnership with farming organisations, farmers, vets, processors, and retailers.  They would like to hear your views, via 2 surveys (links below), before 5th March.

·         What matters to you about your business.

·         Red Tractor 2021 Standards Review.