The Prince’s Countryside Fund celebrates Farmer Networks this National Countryside Week

We’re celebrating The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s National Countryside Week (20th to 26th July).

Showcasing their support for UK farm support groups, the Fund has launched its National Directory of Farm and Rural Support Groups. The directory lists 69 regional, national, and membership organisations who can provide support, advice, and guidance to farming and rural communities and signposts help for farmers who might be in crisis. With one farmer a week taking their own life, making support groups easy to find and accessible is vital.

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said:
“We are proud to be able to support UK farm support groups, both financially through our grant programme, and by highlighting the importance of their work in our National Directory of Farm and Rural Support Groups. Over the past year, through the work of our Farm Support Coordinator Diane Spark, we have been supporting these networks to share best practice, communicate more easily with each other, and advocate on their behalf to government and other bodies. Our aim for the future is to make these networks more sustainable and help them to grow, ensuring that all UK farmers can receive local help when desired. Thank you to our partners for their backing of the National Directory of Farm and Rural Support Groups and our work looking after the people who look after the countryside.

Liz Lloyd, Chair of Herefordshire Rural Hub said:
“The production of our newsletter has always been a key function of the Herefordshire Rural Hub.  We rely on grants and other fundraising activities to be able to continue to do this to support over 1200 farming and rural businesses in and around Herefordshire.  Therefore we are extremely grateful to the Prince’s Countryside Fund and NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for their support at this time, which has enabled us to continue getting information out via the newsletter, our website, and other social media.”

Find out more about National Countryside Week 2020

And if you would like to find out more about the Fund’s grant making activity, please visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk

Key Messages and FAQ’s from the Herefordshire COVID-19 Engagement Working Group

Relevant to all

The Herefordshire Outbreak Control Plan is available on Herefordshire Council website within the Coronavirus pages –  please encourage residents to read it to better understand the local plan to support the quick and effective management of Covid-19 outbreaks. Covid-19 outbreak control plan | Emergency planning in Herefordshire | Herefordshire Council

As lockdown measures are eased, and we all learn to live with Covid-19, it is important for all residents to understand how we all play a role in tackling the spread of infection and controlling outbreaks. Government coronavirus outbreak FAQ’s provide up to date information on staying safe outside of your home these can be found at Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do – GOV.UK

Encouraging residents to access testing if symptomatic by referring to the Herefordshire Council Website Testing for Covid-19 | Stay home stay safe | Herefordshire Council
For those residents who have no internet access testing can be arranged by calling 119.

The Herefordshire Council Talk Community COVID response will continue to support vulnerable individuals throughout this time and can be contacted via email at Talkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01432 260027

Farm setting specific

National guidance specific to farm settings can be found at:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses – GOV.UK

Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board 2020 have issued guidance for farms and measures to put in place for seasonal workers living on-site.
https://ahdb.org.uk/coronavirus-advice-on-seasonal-labour

HSE risk assessment guidance is beneficial for risk-assessing work and living activities and ensure your workplace is COVID-secure
https://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/

You can also visit Herefordshire Councils dedicated farming page
www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19farms

Business Specific

As businesses re-open and residents return to work, it is important that workplaces follow government guidance on how to remain ‘COVID-secure’ and maintain safe working environments for employees.
This can be found at Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance – GOV.UK  –  This can help to ensure business continuity in the event of an outbreak.

Herefordshire Council have also set up an Outbreak Control Hub as a single point of contact.  We want to raise the profile of this function with businesses to ensure:

  •  If they have a positive case within their workforce they inform the Outbreak Control Hub by emailing OutbreakControlHub@herefordshire.gov.uk  –  This will help us support businesses and also understand – and contain – any spread of the virus across Herefordshire.

The Herefordshire Outbreak Control Group are experienced Public Health, Health, Emergency Planning, Social Care and Environmental Health professionals. This team will work to prevent infection, contain outbreaks and implement protective measures. Their entire focus will be to keep people who live and work in Herefordshire safe. Businesses are also able to contact the hub if they have any queries around the guidance and infection prevention and control measures on the above email address or by calling 01432 383799.

Schools

The Herefordshire website on school closures also has information that can be searched for by individual school
https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200144/schools_and_education/255/school_closures

  • Is it safe for my child to go back to school?

Schools have taken advice from experts in public health, health and safety as well as council staff, other school leaders, unions and the Government.  Schools have safely remained open throughout the lockdown period for children of key workers and other children. The numbers of children attending have grown over the past month and this has been done safely.

Each school is completing a risk assessment that shows the steps being taken to promote the safety of pupils and staff and to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus, taking into account the latest Government guidance and advice from public health.  Everyone is asked to follow strict hygiene guidelines.  Washing hands regular throughout the day will be a key part of this, as will the cleaning of equipment and pupils working in “bubbles”, minimising the contact with other children

If a child or someone they live with becomes sick they will not be able to continue to attend school. If a staff member is unwell they will not be in school. If anyone shows symptoms of coronavirus they will need to self-isolate in line with government guidelines.

Your child’s school will have more details and be able to tell you about what is being put in place for September.  Please follow the guidance that your school provides.

  • Does my child have to go back to school?

Unless there is a clear medical reason for your child not to attend school or…then your child is expected to attend in September.

  • What should I do if my child is worrying about going back to school?

Talk to your child in a positive way about school, seeing friends, teachers and staff again. Help them understand that some other children may be anxious and to talk about this with their friends. Help them to understand how their school will work and how social distancing and washing hands properly will really help.  Let them know that school may seem a bit different, but that the teachers and staff are doing everything to make sure that it is safe. If you would like to discuss any issues with a school nurse please phone: 01432 363 940 or email schoolnurse.service@nhs.net

  • What’s taking place over the summer in Herefordshire?

There are many different activities that are taking place across Herefordshire over the summer.  For the latest information please visit the Herefordshire WISH website.   www.wisherefordshire.org/summeractivities

 

Defra consultation on “Contractual Relationships in the UK Dairy Industry”

This consultation is in response to concerns raised that primary producers, including dairy farmers, tend to occupy positions of relative market weakness in the food supply chain. Consensus among agricultural producers in the UK is that unequal bargaining power with processors and retailers can expose farmers to unfair treatment, with the potential to undermine equitable price transmission along the chain.  

For more information about the consultation, and to have your say, click HERE.

The consultation is open until 15th September 2020

Defra ELM scheme consultation has re-opened

DEFRA – ELM scheme consultation & interactive webinars

Defra’s ELM consultation has re-opened and is available HERE   It is open until 31st July.

The consultation sets out Defra’s initial thinking for ELM scheme design, providing an update on progress and overview of

high-level design options. It asks for stakeholder views and evidence on key questions and the responses received will help to inform the detailed scheme design for both the ELM scheme starting in 2024, and the start of the National Pilot in late 2021.

Defra is also running some interactive online webinars for farmers, foresters and land managers throughout July, to share views and discuss what the ELM scheme proposals mean for them –  Dates and booking for webinars

Updated Social Distancing posters for English and Non-English speaking agricultural workers

Posters have been supplied by Herefordshire Council & NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, for you to download and reproduce, giving advice for your employees on social distancing, and how to stop the spread of Coronavirus.  The posters are in English, Bulgarian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, & Slovak languages.

Continue reading “Updated Social Distancing posters for English and Non-English speaking agricultural workers”

Farming Recovery Fund 2020 (February flooding) open for applications

The Farming Recovery Fund 2020 extension is now open, and is available to farmers affected by the flooding in February 2020, who are located in parts of: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, East and North Yorkshire, and a further extension in Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire & Gloucestershire.

The handbook and how to apply are available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-recovery-fund-extension-2020

All work must meet the specifications which will be set out in the handbook. If you carry out any work before the handbook is available, you do so at your own risk.

Deadline for submitting applications is 1st Sept 2020

Dairy Response Fund 2020 – open for applications

The Dairy Response Fund 2020 provides support to eligible dairy farmers in England who produce cows’ milk. They can apply for a one-off payment.
Since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the dairy industry has faced challenges of excess milk, falling prices, and reduced demand from the hospitality sector.
Defra has set up a fund to help those dairy farmers most in need in England overcome the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The new funding will help support dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand for their products as bars, restaurants and cafes have had to close.
The fund will be administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Please read the Dairy Response Fund Handbook  to see if you are eligible to apply.

Only use the application form if you meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the handbook.

If you are eligible to apply, complete a Dairy Response Fund 2020 application form and email it to dairyresponse@rpa.gov.uk

The deadline for submitting your application to the RPA is midnight on Friday 14 August 2020.

Details also available on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dairy-response-fund-2020

Local Authority Coronavirus Discretionary Grants Fund – Herefordshire

This fund is to help Small and Micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund but may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.

This includes businesses such as 
• regular market traders
• bed and breakfasts paying council tax instead of business rates

You may be eligible for funding through Herefordshire Council if your business:
• is based in Herefordshire
• has relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
• occupies property (or part of a property) with a rateable value or annual mortgage/rent payments below £51,000
• was trading on 11 March 2020

You will need to show that your business has suffered a significant fall in income due to coronavirus.

The initial funding round is now open and will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 28th June 2020

Full details of types of businesses covered, eligibility criteria and how to apply at Herefordshire Discretionary Grant Fund