Oakbank News

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December E-News

 ELS DECEMBER – hedge and ditch bank cutting continues as does ditch cleaning. 

Supplementary feeding for farmland birds (EF23/HF24 & AB12)– a reminder that the feeding period for AB12 starts on 1st December and EF23 on 1st January (HF24 can be either) so make sure you have your food ready to go. Remember you can use your own wheat and oilseed rape but that at least 25% of the overall mix needs to be small seeds such as millets and canary seed. You MUST NOT use tailings/screenings. Please contact the office to discuss different mix options and prices.

Skylark Plots (EF8 & AB4) – make sure they are sprayed out of winter cereal crops by 31st Dec. Each plot must be at least 3m wide and a minimum area of 16m². 

Stewardship update – be prepared for some big changes in 2018! NE has announced 4 new Countryside Stewardship offers for the 2018 application window. 

These new offers will complement the existing Higher and Mid-Tier offers which will continue to be available.

 These four new offers are:

o Online Arable Offer

o Lowland Grazing Offer

o Upland Offer

o Mixed Farming Offer

The Online arable offer will be open from 20th Feb with final date for submission 31st July 2018 (for 1st Jan 2019 start date). The paper forms for Mid-Tier can be requested from 15th January with final date for application form requests on 31st May and closing date for applications 31st July.

Mid-Tier has also been enhanced by the addition of several Higher Tier options.

The hedgerow and boundary grant has also been increased for 2018, from a maximum of £5000 per holding to £10,000. The scoring system has also been simplified and the online application window is 15th January – 30th April 2018. 

For more detailed information click here

HS2 Grants – if you have land within 25 miles of the route of the new HS2 train line between Stoke and London you could be entitled to a grant of up to £8,500/ha for either extending ancient woodland or planting large (5ha +) blocks of new woodland. For more information please click here

Oakbank were delighted to be one of the Sponsors for the CLA Redefining Agriculture Conference at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, where the Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP delivered the keynote speech.  


And finally (but most importantly) we were delighted to hear that Steve Snape’s partner, Lottie, has given birth to a son, Murphy. Mum and baby are doing well, although it has finally dawned on Steve that four children might be a handful! Congratulations to the Snape family.