Happy New Year!
ELS JANUARY – hedge and ditch bank cutting continues as does ditch cleaning. EF23 (supplementary feeding in winter for farmland birds) – food must be spread on the ground at designated sites at least once a week from 1st January. This is in addition to any hopper feeding. Don’t forget to keep your ‘feeding diary’ up-to-date in case of inspection.
Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship – AB1 (nectar flower mix) – if you haven’t done so already you have until 30th March to cut your nectar flower plots. Lots of customers don’t have the facility to cut and remove. If that is you then the best advice is to wait until a dry, frosty day and cut very steadily with a flail mower (not a rotary) as this will smash the woody material and is less likely to leave a carpet of mulch. BE3 (management of hedgerows) – if you have gone for the one in two rather than one in three year cutting option then you can now cut half of your hedgerows up until 28th February.
Forms for 2019 agreements can be requested from 15th January – 31st May. Application window closes 31st July.
Hedgerows & Boundaries Grants – on-line application window from 15th January – 30th April. Remember, the maximum grant has been increased to £10,000 per holding.
Woodland Creation Grant – a reminder that the submission window for woodland creation grants is 2nd Jan – 16th Feb. If you haven’t got your forms completed yet, then crack on!
Winter Feeding – even if you don’t have EF23/HF24 or AB12 options under your ELS/HLS or Mid/Higher tier stewardship agreements, we would urge everyone to undertake some winter feeding for our declining farmland bird species. Whilst feeding wheat is better than nothing, some smaller seeds such as rape, linseed and millet would be far more beneficial for many of our passerines.
We will be sending out our spring newsletter and product guide in February. If any of your address details have changed since last year, please contact the office to ensure your details are updated.
Event for your Diary
Tuesday 27th February - College Farm, Somersham, PE28 3ER
Farm Walk in conjunction with Opico and Sky Agriculture to look at how the Cover and Companion Crops have come through the winter. This will include looking at the Micro-Clover trial and seeing how well the Oilseed Rape crops have established.
More details to follow but please call us if you would like to come along.