Latest News & Events
ELS NOVEMBER – hedge and ditch bank cutting continues as does ditch cleaning.
EF23/HF24 and AB12 Supplementary Feeding – if you have this option in your agreement then now is the time to buy the small seed component. We can make up bespoke mixes or we have a 3 standard mixes (see below). Packed in 25kg bags or ½ tonne bags. Please contact the office on 01480 890686 to discuss your requirements.
Budget Mix: 70% Wheat ,20% White Millet , 5% Oilseed Rape, 5% Red Millet
No Wheat Mix: 60% White Millet, 20% Red Dari, 10% Red Millet, 10% Oilseed Rape
Premium Mix: 55% White Millet, 20% Red Dari, 10% Red Millet, 10% Sunflower Hearts, 5% Canary Seed
Pre-winter stewardship check list:
Take photos of wild bird seed mix (winter bird food) plots, overwinter stubble fields and winter cover crops as evidence, should you have an inspection or be required to submit evidence with your annual claim.
Clear out gutters and check traditional farm buildings are weatherproof. Take photos of any work being done on your traditional farm buildings and ensure you log it in your plan.
Check new hedges to see if any failed whips need replacing.
Countryside Stewardship Applications for 2020
Matt and Sarah are already getting booked up with mid and higher tier applications for next year, ( agreements that will start 1st Jan 2020). If you are considering making an application next year, please contact the office as we can start some of the preparatory work that underpins your application.
Donation to Interreg PARTRIDGE project
Oakbank has been working with Dr Francis Buner of the GWCT to develop long-term habitats to help the grey partridge. Francis is heavily involved with the Rotherfield partridge recovery project as well as the European Interreg PARTRIDGE Project which looks at how new management solutions can improve biodiversity and ecosystem services.
We came up with 4 new mixes, a wild bird seed mix, a margin mix, a nectar mix and a meadow mix, all containing a variety of annual and perennial species, and for every hectare pack sold we donated £20 to the PARTRIDGE project. Pictured is Tim handing over a cheque for £1860 to Dr Francis Buner at Rotherfield Park.
Hedging and trees – if you are looking to plant a hedge or a new wood this winter please give us a call. We source all of our plants from an excellent, family-run Nursery in Yorkshire and the quality of the plants is exceptional.
Woodland Creation Grants
Woodland creation grants are now available all year round, so you can apply when it suits you best. However if you want to plant in winter 2019/20, you will need to apply in the next few months. The amount of funding hasn’t changed - you can still apply for up to £6,800 per hectare for woodland creation and, once tree planting is completed, eligible applicants will be invited to apply for the 10 year maintenance payments. The Government has also confirmed that it will guarantee funding for Countryside Stewardship grants agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU where they are good value for money and are in line with domestic strategic priorities. Contact Matt in the office if you need any help with the application forms
Felling licences online FC England has just launched a new system allowing you to apply for a felling licence online, hopefully speeding up the process - apply for a felling licence
Keeping up-to-date on information regarding EU exit
The government has recently published a series of technical notices on how to prepare for the unlikely event of a no deal EU exit, these are available at: preparation if the Uk leaves the EU with no deal
Technical notices that may be of interest to forestry owners and managers are:
- Importing and exporting plants and plant products
- Buying and selling timber
- Upholding environmental standards
- Farm payments
- Rural Development Programme Funding
- Plant variety right and marketing of seed and propagating material
Supplementary feeding of winter bird food (AB12) is one of the most successful and visibly rewarding options within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It fills the "hungry gap" when the seed resources in the Wild Bird Seed Mixes run short and ensures the survival of many of our familiar farmland bird species.
Oakbank offer a full mixing and supply service for this seed, so please contact us in good time for the winter feeding period.