Browsing: Farming

Fowler’s Free Range Eggs has been a feature of Honiton street market for 13 years. Its smart vintage sales wagon occupies a pitch between WH Smith and St Paul’s Church. The business was established 16 years ago and is run by Honitonian Tony Fowler and his wife, Helen. It delivers free range eggs to customers across East Devon. Located at Putts Corner, near Sidbury, the business has always strived to put animal welfare and quality first. This is a place where chickens really do roam free – not just for cameras but every day. It’s hard to see how we can…

Fire crews from Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth responded to a report of a baler on fire in an agricultural barn early this morning. They were joined by a water carrier from Danes Castle and found the baler was in a yard. The report was received by emergency services at just after 4am. Crews found smoke issuing from the machinery. The fire was extinguished with one hose reel jet and small tools. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “There was 10 per cent damage by fire and the cause of the fire was accidental.”

Charity LEAF Education has launched the first national network of Demonstration Schools, set up to showcase best practice in food and farming education. The schools will act as best practice examples of using food production, farming and the countryside as a core element of the school curriculum. This could be around exemplary teaching methods, engagement with farmers, provision of school gardens, nature-friendly grounds and wider school community engagement as well as events and activities specifically designed around the field to fork story. Primary and secondary schools will be selected as LEAF Education Demonstration Schools in one of three categories –…

British farmers are moving forward in their aspiration for net zero agriculture but are not complacent. They recently joined industry leaders, scientists and policy-makers to explore what changes are needed to deliver climate-friendly food for all. Speaking at a farming and climate change conference hosted by the NFU and Sustainable Food Trust, the NFU’s president, Minette Batters, emphasised that every farmer has a role to play in contributing towards the industry’s net zero aspiration. She is urging the government to provide effective incentives to help farmers reach this target by 2040. Our journey towards climate neutrality must be made together…

Defra has confirmed it received more than 4,000 responses to the call for evidence over general licences. Among those to respond were 36 local and national organisations. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has now decided to issue time-limited general licences. Three licences were issued last month. His decision is based on information gathered through the call for evidence as well as other relevant evidence, including statutory advice from Natural England. Defra says it will lead a further review of general licences later this year, working closely with Natural England. Many people reported damage to…

It’s showtime – quite literally. With Honiton Agricultural Show just weeks away, now is a great time to brush up on your stock judging skills. If you want to claim one of those coveted rosettes next year, you will need to assess your own stock – just like a judge – before deciding which animals to enter. These tips will help you understand how the judging system works – so you can be primed to enter with confidence in 2020. There are plenty of free resources available to get you started. We have got some of them ready for you…

Today marks a new milestone in Defra’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme – the second round has opened for applications and there is £15m available to give away. The round was expected to open earlier this year and industry leaders say the delay has been frustrating. East Devon farms can now apply for a grant of between £3,000 and £12,000. The cash must be required for the purchase of equipment that will drive up efficiency, improve animal welfare or the environment, or aid nutrient management. The list of eligible equipment has increased for round two of the scheme. Defra has…

Scammers posing as officials from HMRC are connecting with farmers on social media platforms in order to trick them. Approaches have been made online, as well as by telephone and via text messages. The NFU has confirmed some of its members have been targeted. It is so concerned that it has today issued additional guidance to members. Farmers across East Devon are being warned not to reveal sensitive data to anyone they cannot verify – including on social media. The farmers’ union says: “These attempts include phishing emails and bogus contact by text message, telephone call and via social media.…

Landowners in Devon collectively face a whopping £70 million bill over the next five to 15 years – to tackle the dangers posed by a deadly ash tree disease. They are being encouraged to inspect trees for ash dieback for public safety reasons – and to have those showing signs of the disease and close to a public highway felled. Devon County Council has launched a new campaign – My Tree, My Responsibility – supported by the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum. The initiative aims to help landowners identify the deadly fungal tree disease and take appropriate action. The council…

Conservative Party leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have responded to an open letter from the NFU that urged them to commit to delivering a positive future for British food production. The letter, penned by NFU President Minette Batters, highlighted key policy areas where the next Prime Minister could future-proof British farming. She called for “a Brexit that creates the right conditions for British farming to thrive” and an agricultural policy that would support farmers as food producers and acknowledges the importance of domestic food production. Mrs Batters further called for a government that works with British farmers to…