General News

General News

Rural Business Research Intelligence from the Regions

Twice a year staff of Rural Busines Reasearch provide up to the minute information from their Regions on what is happening on farms and local markets together with a summary of current attitudes and concerns. The website; has the latest collated report. Comments are welcome as well as any queries; please contact the Editor;

Extract from the key points of the report.

Beef and Sheep

Common Land in England

A new searchable database of all common land in England is now available on-line.

This website contains land records for nearly all parcels of registered common land in England, with additional data including location, area, extent of rights etc. The information was assembled between 1982 and 1993 as part of the biological survey of common land. You can search this database by simply typing in an area name in the search box at the top of the web page. You can search by district, parish, or county.

Hear about Common Land issues on Farming Today, Radio 4

This week, 30 April - 4 May, Farming Today on Radio 4 is covering issues around the theme of common land. The programme is aired from 5.45 - 6.00 am. If you are unable to listen to it then you can always listen again - click here for details

Hefted - a short DVD from Eden Arts

HEFTED is a film Eden Arts commissioned from Cumbrian production company Dreamtime Films. It is about how people, as well as sheep, feel a sense of belonging to their landscape. It is well worth a watch you can find it here:

Countryside Code updated

Natural England has recently updated the Countryside Code.

The Code, which applies in England and Wales, makes it clear what the responsibilities are for both the public and the people who manage the land.

Code for land managers

3 sections of the Code are dedicated to land managers:

Know your rights, responsibilities and liabilities

Natural England scraps 50-year vision for uplands

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners welcomes the news that Natural England has abandoned its vision for England's uplands. We look forward to playing a key role in discussions about planning the future of the uplands.

The full story from from Farmers Weekly

New Cumbria & North Lancashire Farming, Food & Rural Group

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners is a member of the new Cumbria & North Lancashire Farming, Food & Rural Group set up by Defra. Will Cockbain, former uplands spokesman for the NFU and board member for Natural England will be chairing the Group.

Environment Minister, Richard Benyon said;

“We are giving rural communities a new voice so that their interests will not be neglected by Government as they have been in the past.

NSA Briefing on the discovery of Schmallenberg virus in England

This briefing comes from the National Sheep Association website see


Natural England's fresh approach to hill farming?

An article in last week's Famers Weekly (29th February) noted that Natural England is adopting a more conciliatory approach to hill farmers - driven by farmer pressure for more dialogue and the need for a greater understanding of upland livestock management issues. Natural England look set to establish a working framework to enable hill farmers to feel their businesses are being supported, rather than threatened, by the need to preserve the upland environment.

Upland Farm Incomes increase

Average farm business income in the Less Favoured Areas was £31,100 per farm. It increased by 49% between 2006/07 and 2010/11, but remains at a relatively low level – without the Single Payment Scheme and agri-environment payments on average grazing livestock farms would have made a loss in each of the last 5 years. 37% of grazing livestock farms in Less Favoured Areas undertook a diversified activity and 26% indicated that all of their household income was provided by the farm.

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