Events help guide upland farmers through new rules

Robert Sullivan
Robert Sullivan

A series of free events is being held to help farmers through the upcoming changes in regulations.

The upland training events, organised by Strutt and Parker’s Morpeth office, are aimed at farmers with land in severely disadvantaged areas (SDA).

Farm business consultant Robert Sullivan said: “Upland farmers often work in some of the harshest conditions in UK farming.

“The limits of profitability have traditionally not been helped by the lower level of subsidy, and although the recently announced uplift of these rates will be gladly welcomed by upland farmers, there is still uncertainty over some of the other details in the new round of the Common Agricultural Policy, not least over a replacement for UELS and HLS schemes.

“With the new legislation starting in 2015, it is imperative that farmers should be preparing for these changes as soon as possible.”

There will be four training events with each held twice, one in Rothbury and the other in Bellingham.

The first session aims to help farmers who farm in the SDA consider how the new CAP affects their business, make eductated decisions on 2015 farm policy and what they have to do to ensure they remain eligible for payment.

Following weeks will see a range of other topics discusssed, such as practical advice on the importance of monitoring farm business performance, tenancy issues and law, and opportunities to be had from renewable energy.

CAP post-2015 for farms in the SDA is on Monday, February 17, at Newcastle House, Rothbury, and Thursday, February 20, at Riverdale Hotel, Bellingham; tenancy issues for upland farmers on Monday, February 24, in Rothbury, and Wednesday, February 26, in Bellingham; business monitoring for upland farmers on Monday, March 3, in Rothbury, and Thursday, March 6, in Bellingham, and resources and energy on Monday, March 10, in Rothbury, and Thursday, March 13, in Bellingham.

The events are aimed at farmers with at least 50 per cent of the land in the SDA and are funded by Defra under the RDPE Skills programme.

To book a place, contact Ben Rogerson at Strutt and Parker on 01670 500871 or email