August Professional Ponderings

Added on August 7, 2017 in Recent News


Hello one and all! For the arable farmers amongst you, there is high chance that you are reading these ponderings during one of the frequent rain delays during this harvest.   I keep hearing about the sustained heat wave in southern Europe so here is hoping that it will find its way to our little island soon enough so we can wrap harvest up. The yield reports (pub or otherwise) I have been hearing are generally pleasing and so it wants getting in the shed sooner rather than later.   With decent prices combined with brimming grain sheds, I hope that the landlord’s agents do not get too carried away with Rent Review notices this September. On that subject, if you are looking to agree new rents for this Michaelmas, it is important to consider if and how you handle the matter of Brexit, bearing in mind that the rent will be fixed for the next three years, and subsequently straddle the Brexit outcome, whatever that maybe. If you require any assistance, then the Agricultural team will gladly help.

If you are starting to run out of wet day jobs for the students, do remember that derogations can be sought from the Rural Payments Agency to allow you to start cutting hedges in fields due to be planted with OSR or Temporary Grass ahead of the 31st August deadline.   I have found the easiest way to do this is by sending an email to the address. To apply for a derogation,   include ‘GAEC 7a – Cross compliance derogation’ as the subject heading, give the land parcel reference numbers for the affected land and provide all available evidence. Whereas previously the RPA responded very quickly to these requests, by all accounts the uptake in people seeking the derogations has increased significantly this year meaning response times are slower. Please note that you should wait until you have received   written confirmation back from the RPA before setting off on the trimmer.

Whilst my prolonged telephone calls with the RPA are currently far less frequent than they are in the middle of May, I continue to chase the RPA on behalf of numerous clients awaiting full payment for 2016 claims.   Alas, all they are ever able to tell me is that we must be patient whilst they work their way through the other 10,000 underpaid claims!

On the matter of planting OSR, I understand that NIAB are advising that the best method to avoid Flea Beetle is to not be the first in your area to start drilling. If everybody follows this advice religiously, I am not quite sure how anybody will make a start. That said, I am sure once the neighbour gets going, it will soon become a free for all.

For those of you based in the Huntingdon Local Authoritative area, you should be aware that their ‘Call for Sites’ deadline is 25th August 2017.  In a nutshell, this is an opportunity for land owners to promote their land to be included within the new emerging Local Plan, as areas that could be developed. If you feel that you may have land that could fulfil this criteria then please contact a member of the Planning and Development team to discuss this in greater detail.

No doubt most of you have heard that James Sealy, formerly of this parish, was involved in a work related accident last month. From everybody here at Bletsoes, we wish him a full and speedy recover. I am sure he will be itching to get back on the rostrum, as there is only so much of Countryfile one can watch on the BBC iPlayer!

We are just back from another successful day on the stand at Blakesley Show.   As ever, it was a cracking show, and it was great to see so many familiar faces come and enjoy some tea and cake, or a glass of Pimms on the stand.

We have recently had a changing of the Bletsoes placement student guard, as last month we bid a fond farewell to Henry Martin, and in turn         welcomed Grace Millbank to the Agricultural Team. Many of you may already know Grace as she is a local girl hailing from Brigstock, and also a very active Oundle YFC member, as well as having done a stint in the Market Café! Be sure to introduce yourself and say hello if you see her out and about.

Wishing you all a successful and safe harvest over the month ahead!


Andrew Meikle

Rural Surveyor


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