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Countryside Stewardship – Funding Guarantee & Scheme Administration Update

Countryside Stewardship - field planted with saplings

HM Treasury confirmed last year on 24th July 2018 that, even in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, funding is guaranteed for Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements signed by 31st December 2020 for the life of the agreement, provided they offer ‘good value for money’ and are ‘in line with domestic strategic priorities.’

Delivery of CS (and Environmental Stewardship) was subsequently transferred to the Rural Payments Agency effective 1st October 2018.

The remaining deadline for this year’s submissions is 31st July 2019 for Offers and Mid Tier Schemes, and our Rural Team are busy finalising submissions on behalf of our clients.

Future of Farming Payments
BPS and CS will phase out and be replaced by ELM (Environmental Land Management), which will be rolled out nationally 2025-2027.

Between 2021 and 2027 it is expected that BPS will be decreased each year but as yet the structure of the annual decrease has not been confirmed.

Countryside Stewardship funding

As can be seen from the above infographic originally sourced from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), it is only a matter of time before farmers will be paid “public money for public goods”.

We therefore strongly advise that you consider an environmental scheme on your holding, not only to guarantee a source of income throughout the inevitable turbulence of Brexit but also to ensure that you are “ahead of the game” from 2025.

For further information and assistance please call our Rural Team on 01608 661666.

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Diversification via Development Seminar

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight Sheldon Bosley Knight were delighted to sponsor the recent Diversification via Development Seminar hosted by Warwickshire Rural Hub on Tuesday 30th April.

The  Seminar provided an opportunity for farmers and landowners to learn more about the options available to them for converting farm buildings to residential use. Daniel Jackson, Director of Sheldon Bosley Knight and an Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute, was joined by two other local experts who between them covered the planning, finance and tax implications of rural diversification.

Daniel explained the Class Q Permitted Development rights that were introduced in 2014 and which apply to buildings that were in agricultural use on 20th March 2013.

Diversification via Development Seminar - Sheldon Bosley Knight He gave some examples of Class Q applications and discussed the common pitfalls to be aware of including the maximum floor space that can be developed, the number of dwellings allowed and the deadline for completion of the building.

Daniel and his planning team have worked on a number of successful Class Q applications and he emphasised the importance of seeking professional advice for anybody considering Class Q development given the strict criteria that applies.

The audience also heard from Daniel O’Donnell from Rosconn Strategic Land who discussed the role of Promotion Agreements and their value to the landowner, and Mark Dickin of Ellacotts explained the all important tax implications.

The seminar was very well attended with over 85 guests who enjoyed networking over hot bacon baps and the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.

For further information and to discuss your own rural diversification plans, please get in touch with Daniel on


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Brexit – Boom or Bust

That the prospect of Brexit has caused some uncertainty for business is a significant understatement; agricultural business is not immune.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) have produced a Brexit Impact Calculator, which appears to demonstrate that nearly all sectors of UK agriculture are to be negatively affected whatever the Brexit outcome. The proposed Agriculture Bill, currently working its way through the House of Commons, will see changes to the Basic Payment Scheme with cuts, particularly to the larger beneficiaries and money syphoned off to pilot a new environmental land management system.

At the very least farmers can expect this to be a time of change. Some flexibility in how each farm business operates will be essential. Further diversification opportunities should be explored, and the farm canvas painted in a way which maximizes the value of the asset for its income earning potential. Sheldon Bosley Knight are well placed to deliver advice on many forms of diversification, and for the alternative uses of land and buildings.

Productivity increases will be essential to maintain a margin on traditional agricultural enterprises. There is a very big difference between the top and bottom, in the scale of economic performance in UK agriculture. Many more will need to find ways of reaching the top to survive, and this will have to involve collaboration, cooperation, and improving skills including in business management.

James Walton Partner and Registered RICS Valuer
James Walton FRICS FAAV

Director & RICS Registered Valuer

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Rural Land Sales Gearing Up for 2018

120 acres agricultural land at Alderminster

The rural land sales market is gearing up significantly this Spring as a number of parcels of land and farm buildings have become available to sell by the SBK Rural Land Agency.

In addition to the 20 acres of pasture at Radway launched last week, the team have just launched three additional parcels of agricultural land and are continuing to market two smaller lots, one of which includes a stable.

Laura Gaydon, SBK Director said “the number of parcels of land and farm buildings becoming available indicates a strong market in agricultural land sales and the continuing confidence in the expertise of our SBK rural team. We are delighted to act on behalf of our clients in these matters and expect interest to be at a high level.”

For enquiries on any of the properties listed below please contact that Rural Land Agency team on 01608 661666.

Lot 1: 77 acres of arable and pasture land at (Barton Farm) Alderminster with building and yard. Offers over £790,000

77 acres agricultural land and buildings at Alderminster








Lot 2: 120 acres of arable and pasture land at (Barton Farm) Alderminster. Offers over £1m

120 acres agricultural land at Alderminster








20 acres of pasture at Radway at the foot of the Edge Hill Escarpment. Guide £385,000

20 acres pasture at Radway










15 acres of arable land at Darlingscott Crossroads, Fosseway by Shipston. Guide £155,000

15 acres arable at Darlingscott








3 acres of pasture at Stretton on Fosse. Guide £55,000

3 acres pasture at Stretton on Fosse










1 acre of pasture at Chesterton Green with stable. Guide £55,000

1 acre pasture at Chesterton with stable