A select few have already received their earlybird orders of Concise Rural Taxation 2018/19. Find out how to order yours here at this link: CRT Details Up to date with all the main taxes affecting rural practice, and now including Scottish and Welsh taxes as well. A handy update for all rural professionals, and essential reading for RICS and CAAV probationers preparing for their final assessments. Prices held at last year’s levels, including the discount for professional exam candidates.
Many rural estates are held in trust, generally for reasons of long-term asset protection and security. Trustees carry a heavy burden of responsibility – heavier typically than a company director or shareholder. This online seminar will focus on the legal basis of these responsibilities and the practical measures through which they can be discharged. Essential learning for trustees, beneficiaries and all those – especially from the non-legal professions – who advise them or work for rural and other estates held in trust. The focus is on private family trusts although much of the material is equally relevant to charitable trustees.
This online seminar is the second in our new series for 2018. Booking and other details can be found here.
Feedback on our first online seminar, on the General Data Protection Regulation, was excellent. Seventy-two percent of respondents rated it 5/5 and the remaining 28% as four out of five. Individual comments about the benefits of this approach were:
- Concise yet informative
- Simplicity and clarity
- Clear presentation
- Clear content, good discussion and engagement with questions
- Good to follow clear and concise
- Simple language!
- Still in office but good interaction with other professionals
- Ease of obtaining answers to specific questions.
- Extremely useful overview covering the salient points to note and act on
- Easy access to ask questions – smallish group
- Succinct and relevant
Our current programme for the full year can be seen here.
And finally, a question: our first seminar on the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into effect on 25 May 2018 highlighted a lot of issues for rural property professionals and land managers. Would you like another chance to catch up with this? If so please let us know below. If there’s enough interest we’ll see if we can run it again.
First thoughts on today’s 25 year Environment Plan? Confirmation of the direction of travel we have seen since the Natural Environment White Paper of 2011: The Natural Choice: securing the Value of Nature
The headline points for farmers and land managers: Continue reading “Twenty-five year Environment Plan”
The Natural Capital Committee has reported its recommendations for a 25-year Environment Plan. There are five key sections to this important report:
- Vision, ambition and goals
- Investment needs
- Agricultural subsidies post-Brexit
Twelve goals are offered; these include:
- Breathable air that achieves international standards;
- Flood protection by various means including natural flood management to protect everybody against a 0.5% probability of flooding:
- All inland water to be of good status, and coastal waters all to be good for bathing;
- Greenhouse gas emissions conforming to international targets, including emissions from land-based activities
- Access to local greenspace and open recreation for all. The following goals are suggested:
- One hectare of local nature reserve per 1,000 people;
- Two hectares of natural greenspace within 300 m of every home;
- A 20 ha greenspace within 2 km of every home
- No suggestion is made that the effect of this has been modelled and compared with the current state of provision.
Turning to investments the report proposes 11 items and these include:
- 250,000 ha of woodland by 2040;
- All peat to be in favourable condition;
- Restoration of hydrological cycles including channel restoration and natural flood management measures;
- New National Parks (no suggestions as to where);
- Farm funding to be limited to public goods and high welfare standards;
- Working closely with Local Nature Partnerships;
- Developer contributions via planning etc to be pooled for natural capital investment;
- An enhanced capacity for citizen action and involvement;
- A Natural Capital Net Gain principle which would apply to planning, environmental regulation and public procurement wherever possible;
- Despite being referred to as investments, none of these are funded or compared with the status quo.
Five year milestones are proposed, which need to be supported by a natural capital risk register; accounting measures; cost benefit appraisal approaches and natural capital balance sheets. Pp 8 and 9 of the report make particular mention of the private sector in this respect but do not expand on this point.
It is proposed that there should be a State of the Environment Report by 2019 and that this should be updated regularly. For governance the committee propose that the 25 year Environment Plan should be placed on a statutory footing under the authority of a single organisation, with a separate independent body on the lines of the National Audit Office to report regularly on progress.
The final section is concerned with agricultural policy and is perhaps the vaguest part of the report. Much is made of the examples of market orientated projects like South West Water’s involvement in Upstream Thinking. Although the report claims that several water companies are involved in such schemes, this is the only example to be cited. There are indeed other examples and it is a shame that the report does not address more fully the challenges in developing new thinking in this area compared with its more defined focus in earlier sections.
Perhaps on the other hand however, this should be welcomed by those of us who have spent a lifetime involved in day to day management of rural estates and farms as an opportunity still to bring practical common sense and hard-earned local knowledge to further deliberations on these matters.
This provides the perfect opportunity to finish on an event being organised by the Ecosystem Knowledge Network with the Tatton Estate and the Country Land and Business Association on Natural Capital for Rural Estate Professionals at the end of October. The latest report from the Natural Capital Committee is an important step forward in defining our rural future – do come and join us to see how this might begin to look on the ground.
This half day workshop is aimed at rural estate owners, managers and their professional advisers. Our purpose is to look at practical ways in which we can work with current policy and technical thinking about natural capital and ecosystem services. We will hear about some tools that are available to help and will look at a practical case study based on a real private commercial rural estate.
You should end the day with an enhanced understanding of the latest developments in this area and some insights that you can start to apply to your own estates and land. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on what you have heard and what you think is needed.
This opportunity is the first of its kind to address these issues from the perspective of a private sector landowner and manager. It is important as we see high level advice to government and future public policy beginning to develop around the natural capital concept.
Programme to include:
• Overview of current issues in rural estate management
• An introduction to tools for scoping, mapping and valuing the benefits of natural capital
• Presentations from tool developers Viridian Logic • The Land App • NaturEtrade
• Small group discussion around a practical example (based on the Tatton Estate with the support of Tatton Estate Management – the largest privately-held estate in East Cheshire)
Organised in collaboration with the CLA, Oxford University, Natural Environment Research Council, Charles Cowap and the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.
Members of the RICS, CLA, CAAV, academics and employees of not for profit organisations can benefit from a discounted admission price.
Registration from 10.45 for an 11.15 start; event closes at 16.30 hrs. RICS Structured CPD hours = up to 5 hrs 15 mins plus further reading etc as appropriate.
Event flyer here
Land Management TODAY – LMT – is published for the first time today. The first edition is the work of a group of postgraduate students at Harper Adams University who came together at the end of June to study a module called Land Use and Management. The first edition contains 28 short articles covering a range of topics. Download your copy of LMT here: Land Management Today July 2017.
Here is the full contents list:
- How farming is set to lose its flavour
- Buying into Ecosystem Services – whetting the appetite for diversification
- Battery storage, the next big thing for energy production?
- Branding: Rural Estates in the head and on the ground
- Bringing Back Britain’s Trees
- Avoiding Failure with Forwards and Futures .
- Smother With Cover: black-grass .
- A Tale of Two Leys
- Will Dairy Cows Ever See a Human?
- Conventional v Organic: Breaking Down Barriers
- Diversity & Inclusion; The £24 billion boost
- Farm smart in the hills
- The Drones are Coming
- Finding your perfect partner: Relationships not Rules for land tenure success
- State Open for Business
- Tax simplification; anything but simple
- Spring Budget Basics for Taxation on Rural Estates
- Brexit for Breakfast
- Agricultural Trade: “Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best”
- Soil Health Subsidies
- Countryside Stewardship Scheme
- Telecommunications-The Implications for Rural Land Owners
- Telecoms and the Rise of Statutory Powers
- Compulsory Purchase: RICS mandates practice with new PS
- Make sure you don’t lose out with Business Rates
- No Growth in the Greenbelt
- Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship and Capital Grants – are you missing a trick?
- H-App-y Maps
- Contributor Profiles
This is the first in what we hope will continue as a series of occasional papers on current topics of concern to land management today.
Rural analysts and activists take note. Defra has updated its rural proofing guidance this week. This will be a key reference for anybody interested in the development and impact of policies which affect rural areas. Why?
Because policy measures are meant to have been ‘rural proofed’. So the criteria for rural proofing are important because they provide a framework for the independent evaluation of rural impact. They are also therefore a sound basis on which to challenge measures which may adversely affect rural economic, social and environmental interests, or to promote measures which will support these interests.
The Defra guidance tells us:
Thriving rural communities are vital to the English economy. A fifth of us live in rural areas and they are home to a quarter of England’s businesses, and generate 16.5% of the English economy. Rural areas face particular challenges around distance, sparsity and demography and it is important that government policies consider these properly.
Rural proofing is about understanding the impacts of policies in rural areas. It ensures that these areas receive fair and equitable policy outcomes. This guidance sets out a four- stage process to achieve this objective.
Figure One of the Defra Guidance offers this four stage process for rural-proofing:
The Guidance goes on to suggest this way to assess rural impact:
Worth a look for anybody concerned with rural policy and development nationally, regionally or locally.