Tel: 01404-861629/284 – FAX: 01404-861106/629

Email: – Website:

No. 32             DIVERSIFICATION NEWS             NOVEMBER 2010

Christmas and the New Year.

Christmas is a special time and the New Year is a time to look forward to families getting together whether large or small. It is a time to talk about the future and discuss new ideas and to recognise the ambitions of the young who one thought were perhaps too small last year to contribute to the discussions. Perhaps they have in the past year grown up that little bit to be able to make a contribution.


The Power Revolution and the Alternative Power to the Grid

Does alternative power become profitable to us as Citizens? We hear much about the need to reduce the emissions in every country in the world. There is a great need in every country for the reduction of burning fossil fuel, some countries more than others. The leading producers of non fossil fuel are the Scandinavian Countries where they have been concentrating on the reduction of emissions for many years now.

The UK has been aiming at a 20% reduction in fossil fuel and for the first time the nation seems to be responding to the important new feed in tariffs. One of the schemes provide a payment of 9p/kw for plants over 0.5kw and

11.5p/kw for plant under 0.5 MW. The higher rate is intended to recognise the capital cost of plants which increases markedly per kw as plant size reduces.

The United Kingdom is now forging ahead with its non fossil fuel programme which, it is said, will benefit everyone with reduced fuel prices. Even private households are sourcing their own fuel supplies thereby reducing their electricity bills.

For those who own larger areas of ground including landlords and farmers the choice is even wider. They can grow alternative crops such as biomass, willow or “miscanthus” These crops are basically wood chips either with a hollow or a solid stalk. The solid stalk having less moisture in it therefore enabling a longer burning time.

In addition to this a large area can be put down to photovoltaic cells which is a glorified solar heating system and after the initial investment and connection charge, can be an extremely profitable project for farmers and landowners. However it is essential to, investigate the tax position, ownership of the cells and the position of planning permission.

If there is muck around or should one say muck and waste then the choice should be an anerobic digester. This is the process of biodegradation of complex organic matter to its simpler chemical constituents, ultimately producing methane and carbon dioxide by a consortium of bacteria, in the absence of oxygen. The cheapest digester is available around £40,000. plus the connection charge.

There are two options for Anerobic Digester models as to what they are fed, either "Imported feedstock" or "farm produced" feed. To discuss this further Landowning Initiatives is working with Dr Kevin Monson, a principal consultant in Anaerobic Digestion.

An alternative suggestion is, if there is water on the land. This can be harnessed by various modern water wheels which are very popular with the Climate Change Minister Mr Greg Barker.

Power can be created from some of these Turbine schemes up to 1 Megawatt which is considerable and this can power many homes with electricity so perhaps your Village should look at a scheme and help the farmer by producing a community project.

Landowning Initiatives Heat & Power Centre are able to advise so contact us at: or talk to us on 01404 861 284.


The Interest raised recently by the shooting of the Emperor Stag on Exmoor, raises the question as to whether the policies of some landowners are too commercial in pursuing a policy for money and not for sport.

Should the word "National Trust" ensure that the National Trust's in the UK and Scotland are upholding the sporting interests of the whole Nation on their properties or should a wider consideration be given specially to the subsequent effect of the culling of too many deer by landowners in the interests of grouse development in Scotland?

The National Trust has, for many years, run an excellent organisation as guardian of our Nation's treasures.

In relation to houses they have generally protected the nation’s old cultural and beautiful buildings for us all to see and enjoy. Families have passed them on to the nation when they were unable to keep them in the time honoured fashion and so considerable numbers of historic houses and estates and areas of beauty have come into their ownership.

They have been entrusted to look after them in the way that they were run when in a family or private ownership: That is why they were called the National Trust, however, in some circumstances the requests in wills and the policy that surrounded these estates has been ignored by the Trust.

An example of this happened when the President of the National Trust for the Minehead and West Somerset Centre Sir Robin Dunn resigned over the way in which the hunting ban was handled by the Trust.

He resigned because of the reprehensible way the National Trust went about banning deer hunting on its land. He gave three main reasons:-

  • His concern over changes in the management structure which vitally affected the Holnicote Estate.

  • His unhappiness about the procedure adopted by the National Trust Council when instigating the ban the day after the report by Professor Bateson, giving no time to reply to the inaccuracies in the report.

  • The “most reprehensible aspect” of this decision was – that it contravened the wishes of Sir Richard Acland who bequeathed the Holnicote Estate to “the Trust” of the National Trust and to the Nation.

In 1935, The National Trust for Scotland purchased a property called Mar Lodge Nr Braemar which was originally a Hunting lodge in Edwardian times.

Deer and other species have been managed on the estate for the past 200 years and this is shown in the ballroom at Mar Lodge where there are two thousand four hundred and thirty five stag heads displayed.

The National Trust for Scotland says on their web site that “The Estate is managed to conserve its landscape, archaeology, buildings, wildlife, and to provide public benefit through access and conservation. Current work includes reducing red deer numbers in order to promote the natural regeneration of native Caledonian pine woodland and improving the existing forestry plantations for wildlife by removing fences and non-native trees”.

In order to preserve this policy a severe Culling Policy was introduced which has now been running for 12+ years. This has been so severe that there are few resident Deer now on Mar Lodge. The Mar Estate, an estate next door, on the other hand runs a well balanced policy.

The Mar Lodge policy is affecting the circle of evolution which is now considered to be in serious danger of being broken especially having an effect on the survival of moorland birds including grouse.

This is also happening on other Scottish estates where landowners want to improve their estates for grouse. It is not understood that so much hangs on the deer’s existence including keeping the heather down and even breaking the crusted snow in winter so the birds can then feed. If this culling goes on it will lead to the birds disappearing.

It is worth remembering what happened in a similar fashion in America when the Buffalo herds were being attacked and the Elephant herds were reduced in Kenya from 150,000 to 15,000 in just three years. Chief Seattle of the Idaho Indians in America and repeated by Anthony Seth Smith an African white Hunter and one of the most knowledgeable naturalists in Kenya said:

“Man treats his mother the earth and his brother the sky as thing’s to be brought, plundered and sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and have left behind only desert. What is man without beasts? If all the beasts are gone Man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. (Chief Seattle)” Written with out prejudice.

Mandois Champagne

A Champagne for Christmas?

In driving through Epernay in France several years ago my wife and I went to a four star restaurant in the Middle of Epernay. When we arrived there was a waiter standing at the door with a glass of Champagne on a silver tray. We were give a glass as a welcome which was a wonderful way of receiving ones guests even if the Maitre de Hotel was going to give you a big bill at the end of your meal.

At the end of lunch we asked the chef what champagne was it and could we go and see the Champagne House. We were directed to the House of Mandois and we were given a great welcome. Naturally we came away with some of the Mandois champagne and have been ordering it ever since. The Mandois Tariff covers three wines:

  • The Collection Classique @ from £16.50 - £21.00

  • Collection 1735 @ £18.70

  • Collection Unique @ £21.90 - £24.20

Ordering can be done through the Landowning Initiatives Web Site with payment by cheque in advance 20 days plus a handling fee.

Don't miss a wonderful Champagne.

The Assessment of the Carbon footprint

Sustainability is a key word today and an assessment of that sustainability is up for discussion now like it never has been before.

The reduction of emissions is the pass word to greater local production of energy and with this in mind Landowning Initiatives is at the moment developing a scheme to help in the Reduction of Carbon emissions in the country areas of the UK and some urban areas.

The objective is that over an 18 week period a graduate accesses the Carbon footprint of a certain area and then reports to the small town, village or country area about the alternative ways the emissions can be changed and what energy can be conserved to a greater extent.

This scheme will affect ordinary households as much as:-

Offices, Shops, Garages, Pubs and Farms whether large or small, to see how alternative uses could be employed to reduce emissions and save on energy production and carbon emissions. This is a very exciting scheme which is being developed to start with, within three local areas. Perhaps you have a particular Parish in mind which would be interested in having an assessment.

If you are a graduate or you are looking for a regional position to supervise such a project then just contact Landowning Initiatives Ltd on 01404861284.

Equestrian projects in India

Landowning Initiatives has registered a Company called “The Indian Equestrian Development Ltd” This has been set up to develop Equestrian projects in India. and a sister organisation has been set up called the Indian Equestrian Development Foundation (IEDF).

These two organisations are showing the way in building holiday houses called “Havelie’s” from where people can ride locally or go out on Safari. Following on from that development, the IEDF is creating the Anglo Indian Pony Club Society through the riding clubs in India. They are also developing an Import Export side to the whole venture.

The operation is being run by a Chief Executive in the UK and supporting Directors both in the UK and in India.

The organisation is now anxious to find more people interested in supporting the whole venture whether by having a hands on activity or purely by being a friend of the organisation.

If more information is needed regarding this very exciting venture then please send us an email on or to look at the Indian Video please click here or telephone on 01404861284.

The Agricultural Directory

Don’t forget to put your name or the name of your business on the Agricultural Directory free of charge. If you want the enhanced or the deluxe version this will cost £50.00 or £70.00 for two years and you will have room for 2000 words with a direct connection to your website.


Landowning initiatives is available to discuss with Clients their new approaches in farm diversification in the light of new opportunities developing.

Please ring 01404861284.

Have you ever experienced riding the Cresta Run?

Happy Christmas

Correct at the time of going to press.

Landowning Initiatives accept no liability for errors or omissions.