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No. 27             DIVERSIFICATION NEWS             WINTER 2006




All of us at Landowning Initiatives Ltd wish all country people warmth and good cheer at this Christmas time.


The Landowning Initiatives Prayer

Please O God let us hope

that the coming year will be lacking

in beauracratic energy and that the daily visits by the army of inspectors

to our properties will lessen

that the number of those managing our rural payments will not be the same number of people as there are dairy farms

and please let us endeavour to sell our products locally for a fair price.

The Brighter Future

As we go into this Christmas period and as the days get longer, let us ask if there is a light flickering on the horizon as to a brighter future?

At the UK Conference for Commercial Opportunities for Renewable Energy held at the National Motor Cycle Museum on 22nd November 2006 there were speakers from all areas of renewable energy who are anticipating the harnessing of specific areas of alternative energy. The areas included speakers presenting the case for heating with biomass or ground source heat pumps (hot rocks) whilst others explained the way the petroleum industry was changing with blends in standard petrol.

It was explained that 3 Million tons of wheat would produce 1 Million tons of ethanol and that Companies producing bio-ethanol already were looking for new centres of production in Kent and Suffolk.

It was explained that the key problem was the need for Carbon reduction which the public are now beginning to be aware of. With Climate Change there is need for regulation in energy saving and energy efficiency. Up to now it has been generally thought that car emissions have been the main cause of emissions but in recent research it has been found that Communities are responsible for over 50% of Carbon emissions.

There are now enhanced Capital Allowances becoming available which will cover new capital expenditure for business purposes, water efficient devices, water technology and energy saving plant or machinery.

The opportunities lie in making new homes and offices including starter homes which are so badly needed, secure against CO2 emissions and in bringing old buildings up to standard. The area of savings covered includes boilers, heat pumps, lighting, thermal screed, solar thermal refrigeration, pipe work insulation and many other similar areas. There will also be a Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) which relates to residential property including loft insulation or cavity wall insulation which could amount to £1,500 per annum.

The other tax relief's still remain for these projects and include Business Property Relief (BPR), The Business Asset Taper Relief, The Enterprise Investment Scheme and Loan Interest Relief. There may come a day in the next ten years when if a property is not up to standard for CO2 emissions there may be an automatic fine.

So, what has that got to do with the bright future that we talked about at the beginning of this article? Several years ago it was said at the Game Fair that farmers would become the best people to run small businesses. That is almost true today in that very many farmers have diversified and are running businesses they never even dreamt of running. Many of them have been extremely successful at those businesses.

The scenario does not stop there in that the opportunities are coming full circle into the very crops they used to produce for food; for instance Wheat.

Wheat could become a leader in Bio-fuel production, and or farmers could lead the way with Hot Rocks, Geo thermal heat from the land, Biomass or with Oil seed rape production providing oils and heat and energy. There could be the greatest transformation in the ways we get our fuel and energy in the future which will not only add to the CO2 reduction but put £££££s in the farmers pocket. Do not miss what is round the corner as there could be much profit to be made in restructuring your farm either yourself or in conjunction with one or two of your neighbours. Landowning Initiatives Ltd can help you to move forward in this new and profitable area.

The Merry go round of Land Prices

Looking at the farmland review of one of our leading estate agents it is interesting to note that land values have risen 8% nationally in the last year. The awful trend now in the West Country is that smaller farmers, although still struggling, are now seeing the value of their land increasing at an alarming rate.

Whenever a small farm comes on the market, with a nice house, it seems to be snapped up by new money. Traditional farming methods go by the wayside and the new owners diversify into whatever takes their fancy changing the whole concept of that farm.

While this trend will never go away, it would be nice to see some smaller farmers diversifying and making the money instead of investors, so that they could retain their farms and perhaps pass it on to their children.

The Flu

Television Companies last year put us all on a state of alert as a new virus hit our shores and we then experienced overkill in TV news. It is our view that the overkill in the production of television news only goes to increase tension when for instance the smallest amount of information is analysed to find another angle to a story.

This happens with any major incident, drama or now even the weather. All of which come in to our every day life and are flogged to death every minute of the day on every television channel. Let us face facts if there is no news the TV Companies must make it. That is why we now have in red on TV the words BREAKING NEWS.

This applied to the chicken industry when bird flu hit but, it has since then recovered and most chicken companies are now trading normally. However the Rare Breeds section of the poultry industry are still affected by prices and the market has declined in the past six months. This is not breaking news in fact it is of no interest at all except to those in the business. Perhaps this is an area which should be studied by TV Companies so that ordinary news can be reported and there can be pressure brought to start normal trading again.

The news in this area is that Landowning Initiatives Ltd created a new opportunity for a farmer to diversify into chickens and turkeys and good money is now being derived from this business. Only recently have new applications passed the Planners for new chicken houses in the West Country which proves the industry is thriving but the press seldom mention a success story!

Looking after the Pennies

Garages or Stationers and most other small businesses only exist today by carrying little stock themselves. So, when a substantial piece of equipment or machinery is ordered by a customer the organisation doing the business orders the piece required themselves. It is the way very many businesses work and is called keeping an eye on the Cash Flow and keeping interest payments low. Strict credit control methods are employed to ensure immediate payment in return for the delivery thereby employing fewer overheads and making a successful business.

Farming is like the aviation industry (what we have left) in that it demands long term planning over years and very few of the public realise the importance of regular income on time to keep farming alive; so if they are messed around by an incompetent and inefficient Government then that Government should either recognise the importance of these payments on time or pay a penalty.

Sadly the RPA have not yet even considered starting to make the 2006 payments and still 20% of many claims have not been paid from the first round of payments for last year.

It is expected that they may only receive 50% of the second round payments in February 2007, Ireland and France needless to say who value their farming community, have already started paying out the Single Farm payments to their farmers!! Enough said!!

It is of interest to note that by European law the Government was required to give notice to farmers of their definitive allocations by 31st December 2005. This is not only law but is a way of allowing the farmers to plan their year ahead. It is now in breach of its legal obligation.

The issues arising from the delay in the SFP are more complicated. Under European Law the Government had until June 30th 2006 to make payments. If payments were not made by that date it would again be in breach of the European obligation. Will the fine from Brussels be implemented and if so who will the payment fall on. There is one Lancashire farmer who is at the moment suing the Government on this subject for Breech of Contract. We wish him the very best of good fortune.

Everyone who has not been paid should do the same or tell their Bank to send their interest statement to the Government for them to pay. One other way is to file a formal complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman as he is obliged to deal with any matter of this sort.

The Young Shot

There are probably more shoots operating today than at any time in the history of shooting. this is because farmers are looking for more income from diversification methods. Landowning Initiatives Ltd has already started several new shoots in the UK.

With new shoots comes new shooters and the father anxious to teach his son or his daughter. At a party in a well known private house in Devon a father was heard to say "I have just given my son a 100 bird day to join a group of guns", "Oh how nice" was the reply, "has he done much shooting?". "Oh no" was the reply "tomorrow is his first time".

The reaction to these comments was complete anger by the listener who said to the father he should be ashamed of himself for putting the other guns in such a difficult position.

Please don't follow that example and in fact please make anyone taking up shooting:

  1. If he is young walk with an empty gun for 1 year.

  2. If it is an adult then make sure he goes to shooting school at least twice and has someone standing with him when he first appears on the shooting field.

  3. Let the person teaching the novice make sure he understands the basics including only shoot when you can see the sky, take care of ricochet and never fire up or down a slope.

  4. Always break your gun when coming up to someone to greet them and an error that so many people make is when waiting at a stand with your gun under your arm do not keep it towards the horizontal but keep it as vertically up and down as is possible. When next standing in a line of guns look down the line and see how many people are breaking that golden rule. A common dangerous fault.

  5. Never be afraid to ask or shout and always check who is over the hedge.

  6. If you have a dog and want to use it turn politely to the picker up behind you and explain your wish so that they move either back or further down the line. Always look to see where the pickers up are standing.

  7. Never leave your gun up against a Car door or on the bonnet where it can be knocked off or over by a dog. If this happens check the barrels as there is a strong likelihood that if the gun fell on tarmac or a stone area that the barrel has become pitted and therefore dangerous. Something which shows up as a small black dot in the barrels and often difficult to pick up.

Can Landowning Initiatives Ltd set up a farm diversification shoot for you?

The Rape of our Villages

Villages in the West Country are becoming more and more the victim of rape – no not of a woman but of old or derelict property or property with certain ties which are being neglected by planning departments.

Is the Nation twisting the arm of Planners to get its way. Are we as a Nation becoming corrupt in our ways of approaching planning activities. Are favours being asked and are they being given. Is anything different to what it was thirty, fifty or a hundred years ago?

We believe that planning committees are allowing too many people to renovate what was once a farming family house (even pulling it down) and to converting it to a desirable country residence. People are making £100s of £1000s on this racket. These houses, often in an area of outstanding natural beauty, should never be lost to the farming community, mud and all. They are part of the area. The villages are now becoming bereft of young people so there is no one to help in the pub or with the old people.

This type of developer normally only lives in the property for 2 years to avoid capital gains. This is "the rape of a village" and Planning Committees should heed this approach by people coming into the area.

Landowning Initiatives Ltd consider the law on Capital Gains Tax should be changed so that anyone buying a house which they intend selling after refurbishment should have to remain for 5 years so the house is not just for someone using the village to turn over money.


What single word are the following part of:

a. A side riffle b. A Groin c. A Barrier

Who can win a bottle of Berry Bros Champagne. First person to call us on 01404 861 284 with the correct answer.

Stop Press

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Great Milk Robbery on




Correct at the time of gong to press.

Landowning Initiatives accept no liability for errors or omissions.