Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland  (Read 2901 times)

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:17:41 am »
Some of you may know that I am a trustee of an organisation called Smallholding Scotland https://smallholding.scot

The Scottish government is currently consulting on what agricultural and rural supprt will look like post Brexit https://consult.gov.scot/agriculture-and-rural-communities/economy-post-brexit-transition/
Smallholding Scotland has been invited to meet with officials to discuss what sort of support Scottish smallholders want.

We're very concerned that it is proposed to close the Small Farm Grant Scheme, which is the only scheme targetted at small farmers and smallholders. It was a new scheme in thsi iteration of CAP; it's for holidngs 3ha to 30ha to support agricultural investment (buildings, fencing, land improvements). It's a mirror of the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme BUT it has an income bar of £30k for an individual and £40k for a couple - to ensure the money went to "the right people". The uptake has been pathetic - about 8% of the £1m a year budget spent.

Now with our EU exit, there will be far more focus on "value for taxpayers money", so schemes will have to demonstrate a contribution to "common good", so do smallholders contribute to "the common good" and if so, how?
Should we be seeking a reduction in the minimum acreage from 3ha to say 1ha?

Thoughts very welcome. It's likely that we'll be meeting w/c 9th July. The consultation closes 14th August.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 10:25:44 am »
<< Should we be seeking a reduction in the minimum acreage from 3ha to say 1ha? >>

Given the shocking take up there's clearly something that needs to be modified about the scheme. 
How much and what type of research went into deciding on that size?
Who did the original research (assuming there was some)? 
To me, 30 h is a small farm, and as we know from TAS many smallholdings are under 3 h (including us, by about 0.1 h  ::) )


So the first point to look at is why the small farm grant scheme has been such a flop:
We need to look at how relevant the grants are to real smallholders. I can only imagine how much paperwork such an application involves, and how many hardworking smallholders can afford the time, or have the knowledge, to make a grant application worth the effort?  How many people actually know about the scheme, or how to find out about it? 


We should be looking at how many other restrictions on how any work is done are in place.  For example, fencing grants are available, but you have to use an approved contractor - there is no provision for doing the work yourself.  As that grant is for only a proportion of the work and materials, this can involve the smallholder in a greater cost than just doing the work themselves.  That was our conclusion when we looked into the scheme - hence our first fencing way back when being a bit wonky...  We didn't consider applying for this small farms grant (quite apart from our missing 0.1h to make us eligible) when we set about building our big barn.  We just saved up and got on with it, eventually producing a building we are happy with, made of materials we want, not just another sectional tin shed.


Whilst we were still eligible for a subsidy, we applied to have our hedgerows included. We had to provide maps - very detailed and of course accurate maps, which needed quite a bit of effort to produce.  Eventually after some to'ing and fro'ing, we received our award, £13.20 to cover 800m of hedgerow and associated fencing.  Later we were informed the amount was to be adjusted, and after a suitable pause, our new amount was communicated - it had reduced to £13.12.  Once the 3.0ha limit came in, we stopped applying and sold off our entitlements, as much because we were shocked at how much time some clerk in an obscure corner of an office building had had to put in to come up with that grand sum, as because of the waste of our time (see Womble's thread on how we value our time).  That might help explain why this Small Farm Grant Scheme has had such a small impact.


That's my first point out of the way - taking a look at what is wrong with the original scheme, before we start to think how to improve it.  I'm sure I'll be back  :D


I will say that I am alarmed at how little time there is for you to come up with your input of what smallholders want.  This really needs some facts and figures, not just opinions.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 10:27:47 am by Fleecewife »
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 12:07:04 pm »
Having had a quick look at some possible reasons why the Small Farm Grant scheme has not been a success, the next step is to look at what smallholders actually need and want by way of support.

This is a great opportunity to influence the future of smallholding in Scotland so it's worth a bit of effort to think clearly.  There is some money available out there, but not in free-flowing amounts, so if it's headed in our direction surely we should know what we want to do with it?  Rather than just modifying the existing Small Farm Grant Scheme by extending the hectarage it applies to, lets go back to fundamentals and find out what we really want.


Do we want buildings?  Is that the first area we think of when looking for support?  Or do we want more support for what we as smallholders actually do?  There are endless possible smallholding activities such as growing vegetables, raising crops and livestock, selling produce, camp sites, B&B, working to improve our environment and supporting wildlife in all its forms - any and all of these activities have a valuable output and are worthy of government support.


One thing smallholders do so well is keeping rare breeds of livestock.  Larger farmers are likely to prefer modern commercial breeds which can make them a profit, whereas many smallholders are working on a smaller scale, where they are free to pick and choose their livestock, taking into consideration their local land and market conditions, taste of the meat, aesthetics, conservation, future proofing genetic variance and supplying small quantities to specialist customers. All these things are likely to be more labour intensive than similar commercial scale alternatives, so will cost more, both in the doing and in the marketing. Sometimes it seems that the preservation of our rare breeds is being left to the whims and altruism of smallholders, who are already severely disadvantaged. 
It's worth reiterating: our rare breeds are a reservoir of genetic variation which needs be preserved so that, as the world climate changes, people's eating preferences change and farming practices necessarily change, there is a pool of genetics to pick from to create new breeds which can thrive in the new conditions and markets of the future. Many of the new commercial breeds fare very well today, but when all changes tomorrow they themselves could well become rare and we will be seeking new breeds which are perhaps more self sufficient, lower input of feed and labour, smaller carcases for changes in human eating habits, multi-purpose and beautiful when the countryside becomes Theme Park Scotland and if folk don't like what they see then it has to go.  Thus the importance of preserving rare breeds, not just for smallholders but for the whole population. That sounds like your criteria 'for the common good'.


Britain used to get support for keeping rare breeds from the EU, in common with all other EU countries.  However, the last female PM traded that subsidy for a big rebate and thus our subsidy was lost.  It would be great to have rare breed support back, but I think you, Rosemary, may be the only person who can get that message to where it will be heard.


I appreciate that not all smallholders keep rare breeds, but I can only speak of what I know and a rare breed subsidy is one point only.


Whatever subsidies we do get, they need to be simple and straightforward to administer (agriculture is still reeling from the farce of EU subsidy payments).  Subsidies also need to be simple and straightforward to apply for - that applies to both large farmers and smallholders as no-one has time to waste on inefficient systems.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 12:20:03 pm by Fleecewife »
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 02:03:36 pm »
The 3ha minumum applies to all access to the current CAP schemes. The EU minimum was 1ha; Scottish Crofting Federation had lobbied for 1ha and thought they had got 2ha but when the schemes were published it was 3ha (it's 5ha in England and Wales), soa lotof crofters and smallholders are automatically excluded from applying.
The income bar on the SFGS also excluded a lot of people.

No matter how good your plan, if you were less than 3ha or had an income of £30k as an individual or £40k as a couple you couldn't apply.
No other CAP scheme takes into account the personal income of the applicant, includig the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme.
Removing the income bar would be a good start.



Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 02:13:14 pm »
From my perspective it's failed for several reasons:
1) I didn't know about it;
2) The income bar would mean I couldn't afford the mortgage on the place, far less feed myself and any livestock so unlikely I would qualify;
3) As with all the grant schemes, if you're not a big enough unit to have an agronomist fill in the forms, the paperwork is prohibitive (particularly when factoring in that you have to work full time to pay the mortgage and insurance as well as finding time to croft so the extra admin time for paperwork is a burden rather than a help and not good value for money in terms of return on investment);
4) The "contribution" as Fleecewife has pointed out is paltry.  I've also been rebuilding dry stone dykes, planting hedging, re-fencing etc at my own expense because the grant system is biased towards large producers.

It seems that the Scottish Government is more focussed on keeping civil servants employed on paper-pushing exercises than actually looking at the contribution smallholdings can make to the economy in terms of:
- higher welfare standards;
- stewardship and safeguarding of rare native breeds whose genetics will be required in future generations as the "industrial agriculture" of the past couple of generations implodes (we already know that whereas rare breeds predominantly live on thin air and water, birth without assistance and are great mums, the commercials need massive input of feed to grow fast, often require intervention at birthing and frequently birth more than they can raise);
- nature conservation and diversity through smaller pastures, traditional landscape features, and more ecologically sound ground management;
- mixed agricultural units - enabling better natural endoparasite management and fewer monocultural issues;
- lower food miles "grow your own", "local stockist produce", "honesty boxes" etc.

I'd love more/better buildings, but at the moment there are other priorities, like paying the bills and keeping the livestock secured... and I simply can't afford to fund the new buildings so we "make do and mend".

Maybe options such as:
- semen and embryo collection and transfer on farm for our rare breeds would be a benefit to some, particularly where access to fresh bloodlines is a problem. 
- Access to machinery of a practical size for our paddocks - I can't be the only one who struggles to get contractors because the size isn't big enough and can't fund all the machinery required for harrowing, aerating, rolling, cutting, turning, baling, wrapping, stacking, moving etc.  This has been exacerbated over the past decade or so with so many of the smaller tractors heading straight to Eastern Europe rather than into the smallholder economy.  Many of us do what we can, beg, borrow and steal from neighbours, and have to put up with being messed around by contractors who are fitting us in... often resulting in our hay being ruined because the big boys could pay more to make more because they have the funding behind them.
- putting money into an advice service that allows us to tap into agronomist services for things like grassland management, rotational cropping or grazing, animal husbandry practices etc.  FAS has a few events of this nature that are helpful, but unfortunately they're often held mid-week when most of us have to be in work.

I'd also like to see units over a certain size completely barred from subsidy - many of these are owned by pension funds or wealthy landowners who do little farming but live from the funds...with tenants doing the work but not receiving the money.  From a diversification perspective there should be a requirement for every 20Ha to have at least 5 different "crops" (whether that be grain, grass or animal), and not averaged over the entire unit but literally taking a snapshot from the air, every 20Ha block should provide diverse forage for wildlife rather than vast plains of monoculture.  The exception should be where that is not feasible (such as mountainous land which only supports goats or sheep etc).


I agree with much of what Fleecewife has posted too.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 02:14:00 pm »
<< Should we be seeking a reduction in the minimum acreage from 3ha to say 1ha? >>

Given the shocking take up there's clearly something that needs to be modified about the scheme. 
How much and what type of research went into deciding on that size?
Who did the original research (assuming there was some)? 
To me, 30 h is a small farm, and as we know from TAS many smallholdings are under 3 h (including us, by about 0.1 h  ::) )

I don't know who came up with the 30ha but remember it's a Small Farm Grant Scheme to cover small farms and smallholdings. It's, in every way, exactly the same as the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme other than the 30ha maximum and the income bar.

I don't know how the 3ha minumum was decided either. As I said, the EU minuimum is 1ha, E&W is 5ha.

Quote
So the first point to look at is why the small farm grant scheme has been such a flop:
We need to look at how relevant the grants are to real smallholders. I can only imagine how much paperwork such an application involves, and how many hardworking smallholders can afford the time, or have the knowledge, to make a grant application worth the effort?  How many people actually know about the scheme, or how to find out about it? 

The application isn't all that hard. I'd have applied but our income was too high. However, I'm now applying as my business, which is a limited company, and isn't excluded on teh basis of income.

The grant was very poorly publicised. The Farm Advisory Service could have done more for sure as could Scottish Rural Action. ScotGov didn't seem to care about publicising it. I told them two years ago that the incoem bar and lack of publicity was aproblem and they did diddly squat.

Quote
We should be looking at how many other restrictions on how any work is done are in place.  For example, fencing grants are available, but you have to use an approved contractor - there is no provision for doing the work yourself.  As that grant is for only a proportion of the work and materials, this can involve the smallholder in a greater cost than just doing the work themselves.  That was our conclusion when we looked into the scheme - hence our first fencing way back when being a bit wonky...  We didn't consider applying for this small farms grant (quite apart from our missing 0.1h to make us eligible) when we set about building our big barn.  We just saved up and got on with it, eventually producing a building we are happy with, made of materials we want, not just another sectional tin shed.

There is provision for doing the work yourself an dyou can claim 40% of the estimated cost.

Quote
Whilst we were still eligible for a subsidy, we applied to have our hedgerows included. We had to provide maps - very detailed and of course accurate maps, which needed quite a bit of effort to produce.  Eventually after some to'ing and fro'ing, we received our award, £13.20 to cover 800m of hedgerow and associated fencing.  Later we were informed the amount was to be adjusted, and after a suitable pause, our new amount was communicated - it had reduced to £13.12.  Once the 3.0ha limit came in, we stopped applying and sold off our entitlements, as much because we were shocked at how much time some clerk in an obscure corner of an office building had had to put in to come up with that grand sum, as because of the waste of our time (see Womble's thread on how we value our time).  That might help explain why this Small Farm Grant Scheme has had such a small impact.

Intersting but not a comment on the current scheme -although the complexity is the same. You really need a big project to make it worthwhile applying - but you can include multiple projects in a single application.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 02:39:54 pm by Dan »

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 10:42:13 pm »
I have never really looked at the SFGS scheme as I am a crofter but I understand that the scheme is more or less the same as the CCAGS scheme except for the income bar that has been mentioned (please correct me if I am wrong).  Hopefully that means that my experience of the CCAGS scheme applies, at least in part, to the SFGS.

Incidentally the CCAGS scheme used to have an income bar and an ownership bar (only tenants were eligible to apply).  I have no idea why they were in place and why they were lifted and why the income bar has been applied to the SFGS.

I have been through the CCAGS system 3 1/2 times (the fourth application is waiting for approval) and I have been through the Rural Priorities (RP) system once (tree planting grant).

1) CCAGS is a simple process.  It is deliberately so as the gov has tried to make it easy for crofters to apply themselves.  Yes, the first time you go through a form it might not be clear what they want but a 2 min call to the area office or to someone who has done one before and they will point you in the right direction. 
The RP application was phenomenally complex and required specialist knowledge - there really is no comparison between them.
Back in the old days (so I am told) you could just put up a fence (or whatever) then call the department and ask for a grant to cover it - this was doubtless abused (I am sure some people built the same fence every year for years on end) and the gov now has to ensure that applications are justified and meet the objectives of the scheme.
Realisitically I don't think it's possible to get a simpler scheme and so there is little point in asking for one.  Perhaps the guidance notes that go with the scheme could be improved to make it clearer how to write the answers that they are looking for on the application form.

2)  I don't quite get the lack of publicity argument.  Its all on the Rural Priorities website.  Paperwork is a sad fact of life and (nearly) no-one likes it.  Every other farmer has to keep unto date with the rules and regs so why should it be any different for smallholders.  I am frequently amazed by the lack of knowledge that smallholders have of the "system".  Like it or not keeping sheep is not just about lambing and feeding but it is also about record books, SCOTEID, withdrawal periods and grants.

3)  The CCAGS scheme is really broad, with a bit of imagination, most of the projects that I would consider could be shoehorned into it somehow - I imagine the SFGS scheme is the same.  Even at its lowest level it contributes 40% of the cost of a project (LFA and/or under 40 and it goes up more) which is not insignificant.
You can do any of the work yourself (as long as you can tell them you have enough skill to do a competent job) and they pay you at set rates (e.g. its about £8/hr for your labour, £15/hr for your own tractor or digger).

4)  The Gov is currently running a scheme to support women in agriculture (my wife has been along to 3 seminars / on farm training days which have been really good (so I am told)).  The soil association occasionally does on farm training days.  The SCF runs short courses in various skills.  I have no idea how all these are funded but guess it comes out of CAP funding somehow.  There really seems to be a lack of something similar for smallholders (and I know Rosemary does a great effort in what she does here).  The knowledge base of smallholders* does seem to be pretty poor both in terms of the systems/grants and in agricultural knowledge (at least when you see 3 sheep, 2 horses and a billion thistles and dockens in a field it suggests that someone doesn't know how to get the best out of their ground!)
*complete generalisation which ignores the fact that there will be many who are very professional in all that they do.

So in summary
- fight to keep the SFGS
- the income bar probably isn't fair or helpful
- get some kind of technical support / training aimed at smallholders

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 09:24:36 am »
Small Farm Grant Scheme,never heard of it.
Wot Scarlet Dragon said

Looking at the application form " Your local area office will assess the value of your labour " that would be minimum wage then, the more I read the form the more I am disinclined to apply.
As for part 10  , a goat allocated 1sq meter   :roflanim: ! mine have rather more than that, no mention of indoor pigs either .
I think I will pass and avoid the stress of filling it in

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 09:40:30 am »
Small Farm Grant Scheme,never heard of it.
Wot Scarlet Dragon said

Looking at the application form " Your local area office will assess the value of your labour " that would be minimum wage then, the more I read the form the more I am disinclined to apply.
As for part 10  , a goat allocated 1sq meter   :roflanim: ! mine have rather more than that, no mention of indoor pigs either .
I think I will pass and avoid the stress of filling it in
If you'd bothered to read oor willie's contribution above, you'd see tat the labour rate is about £8 and hour.
I'm pretty sure the floor areas aren't compulsory either.

Great if you can afford to improve your holding - not applying is your choice. But, in principle, smallholders' contribution to the rural economy shoudl be recognised and supported. That's my view anyway.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 12:37:53 pm »
With such disparate views already expressed, I think it will be difficult for one organisation to present 'the smallholder's view'.  I think your contribution Rosemary will bear more weight, being official, nonetheless the Scottish Government is also asking for contributions from all smallholders given directly.  I think it would add weight to smallholders; opinions if we all also respond direct online.  Having come across the put-down of 'it's not smallholding in Scotland - it's crofting,'  I think we as smallholders need to take every opportunity to make our existence and needs known.


I think it is worth taking notice when folk are talking of the difficulty of filling in forms, and the need to keep it simple.  Paperwork and official speak which is second nature to some, is anathema to others, and this is a real point from grass roots.  The official terminology which slips off the tongues of many, causes others to shut their minds and reject the whole scheme - and these may well be the ones who would most benefit from support.  As you are representing a cross section of smallholders, this difficulty needs to be included.  I know the jargon springs from the need for absolute clarity, but often plain English would be best, plus perhaps even a translation into Scots, as well as Gaelic.  It's all about reaching the intended target audience.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 12:43:15 pm by Fleecewife »
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 01:16:18 pm »
Well said Fleecewife!

another thing to consider for Scottish Smallholders - especially the further North you are - is the lack of infrastructure.  For example in the past 13 years access to nearby abbatoirs and butchers who will cut your meat has all but disappeared. Feed suppliers have more or less priced the small producer out of the game. Just recently we have been told by Genus that they will no longer support a daily service. So, from being a producer of rare breed sheep and goat meat we are now only selling through the marts and we no longer will replace our stock. In effect we have now become 'hobby farmers' with expensive grass cutters. So, maybe the smallholder would be more inclined to pursue some form of subsidy if there was an assurance of an end use for what we produce.   

I also agree with Fleecewife that the forms are far too onerous.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 01:56:27 pm »
In terms of the forms, it's not simply the jargon it's the time it takes versus the return on the investment.  If it takes 2 hours to find the right form, read the guidance, complete the form and submit and you get £13.10 for 800m hedging as a result... frankly it's not worth the effort.  You could get £20 just by offering to cut the neighbours grass lawn for a week and that would likely take less than an hour!

The complexity I can deal with... part of my day job is reading reams of legislation, regulation, policies and procedures and assessing what organisations need to do to comply.  I advise on things like Criminal Finances Act, GDPR, Cyber Security and employment legislation amongst other things for a living... but when you get "guidance" that's so vague the area office can't answer the question (or more to the point, tells you they're not allowed to answer the question because you should take professional advice to clarify what is meant - which means they don't understand it in my opinion as you're not asking them what to do, just what the question means and whether you should include or exclude X from the answer) there is something wrong with the system. 

In terms of Fleecewife's £13.10; you can bet that the "processor" who dealt with the claim was paid more than that for processing it; particularly given that it appears that they had to process it twice to generate the correct figure... therefore the cost of processing the claim outweighed the benefit to the claimant.  If I was the auditor on that piece of work, I'd be asking some serious questions about value for money in following the public pound and it wouldn't be of the smallholders!!!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Cuddles

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 06:37:39 pm »
So I'll reply in two parts...

First off, a shameless bump for this thread as I think it deserves more responses.  I would love to have access to the SFGS to make improvements around here but the income bar is a killer.  how are you meant to afford a smallholding, pay a mortgage on said holding but still earn less that 30K or 40k combined??

And secondly, and a bit controversial to stir thing up :)  ...  what do the responses so far (or lack of) tell us about a typical scottish smallholder?
 - Are our smallholdings merely a hobby or a secondary source of income (hah!) and not really treated as a proper business?
 - is the cost of fencing/building repair/machinery & equipment inconsequential based on our other income streams?  (...I wish!)
 - are we quite content with our lot and don't really see the need to drive our smallholding business forward by improving the quality of our livestock/produce etc
If the answer is yes to the all of the above then I guess there is no need for any additional financial support.

Or, is there a real desire out there to build on what we currently have but feel we are being denied access to funding due to unfair and over restrictive conditions that have been set by the scottish government?

If it is the latter, then by the sounds of things, its only going to get worse.  So if you don't speak up now then you can't really complain when the schemes are all gone. 

I think thats the bear poked...

Cuddles

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 08:11:18 pm »
Living wage here £8.15 (scource Aberdeenshire council )
Floor area maybe suggested but maybe suggested by a "snivel sepant" whos's only been to a petting farm

Both my neighbours were coerced into developing wildlife corridors along the boundary of their land , paperwork, contractors, looks good but " wildlife" cant access the corridor due to the height of the in spec fence. No evidence of wildlife, no payment made , both livid.

Cuddles,
 Are our smallholdings merely a hobby or a secondary source of income (hah!) and not really treated as a proper business?  Often seen as "good lifers ,  must already have money and often a nusance to officialdom
 - is the cost of fencing/building repair/machinery & equipment inconsequential based on our other income streams?  (...I wish!) Cost of fencing , purchasing and maintenance of infrastructure all out of the day jobs income
 - are we quite content with our lot and don't really see the need to drive our smallholding business forward by improving the quality of our livestock/produce etc Never content must always continue to improve, livestock, infrastructure and environment
Funding offers always seemed overly complicated and way too restrictive and mainly suited to the larger commercial farmer 
Yup this bear well poked
Now off to lie down in a dark room ( unsubsidised of course   :)  )


oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Post Brexit support for smallholders in Scotland
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 10:18:21 pm »
Fleecewife, can I ask what scheme you applied for your hedging under?

It is just that under the SFGS you would have gotten 40% (+20% if you are in an LFA. + 20% if you are under 40 - so either 40% or 60% or 80%) and that is of total costs - plants, fencing materials and labour (regardless of whether it was your labour or a contractors).  A rough fag packet calculation suggests that a 800m double fenced hedge under the SFGS would attack a grant of somewhere between £5-10k.

I don't doubt for a minute that there have been some pointless / badly planned schemes in that past (which I suspect your example came under) - there possibly still are, but if the example of £8.13 for 800m hedging is from a different scheme then lets not use it to beat the SFGS.


If people think a couple of hours finding out about the guidance and filling in the forms for a grant of £5-10k is too onerous then I think I am in the wrong job!


I just think that it is a (potentially) very good scheme based on my experience with its sister scheme.

 

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Central Scotland Smallholders

Started by doganjo (10.51)

Replies: 32
Views: 9286
Last post November 19, 2011, 04:44:48 pm
by doganjo
Central Scotland Smallholders

Started by doganjo (10.51)

Replies: 14
Views: 6308
Last post June 17, 2012, 08:34:51 pm
by doganjo
Central Scotland Smallholders AGM

Started by doganjo (10.51)

Replies: 7
Views: 1846
Last post February 01, 2013, 10:57:07 am
by doganjo
Central Scotland Smallholders AGM

Started by doganjo (10.51)

Replies: 0
Views: 827
Last post February 23, 2016, 12:06:03 am
by doganjo

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