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Thread: Sfp on flooded ground

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    Sfp on flooded ground

    If the land on the Somerset levels are underwater for 4 months can they still claim sfp and agricultural land?

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Woke up this morning wondering the same thing. If authorities decide to let your land become wetland bird sanctuary, shouldn't you keep SFP and get compensation?

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    I am in Scotland so this answer may not apply, but this is a question I have been trying to get the RPID to answer in plain language for some time.

    I finally have this about the requirement to maintain functional drainage under Cross Compliance, "Functional in the context of GAEC 5 (Maintenance of functional field drainage systems) means to fulfil the function of removing excess water from the land in order to prevent soil erosion". They have also given me the clear impression that they are not concerned about flooding per se, only soil erosion. So the answer to your question would appear to be "yes", you'll still get SFP, thought I don't think anyone in their right mind would claim to know what these people will do next!

    In fact, I believe the SFP recipient may also enter into a Management Agreement for ditches. He will then get paid for Single Farm Payment under Cross Compliance and under the management agreement, so getting paid twice for doing the same job periodically every few years even though it floods in the interim due to their own negligence!

    I pointed out the choked condition of ditches here in Autumn 2011 and an inspection was duly carried out by RPID staff soon after. The ditches were declared "fit for purpose". In January 2012 my land was flooded to within a few inches of the inside floor of my house which was left on an island surrounded by diluted sewage.

    EIGHT MONTHS AFTER my initial notice, the offending ditch was cleaned out but only then in response to a notice from the Council Flood Team under separate legislation protection domestic property against flooding.

    If I have got this wrong, perhaps someone from RPID will kindly correct me! Just so everyone knows how the government spends our 20% VAT!

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    On a similar note, what about the requirement to retain permanent pasture, i can't imagine grass surviving after being underwater for several months so it will neeed reseeding at which point it can hardly be called permanent pasture.

    And if it is neglect of watercourses by the EA that is responsible then surely it's the EA who are rsponsible for destroying permanent pasture.

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Some few years ago I had a monumental row through the High Court with Defra & Nat England very much based on permanent pasture.

    I will not recount the details as it is not pertinent here but however whilst reading in detail about grassland overseeding in Farmers Guardian, they were recommending overseeding of permanent pasture and then went on to describe a project overseeded and the considerable benefits that resulted therefrom.

    I purposely kept this article for future use if put to the test again. So I think that it is correct that it cannot be considered to be permanent pasture if overseeded following flood or due to necessity of damage due to high water table and consolidation caused by having to access or subsoil following a very wet winter.

    And equally when sending in the returns for SFP these fields should be correctly identified as being new pasture, if this uplifts the value of ones land so be it as this is not a case of the landowners fault but a natural disaster caused by the very wet winter! If you like an act of god or the environment agency - one and the same in their eyes.

    Must finish mounting my KRM seeder onto the einbock grass harrow!

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Quote Originally Posted by RED BULL View Post
    On a similar note, what about the requirement to retain permanent pasture, i can't imagine grass surviving after being underwater for several months so it will neeed reseeding at which point it can hardly be called permanent pasture.

    And if it is neglect of watercourses by the EA that is responsible then surely it's the EA who are rsponsible for destroying permanent pasture.
    But you won't get them to admit liability and you would be surprised how much money they have when it comes to fighting something in court,a friend tried a few years back with a very good case,they just ran him out of money.

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    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Springador View Post
    Some few years ago I had a monumental row through the High Court with Defra & Nat England very much based on permanent pasture.

    I will not recount the details as it is not pertinent here but however whilst reading in detail about grassland overseeding in Farmers Guardian, they were recommending overseeding of permanent pasture and then went on to describe a project overseeded and the considerable benefits that resulted therefrom.

    I purposely kept this article for future use if put to the test again. So I think that it is correct that it cannot be considered to be permanent pasture if overseeded following flood or due to necessity of damage due to high water table and consolidation caused by having to access or subsoil following a very wet winter.

    And equally when sending in the returns for SFP these fields should be correctly identified as being new pasture, if this uplifts the value of ones land so be it as this is not a case of the landowners fault but a natural disaster caused by the very wet winter! If you like an act of god or the environment agency - one and the same in their eyes.

    Must finish mounting my KRM seeder onto the einbock grass harrow!
    In Scotland at least, there is no bar to reseeding permanent pasture at individual farm level. But it still remains as permanent pasture.

    But if I grew a year or to of crop on the field before reseeding, the new ley would be classed as temporary grass for the next five years.

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Springador View Post
    Some few years ago I had a monumental row through the High Court with Defra & Nat England very much based on permanent pasture.

    I will not recount the details as it is not pertinent here but however whilst reading in detail about grassland overseeding in Farmers Guardian, they were recommending overseeding of permanent pasture and then went on to describe a project overseeded and the considerable benefits that resulted therefrom.

    I purposely kept this article for future use if put to the test again. So I think that it is correct that it cannot be considered to be permanent pasture if overseeded following flood or due to necessity of damage due to high water table and consolidation caused by having to access or subsoil following a very wet winter.

    And equally when sending in the returns for SFP these fields should be correctly identified as being new pasture, if this uplifts the value of ones land so be it as this is not a case of the landowners fault but a natural disaster caused by the very wet winter! If you like an act of god or the environment agency - one and the same in their eyes.

    Must finish mounting my KRM seeder onto the einbock grass harrow!
    Could this not be argued to be "over seeding"? i.e. simply filling in the blanks spots where the permanent grass has died..…though rather a lot of them! Left alone, the flooded pasture woud no doubt regenerate in time with natural glasses (plus weeds, of course!). I once heard a child define a net as a lot of holes joined together with string!

    I've also had battles with DEFRA over the meaning of words and at the end of the day they will mean what they want them to mean.

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Comments following mine are noted - Yes, you are very correct. The powers that be will indeed interpret matters how they like and as the very eminent and leading barrister I used said to me '' DEFRA will simply not let you win as they will need to change the law'' it does not matter that you are legally correct - they will nobble you - and yes they did!

    So yes you are again absolutely correct that DEFRA will like to view overseeded fields still as permanent pasture. However that does not prevent one from recording the fields as new leys as I have done in the past.

    I also recall that if buildings are in the same field ie., in my case one field of about 12 acres contains in one corner my emerging farm yard and farm buildings and the farm roadway or track runs at the foot of the field, this takes it out of the equation - I was told and you can do as you like ie overseed or use for other purposes such as normal crops etc.

    The main point I think is to not be too clever or dictatorial if they come back sniffing around and just act daft as this seems to go down best of all certainly with council officials who after a while get sick of trying to explain things to what they perceive to a disposessed village idiot and bugger off!

    Ps It also helps in all areas to have the golden ticket - a pig license for a few hundred free range tillage machines. This really makes Nat Eng groan!

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Springador View Post

    The main point I think is to not be too clever or dictatorial if they come back sniffing around and just act daft as this seems to go down best of all certainly with council officials who after a while get sick of trying to explain things to what they perceive to a disposessed village idiot and bugger off!

    Best advice yet.

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    Re: Sfp on flooded ground

    Loved it!

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