A combine harvests a cereal crop

Field Talk – Autumn 2014

Welcome to the Autumn edition of our Agricultural Law Briefing. With the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) about to start and Somerset rivers being dredged, it is good to reflect on the progress which has been made over the last year on several issues affecting the agriculture industry.

Elsewhere, however, challenges remain: Tesco’s financial woes do not bode well for producers: one wonders whether Philip Clarke’s replacement will feel bound by Mr Clarke’s pledges to UK farmers, with Aldi and Lidl breathing down his neck.

As the UK regroups after the Scottish Independence Referendum and politicians thrash out devolution, the agriculture industry has already experienced the impact of devolved government: four different versions of the BPS and the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board in England and its resurrection over the Welsh border to name but two. As further issues are devolved, we will no doubt see greater variations in the rules affecting our industry.

A Field Talk goes to press doubtless many landlords and tenants are frantically negotiating new rents and tenancies (see page 5 for some drafting tips). We also focus on legal issues surrounding countryside sports (page 3) as well as the challenge of dog attacks faced by many sheep farmers across the UK (see page 4).

Finally, I am delighted to announce the promotion of Esther Woolford to agricultural disputes partner within our team (see page 6 for her latest article on rights over rivers). As ever, please do contact us for a no- obligation discussion if you need further advice.

Tim Hayden

Field Talk – Autumn 2014


  • Retirement: Caring for the family farm
  • Agricultural Tenancies: Modern proposals for the model clauses
  • Shoot Beaters: Casual workers or employees?
  • Shooting: A risky business?
  • Dog attacks on sheep: A worrying affair
  • Farm Business Tenancies: Drafting Notes
  • Farm Flooding: Landowners’ rights and obligations to clear watercourses