A combine harvests a cereal crop

Field Talk – Summer 2015

We are delighted to announce our re-appointment as NFU Panel firm for Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Wiltshire. The NFU is a vital organisation within the agricultural industry; we are very proud to work so closely with it in supporting its members.

Following the surprise of the general election and the reinstatement of much of the DEFRA team, there appears to be a business-as- usual feel to matters agricultural. Despite the welcome continuity, there remains considerable uncertainty over critical issues affecting the farming industry: the EU in-out referendum, exchange rates, pesticide restrictions, TB eradication, GM technology to name but a few.

Meanwhile the courts are busy making decisions, affecting the operation of agricultural businesses. A perfect example includes the recent employment decision on the treatment of obese workers (see p6).

We also have a new inheritance tax holiday cottage case (Green v HMRC); relevant to those involved in holiday lets. This case highlights the uphill battle facing cottage owners obtaining business property relief from inheritance tax (more about this in the Autumn edition).

The Government has started discussions with farming industry leaders to formulate a 25 year vision for agriculture. We’ll see how this strategy develops, but critical to its success will be the extent to which the Government takes account of agricultural industry views. As evident from the case described on this page, Government decisions soon start to unravel if meaningful discussion is left out.

As ever, please do contact us for a no-obligation discussion if you need further advice.

Tim Hayden

Field Talk – Summer 2015


  • Bovine TB: Agency backs down over changes to approved finishing units
  • Horses: Fifty shades of grazing
  • Residential Tenancy deposits: New rules require action for pre-April 2007 tenancies
  • Care Fees: The critical timing of occupation of farmhouses
  • Farm Cottages: The risks of letting to farm workers
  • Telecoms Reform: Government considers new code proposals
  • Employment: Court decision changes the rules on managing obesity