As you may know, for the past 11 months the New Forest Land Advice Service and the Commoners Defence Association have been running the Commoners Mentor Scheme. Last year we recruited eleven mentorees and seven mentors at a Mentor Scheme Open Evening, and formed partnerships that have increased skills, passed on knowledge and created professional and personal connections in the forest.
We would like to replicate the success of the first year of the scheme again in 2017 and would like to invite those that are interested to attend a Mentor Scheme Open Evening on Wednesday 10 May at 7pm in the Trusty Servant in Minstead.
If you are interested in attending or know of anyone who would be interested – please let me know.
Please feel free to pass on this email or attached poster to relevant contacts.
Many thanks, Richard Austin
Volunteer, Training & Mentoring Co-ordinator Direct Line: 01590 64 6661
CLOSTRIDIAL DISEASE IN CATTLE The death of 3 adult cattle on the forest belonging to a single commoner was reported recently. All the cattle died after a short illness. Post mortem examination of one of the carcasses indicated that it died from Haemorrhagic Jejunitis, a severe inflammation of the small intestine, the probable cause being Clostridium perfringens which was isolated from the lesion.
The animal presented as being very dull with complete loss of appetite, scouring with both fresh blood and melena (black tarry blood) in the faeces and a low temperature. It died despite treatment. The other animals belonging to the Commoner have been vaccinated against Clostridial diseases and there have been no further reported cases.
These cases serve to remind us that there is always risk of Clostridial disease which is very difficult to treat in any of its different forms though it is generally preventable by vaccination. If you have any concerns or wish to have your stock vaccinated then please contact your veterinary surgeon.
The link below will give you some further information on the different forms of Clostridial disease
Peter Tunney BVMS MRCVS (Honorary Veterinary Surgeon to the Commoners Defence Association) Seadown Veterinary Group David Coombes BSc, BVSc, MRCVS DBR Cedar Farm Practice
3rd November 2016
What Future for Our Iconic Cultural heritage? Brexit Vote raises concerns for Common Land
The vote by the United Kingdom to leave the EU will have profound implications for many National Parks whose commoners maintain these iconic places. As part of the Uplands Alliance, the Foundation for Common Land has offered to help Defra shape a new positive future for our uplands. We also have immediate concerns that the short-term uncertainty surrounding environmental stewardship schemes places the cultural and natural heritage of commons at risk. Over 4,500 commoners look after England’s most designated and highly valued resource – common land. Iconic examples of commons in England are Blencathra, Scafell Pike, Pen-y-Ghent, the New Forest, and the Dartmoor Tors. Essential to looking after these places is the sustainable management by commoners. Most run small marginal businesses where support payments represents over 40% of their gross farm income. These are required because the market does not pay commoners sufficient money for their beef and lamb to also maintain the cultural and environmental benefits of common land. To correct this market failure the government pays farmers through stewardship schemes to look after our heritage but uncertainty now surrounds these schemes. Julia Aglionby, Executive Director of the Foundation for Common Land says, “In the short term farmers need to know:
whether Defra and Natural England will honour current agreements for their remaining duration (some run till 2024)
if farmers enter schemes during the Brexit negotiations will they run for their full term?”
The uncertainty that is bad for farming businesses is also bad for the valuable cultural heritage such as at the heart of our most loved landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, North York Moors, the New Forest and Dartmoor. The Foundation for Common Land urges Defra to provide clarity as a matter of urgency. The Foundation for Common Land has already started discussions with other members of the Uplands Alliance to help shape a new post Brexit future for the Uplands and a meeting is planned for September to collectively pool our thinking. ENDS 27th June 2016 For further information on Foundation for Common Land please contact Julia Aglionby, 07702 100111 or e-mail email@example.com Notes to Editors
Commons provide more public benefits per area of land than almost any other type of land. This outstanding value and uniqueness arises from hundreds of years of active management by people working collaboratively to meet their livelihood needs. 58% of common land is designated as SSSIs, over 80% is in designated landscapes and 38% of our moorland is registered common land.
The term ‘common land’ derives from the fact that multiple people own rights to graze over the same area of land (i.e.in common) not as often mistakenly thought that the public owns the commons.
The Foundation for Common Land The Foundation for Common Land is a Registered Charity, our charitable objectives are
To conserve for the benefit of the public the agricultural systems and the cultural landscapes delivered by commoning and the management of common land.
To promote the conservation of the physical and natural environment by supporting the responsible and sustainable pastoral use of common land
To conduct and commission research into commoning and common land issues and publish the results of such research
to the public at large
To educate the public in subjects pertaining to commoning and common land
Dedicated resource to reduce animal accidents on roads in the New Forest.
From October 2014, one of Hampshire Constabulary’s speed enforcement officers who’s dedicated to the New Forest, will be using new technology, effective at night, to concentrate on reducing animal related accidents as the nights become longer.
Concerned at the number of commoners’ livestock killed or injured on the unfenced roads across the Forest, the NFCDA has developed a project in partnership with the New Forest Verderers and Agisters and Hampshire Police to highlight the dangers on key routes through the forest, especially at dusk and dawn. The speed enforcement officer will primarily work on routes which have been identified due to human casualties or animal deaths in the past.
In 2013 seventy two animals were killed in road traffic collisions in the New Forest, a further thirty two were injured. It’s hoped that the number of driver casualties and animals that are killed or injured will be reduced this year with the introduction of this new initiative.
Alongside speed enforcement Hampshire Constabulary will: * Address the issue during driver awareness training sessions. * Continue to use the Country Watch exhibition trailer to display animal accident information. * Distribute questionnaires to drivers who have been involved in accidents.
The speed enforcement officer who will be dedicated to accident hot spots in the New Forest said: “I’m delighted that by working in partnership with the CDA, Verderers and Agisters we are able to provide a dedicated resource to tackle this serious issue in the New Forest.”
Jonathan Gerrelli, Head Agister and a Commoner said that “Autumn is an especially important time of year as it gets dark earlier and some drivers may not realise that the risk of accidents involving animals on rural roads will increase because of that.”
TB In Cattle - Advice and Regulations There may be some confusion amongst cattle owners over the rules concerning TB testing, movements, and exemptions. For the most up to date advice please visit DEFRA's websitefor clarification.
Legal Liability for your depastured animals There have been a few instances recently where commoners have been sent threatening correspondence by the insurers of vehicles who have been involved in road accidents involving their stock. To clarify, under the Animals Act 1971, you cannot be held liable. Please read the following extract which explains why.
Animals Act 1971: s8(2) Where damage is caused by animals straying from unfenced land to a highway a person who placed them on the land shall not be regarded as having committed a breach of the duty to take care by reason only of placing them there if: (a) the land is common land, or is land situated in an area where fencing is not customary, or is a town or village green; and (b) he had a right to place the animals on that land.