Hugh Townsend has for over 25 years been the country's "go-to" commentator on farm quotas and rural surveying issues affecting farmers. Having become the country's leading and most innovative quota agent he was broadcast to 3.8 million listeners on Radio 4's PM programme interviewed by Eddie Mayer on the 1st April 2015 – the Dawning of Europe without Milk Quotas, click here.  More recently BBC1 interviewed Hugh Townsend on the future of farming following the Referendum, click here.

Hugh Townsend has over the years developed the most creative arrangements to promote an efficient market in farm quotas, in the early eighties developing leasing milk quota without land before the Milk Marketing Board introduced leasing for a part of the milk year. 

He represented clients in leading legal cases defending transfers of milk quota and developed the new system of second TQ1 forms protecting the transfer of quotas with land. 

In 1991, with Farmers Weekly he produced the first sale price index countrywide and started to publish farm quota sales and leasing graphs which are still published by Farmers Weekly and other publications and can be seen on our Milk Quota & Entitlements pages. 

On BBC television he has defended dairy farmers who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals in the farm quota market and was again on television to comment on the "footballers buy milk quota" rumpus. 

He regularly writes for Farmers Guardian and the South West's Western Morning News and our experienced team is sought after for their comments on farm quotas.


Pocket Guide – Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Introduction to Nitrate Vulnerable Zones A Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) is an area at risk of pollution from nitrates due to agricultural activity. The areas are designated by DEFRA and include approximately 55% of land in England. If your holding is in such a zone then the use of nitrogen fertilisers and storage of organic…

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22.04.2020 – Western Morning News – Crucial to assess risk of run off (NVZ2)

As part of the current farming rules for water enforced by the EA, it is an offence to let fertiliser enter surface water. The risk of run-off from your fields must be considered, and if there is risk then you must not spread. Once the fertilisation plan and field records are complete then, if spreading…

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15.04.2020 – Western Morning News – Up-to-date records are key for NVZ compliance

As we all cope with the impact of Covid 19 along with all the usual Spring tasks on the land, there are also some very important farming deadlines to meet that cannot be overlooked.  These include Basic Payment and Stewardship claims, but also NVZ records need to be completed by the 30th April. We set…

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25.03.2020 – Western Morning News – Capturing carbon and trading

Over the past few years, Government policy has led to an increase in demand for woodland carbon projects with the Committee for Climate Change of 2019 building upon the Climate Change Act 2008. Stating a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, this makes the UK the pacesetter amongst the major world economies. All…

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20.03.2020 – SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

To download/view newsletter click here                        

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11.03.2020 – Western Morning News – Change to claim rules for Young Farmers

Under English BPS rules, there are only two circumstances in which new entitlements can be issued to claimants by the RPA, which are to Young Farmers and/or New Farmers. A New or Young Farmer can apply only once to receive entitlements equal to their total eligible land area minus the number of entitlements they already…

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26.02.2020 – Western Morning News – Staying on the right side of the rules will ensure you get your payments

Countryside Stewardship (CSS) payments are ultimately based on your land/holding management meeting a set of rules. That means the RPA needs to be able to check that those rules are being met. One way do this is to send inspectors onto the holdings of agreement holders. A percentage of holdings are inspected at random each…

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19.02.2020 – Western Morning News – Claims need not be complicated

The application period is now open for agreements to start on the 31st January 2021. These must be submitted by the 31st July 2020. Last week we discussed the variety of options available under the Countryside Stewardship scheme, which offers public money for environmentally beneficial land management. However, there is a complex administrative process behind…

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12.02.2020 – Western Morning News – Stewardship agreements can bring a variety of benefits

The application window for 2021 CSS agreements opened on the 11th February. In her speech to the Oxford Farming Conference on the 8th January, DEFRA secretary Theresa Villiers guaranteed that anyone accepting a 2021 agreement will be able to exit without penalty if they move into the New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS) once it…

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15.01.2020 – Western Morning News – Number of factors may influence 2020 entitlement values

Entitlements allow farmers/landowners to claim a payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). For each entitlement they own a farmer may claim BPS subsidy for one hectare of eligible land they farm, with the minimum claim being 5 hectares in England. Applications for the BPS can be made online or on paper using a BPS…

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