Following the conviction of (former) Stody Estate gamekeeper Allen Lambert for the mass poisoning of birds of prey (see here and here), has anyone seen any sort of public statement or apology from the Stody Estate, Norfolk? We haven’t…
We noted with interest a comment from one of our readers (Rob – see here) who suggested asking the Rural Payments Agency whether they’ll be imposing a fine on Stody Estate Ltd’s Single Farm Payment due to a breach in Statutory Management Requirement 1. (See here for details of the cross compliance regulations).
We thought we’d have a look to see how many agricultural subsidies Stody Estate Ltd has received over the years (i.e. money given to them from our taxes to help them farm on the condition they look after the wildlife and wildlife habitats under their management). Here’s what we found a couple of days ago on the excellent Farm Subsidy website (although bizarrely, when we looked today we couldn’t find it) -:
2012. Direct payments under European Agricultural Guarantee Fund: 457,570 EUR
2012. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: 274,710 EUR
2011. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: 498,617 EUR
2011. Direct payments under European Agricultural Guarantee Fund: 427,449 EUR
2010. Direct payments under European Agricultural Guarantee Fund: 444,050 EUR
2010. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: 190,052 EUR
2009. Rural development programmes: 113, 382 EUR
2009. Sugar Restructuring Fund: 58,102 EUR
2009. SPS (Single Payment Scheme): 345,027 EUR
2009. Additional amounts of aid: 139 EUR
2009. Irregularities EAGF – Assigned revenue: -842 EUR
2008. SPS (Single Payment Scheme): 366,524 EUR
2008. Rural development programmes: 135, 922 EUR
2008. Aid for energy crops: 3,630 EUR
2008. Additional amounts of aid: 232 EUR
2007. SPS (Single Payment Scheme): 356,453 EUR
2007. Aid for energy crops: 3,862 EUR
2007. Additional amounts of aid: 190 EUR
2007. Irregularities EAGF – Assigned revenue: -49 EUR
2006. SPS (Single Payment Scheme): 266,781 EUR
2006. Aid for energy crops: 1,053 EUR
2005. Area aid for producers of cereals, oilseeds, proteins, grass sileage and set aside: 254,699 EUR
2004. Aids for producers of cereals: 168,223 EUR
2004. Set-aside: 66,370 EUR
2004. Agri-environment-Farmer system (2000-2006): 39,030 EUR
2004. Aids for producers of peas, field beans & sweet lupins: 31,836 EUR
2004. Aids for producers of soya beans, rape seed & sunflower seed: 16,821 EUR
2004. Aids for producers of non-textile flax seed and hemp grown for fibre: 7,398 EUR
2004. Forestry – New system (2000-2006): 303 EUR
2004. Forestry – Former system (2000-2006): 294 EUR
2004. Other expenditure related to direct payments for arable crops: -30,722 EUR
In total, this amounts to 4,538,719 EUR (£3,549,122.60 GBP).
However, we also found something else on the Farm Subsidy website (which again, bizarrely, we cannot seem to find today). Another recipient was also listed whose address was given as Stody Estate Office, Melton Constable, NR24 2ER: a company by the name of GC & FC Knight Ltd. According to this website, GC & FC Knight Ltd was the former name of Stody Estate Ltd – it was changed to Stody Estate Ltd on 17th December 2002.
So how come, on the Farm subsidy website, GC & FC Knight Ltd are listed as having received 1,264,590 EUR (£991,049,56 GBP) between 2000-2004, if the company changed it’s name to Stody Estate Ltd in 2002?
All very strange. Unless of course the subsidies are paid two years in arrears? If anyone can enlighten us, please do!
Either way, it’s clear from these records that the people farming on Stody Estate have received millions in agricultural subsidies. In light of their gamekeeper’s conviction for mass poisoning using banned pesticides, it would be very interesting to find out if the Rural Payments Agency will be considering a substantial fine for breach of the subsidies regulations. Surely they have to show that wildlife crime doesn’t pay? You can ask them here: email@example.com
UPDATE: 10 October 2014 – the Rural Payments agency responds here