Archive for the ‘FGS Agri’ Category

Cole Ironcraft rings in the changes at St Pauls Cathedral

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Kent-based company, Cole Ironcraft has sympathetically restored a series of ornate railings at the St Paul’s Cathedral as part of a major scheme to refurbish the world famous 18th Century landmark.

In doing so, it has accurately recreated the original vision of one of the country’s most significant architects, Sir Christopher Wren.

It is the latest chapter in the company’s continued involvement with the historic London icon, which spans more than a quarter of a century. Initially, in 1974, WD Cole – which would later become Cole Ironcraft – carried out extensive renovations to the railings to St Paul’s North Churchyard.

And now, some thirty two years later, it has returned to the site to complete a highly involved contract that, as part of a £40million scheme to mark the 300th anniversary of the laying of the final stone of the dome’s lantern, has helped bring the South Churchyard back to its original best.

It comes after the area’s original iron railings, part of the 200 tonnes of original ironwork produced by the master craftsman of his time, Jean Tijou, had been deemed unsafe.

Setting about the highly sensitive works – commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s and overseen by architects Purcell Miller Tritton, whose Managing Director Martin Stancliff is the Surveyor of the Fabric – Cole Ironcraft carefully removed the railings from the original stonework. At the same time, it meticulously recorded which ballister matched to each finial. With thousands of them to work through, this alone was a challenging job that demanded total concentration.

Once removed, the repairable material was first blasted, before being filled and repainted to their original black finish. Any sections deemed beyond repair where recast with the assistance of a local foundry.

In September 2006, Cole Ironcraft began reinstalling the newly refurbished ironwork. Requiring newly created stonework to set into, Cole worked closely with stonemason, Stone West Ltd. In doing so, both companies demonstrated their impeccable standards to produce a finish that is not only of the highest quality, but matched the original works perfectly.

The South Churchyard project was officially opened by the Lord Mayor on 5th June this year.

Cole Ironcraft is part of the Cole Group, which also offers fencing and civil engineering services. The Cole Group, in turn, is part of the wider Countrystyle Group – Kent’s leading waste & recycling and agricultural contracting and managing provider.


Monday, September 8th, 2008

Innovative technology which turns organic matter into biogas – a renewable source of energy and a transport fuel – could play an important part in helping farmers meet strict new environmental rules according to Environment Minister Phil Woolas Treating the manure in on-farm anaerobic digestion plants while it is being stored could produce biogas, which farmers could use as a source of energy.  The treated manure can be returned to the soil as fertiliser. See press release

Grassland and Muck Event 2008

Monday, May 19th, 2008


This years Grassland and Muck Event at Stoneleigh Park is expected to be the best yet, with over 40 manufacturers demonstrating machinery on 160 acres of standing grass with 650 tonnes of muck. Demonstrations include grass mowers, forage harvesters, balers, wrappers, mixer wagons, clamp filling equipment and slurry injection systems.

It promises to be a unique opportunity for farmers and agricultural contractors wanting to improve profitability from their grassland and muck, especially with the dramatic increase in feed and fertiliser prices recently.

For further information please visit Grassland and Muck Event 2008

New government-funded online tool aimed at improving people’s knowledge of waste management.

Thursday, May 8th, 2008


A recent survey of NFU members showed that many in the farming industry remain confused about the Waste Regulations 2006 and how they should be implemented.

To help people understand their legal requirements, has launched a simple to use web-based farm waste learning tool at

It has been created with the help of the farming community and the NFU to provide all the guidance needed on effective waste management in a single reference tool.

Test to detect early signs of Foot & Mouth Disease

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008


An on - farm test for detecting foot and mouth disease has been launched by the Institute for Animal Health.

Rather than opting for the customary method of sending samples to laboratories, the hand-held device can provide on the spot testing to support a clinical diagnosis and give accurate results within 10 minutes.

It operates by placing  a small tissue sample from the suspected animal onto the bottom of the device, which then flows up the device and a line becomes visible in the screen if the disease is present.

This revolutionary device has been developed with DEFRA funding as part of the EU’s Lab-on-site project.

The Royal Show 2008

Thursday, May 1st, 2008



The 2008 Royal Show, proudly organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, is to take place from Thursday 3rd July to Sunday 6th July inclusive. The Show remains committed to promoting the Best of British Farming and also to providing an excellent family day out with action-packed entertainment for the whole family to enjoy!

NEW for 2008 - the Energy & Sustainability Park is an exciting new feature regarding aspects of Energy, Non food crops and bio-energy.

Please visit The Royal Show 2008  for further information.

Biofuels Day

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008



From today, all fuel companies in the UK will have to replace a certain percentage of their annual fossil fuel sales with biofuels, by law.

Known as Biofuels Day, it means that 2.5% of fuel produced in the UK will have to derive from renewable sources such as crops and waste as opposed to oil. The introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RFTO) will mean that all drivers are making a contribution to reducing climate change, without the need for any modification to their vehicles.

Biofuels are made from crops. As the crops grow, they absorb carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere. So the carbon dioxide that escapes when biofuels
are burnt is subsequently absorbed by new plants growing to produce more
biofuels - it’s a ‘virtuous’ circle.

To fulfil the 5% inclusion rate, the NFU estimates that ‘375,000 hectares will be needed for the wheat for ethanol and 840,000 hectares of oilseed rape will be needed for the biodiesel’.

For further information please visit Biofuels Day

Compost Guide for Farmers

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008


A new guide has been published recently by WRAP that aims to provide farmers and growers with expert knowledge on the benefits of quality compost.

The booklet, entitled ‘Using Quality Compost to Benefit Crops’ provides comprehensive information about the numerous benefits of using and applying quality compost made from garden and food waste.

It also highlights the results of a variety of scientific trials on the use of compost, including one conducted on potatoes, wheat, barley and sugar beet on a number of vicinity’s across the country.

The results showed that compost increased crop yields and gave long-term improvements in soil structure.

Bluetongue Vaccine

Thursday, February 14th, 2008


One of the world’s leading animal health companies has confirmed this week that it will be possible to develop a vaccine for the serotype 8 variant of Bluetongue, identified in cattle and sheep over recent months in Northern Europe and Great Britain.

However, concerns are arising over costs, especially as it is still unknown if governments will pay the manufacturers up front or expect farmers to pay their veterinary suppliers directly.

Farming Crisis Network

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

The Farming Crisis Network yesterday released a paper detailing the impact 2007’s flooding, Foot & Mouth and Bluetongue outbreaks have had on the agricultural industries as well as the local farming communities.

As flooding and disease outbreaks spread around the country, the charity’s helpline was inundated with calls and records show that they were receiving five times more calls than they did for the same period in 2006.

The report draws on the observations of FCN employees who worked closely with the farmers affected to ensure that they were given all the help and support needed.

A copy of the report is available to view on the FCN’s Website.