Vickers and Barrass is a firm of Rural Chartered Surveyors offering a professional land agency service throughout the North East of England.
The business was established by Harry Vickers in 1973 and in September 2012 it was acquired by Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Limited to expand their range of services. TH Vickers Limited trading as Vickers and Barrass is now fronted and managed by Adam Barrass BSC (Honours in REALM, MRICS, FAAV) and Harry Vickers (BSC FRICS) who continues to work as a consultant.



From week commencing 12 September the RPA have started to make FDM reimbursement payments. FDM was collected from 2014 SPS payments and a reimbursement will be made to those whose BPS 2015 claim value is in excess of 2,000 euros. The criteria for deducting FDM originally from 2014 SPS payments is different to the criteria for reimbursing it. This means farmers who didn’t have it deducted originally could still qualify for a reimbursement payment. The RPA will be sending a remittance advice which will clearly show the payment is for a FDM reimbursement.
If you are in doubt please contact the Tow Law office.


DEFRA are making changes to temporary holding numbers (CPH). You don’t need to do anything unless you receive a letter from British Cattle Movement Service. The BCMS are making changes to simplify the rules on reporting livestock movements and some farmers will be able to simplify how their farms are registered. This may reduce the number of livestock movement reports they need to submit. A new 10 mile rule has been introduced which means you will be able to apply to register under the same CPH number all of the land you use within a 10 mile radius. This will cover land that you use permanently or on a temporary basis. All land covered by a single CPH whether permanently or temporary will be treated as part of that CPH for disease testing and restriction purposes. The BCMS are hoping this will significantly reduce the amount of work involved in movement reporting and recording. To merge your CPH numbers you will be asked for the CPH number you wish to merge, the type of livestock you keep, the length and type of tenure (owned or leased). For further information and guidance please see


If you registered your waste exemptions in 2013 you must now re register with the Environment Agency to avoid risking a hefty fine.

The (EA) is expecting to receive approximately 70,000 farmers to apply on line to either re-new their application or apply for a new licence. These waste exemptions allow you to handle small quantities of a low risk material and dispose of these on your land. The EA should have written to you recently to let you know your licence will be expiring soon. There are 26 exemptions that can be applied for and these must be registered to a specific place.  This licence can be for your own farm and the outlying land managed as part of your farming unit.

If you need to re-apply or for any further help please contact Pat at the Tow Law office.


Natural England have not yet confirmed the dates for Mid or Higher Tier applications but are hopeful the 2017 round will be based on similar dates they set for 2016.

In March this year the application period opened and will close at the end of this month and the applications will be ranked, scored and selected in October. Agreements will be offered to applicants between October and November.  Agreements which are either accepted or rejected must be submitted to Natural England by 15 December for a 1 January 2017 start date.

The new Hedgerow and Boundary applications are expected to be rolled out in February next year. Vickers and Barrass were very successful in the last round and obtained approximately £60,000 of grant aid funding for clients from Natural England for walling and hedgerows. If you have an Entry Level Stewardship Agreement which has or is expiring this year and you are interested in applying for the Hedgerow & Boundaries grant please contact Pat at the Tow Law Office.

DEFRA have confirmed that all EU subsidies will be paid until 2020; however Vickers and Barrass are unsure how this will affect any schemes offered by Natural England. The new Higher and Mid-Tier schemes run for 10 and 5 years respectfully which would take any agreement holder passed 2020. We have put this question to Natural England and they have said they have not received any guidance and are waiting for further information.


Vickers & Barrass were recently appointed as sole agents for this impressive Grade II listed 6 bedroomed farmhouse situated in a prime location in Northumberland.  Highlaws Farm is a renowned mixed stock and arable farm consisting of approximately 121.10 hectares (299.24 acres) of productive pasture and arable land together with 4.04 hectares of woodland all in a ring fence.  The farm also benefits from a good range of traditional and modern outbuildings.

For more information please visit our website or telephone Adam Barrass on 07796 306404.


Jointly favoured with instructions from R G Russell & Company Limited

Vickers and Barrass

Chartered Surveyors

in conjunction with

Harrison & Hetherington

Farmstock Auctioneers, Brokers & Valuers

Will offer for sale by auction, due to a change in farming policy, on

SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2016 at 11 am


A comprehensive selection of agricultural machinery and farming equipment to include


For full inventory and pictures please click here


The National Sheep Association has announced that the major sponsors for one of the sheep industry’s most important events, NSA North Sheep, will be Tow Law based rural chartered surveyors Vickers & Barrass in conjunction with Darlington Farmers Auction Mart.  Returning to County Durham 2017 NSA North Sheep will take place on Wednesday 7 June at West Shields Farm near Tow Law, courtesy of W.H Smith & Sons a family run partnership managed by John Smith alongside his two sons David and Alan and his nephew Jim

Vickers & Barrass (formerly T H Vickers & Sons) are firmly cemented in the local rural and agricultural community and have been operating as auctioneers and valuers for over 65 years.

Darlington Farmers Auction Mart is a long established Auction centre based in the heart of County Durham within the town boundary of Darlington, DFAM is the main centre for sales of prime cattle and sheep in the north east of England, the company also handles large numbers of store and breeding stock at weekly and seasonal sales throughout the year.

Vickers and Barrass offer a wide range of services from sales of farm property and farming stock, farm management, valuations, dispute resolution, compensation and compulsory purchase claims and Basic Payment Scheme claims together with Environmental Stewardship matters.

With clients stretching from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire, Adam Barrass practice manager at Vickers & Barrass Chartered Surveyors and Andrew Armstrong director and senior auctioneer of DFAM explain why they were so keen to be a part of next year’s NSA North Sheep.

“We are very closely linked to the Smith family at West Shields Farm and the wider farming industry in this area. Many of our clients are sheep farmers and when the NSA announced that 2017 North Sheep would be held so close to our main office and on one of our clients’ farms we felt it was important to be part of it.”

NSA North Sheep is a key biennial showcase for the UK sheep industry and has a reputation for bringing together industry innovators. The thousands of visitors expected to flock to West Shields Farm will see first-hand how a progressive County Durham farming family operates their 900 acre traditional mixed farm with a commercial sheep flock of 1,350 Mules. They will also be able to attend talks by industry professionals and businesses aimed at giving farmers the chance to bring themselves up to date with the latest developments in sheep farming.

Event organiser Heather Stoney-Grayson, commenting on the announcement, said

“Vickers and Barrass and Darlington Farmers Auction Mart have been supporters of NSA North Sheep for years so it is wonderful that they are to be the major sponsors this year.  Support like this is absolutely integral to the success of the event. Vickers and Barrass have really strong ties to the local farming community and they are well respected and have an excellent understanding of the sheep industry so they are without doubt a perfect fit for North Sheep and our values.”

As an organisation the National Sheep Association (NSA) represents the views and interests of sheep producers throughout the UK, receiving tremendous support from everyone connected with the industry. The NSA is funded by the memberships of its sheep farmers. Together with the many industry related activities it is involved with, it aims to ensure that it plays a key part in every aspect of the sheep farming sector.

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Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU there has been a lot of concern and uncertainty regarding future EU funding for farmers. As predicated by Vickers & Barrass the Treasury have announced that farmers will receive funding until 2020. In a recent press release it appears that all funds that would otherwise come from the EU for the years up to and including 2020 that currently pay for Basic Payment Scheme, the greening element and the Young Farmers Top up payment will be met by the UK after withdrawal from the EU.


Natural England has recently written to agreement holders who have ELS and HLS agreements with rotational arable options. This is to inform Natural England where your rotational options are located. These options have to be clearly marked on your claim form which should have been submitted prior to 16 May 2016, however if the location has been changed or you were unsure where the option was going to be then Natural England need to be informed before 1 September 2016. There is further guidance on their website.

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