SCORES of farmers are set to head for the Malvern Hills today to find out about new subsidies being awarded in one of the biggest changes facing the industry in 30 years.

A total of 600 farmers are due to attend the two sessions at Malvern's Three Counties Showground today to find out about the Single Payment Scheme.

The event is one of 16 taking place across the county to explain to farmers how to claim the new subsidy and is being organised by the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs and the Rural Payments Agency.

The changes - which came into effect in January - means farmers will no longer be paid according to how much they grow, or how many animals they keep, but according to how much they used to get, or how big their farms are.

Farmers have had to book places for the event beforehand and there will be a morning session and afternoon session which will include presentations on the scheme with details of the application form and how to apply.

There will also be question and answer sessions where individual farmers' concerns will be addressed directly will be an important feature.

It comes as Oxfam has accused the Government of exaggerating the scope and effectiveness of changes to the controversial European Common Agricultural Policy. The welfare charity has said the changes would not benefit the environment or end overproduction to the extent politicians say they will.