27th August 2021


Rural Rap

A KENT FARMER HAS NAMED HIS SPRAYER “TOKYO” TO COMMEMORATE A GOLD MEDAL WIN BY HIS DAUGHTER AT THIS YEAR’S OLYMPICS, reports Farming UK and the Kent Messenger.  Fred French, who farms 2,500ha near Gravesend, received “Tokyo” on the same day that his daughter, Kate French, won Gold in the Modern Pentathlon.  Modern Pentathlon includes fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running.

SEVEN POLICE FORCES ACROSS ENGLAND HAVE TEAMED UP TO TACKLE HARE COURSING, reports the BBC and Farming UK.  The borders between the forces, which include Kent, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, have been removed, making apprehending and prosecuting offenders easier.  The agreement, which has been completed with the support of the CPS, will assist the use of ANPR, the seizure of dogs and the sharing of all interactions and movements of people suspected to be involved in hare coursing.

A SPRAWLING 500-ACRE KENT FARM IS UP FOR GRABS, reports the Kent Messenger and Farming UK.  Bramling Court Farm in Wingham has gone on the market for £6.2m, leaving housing developers and budding Jeremy Clarksons licking their lips.  Agent Savills describes the farm as having “significant development opportunities.”  There is no planning consent for homes on the site, but bids are expected from developers.  However, the Littlebourne Parish Council says that developing the farm would put additional strain on the already busy A257.  Alternatively, Bramling Court is a working commercial farm and its sale could spark interest from those looking to cash in on its rich, arable land, or for a new way of life.  It is available as a whole, or in three lots.

PLANS TO RELEASE BEAVERS INTO THE WILD IN ENGLAND HAVE BEEN SET OUT IN A CONSULTATION, reports the Countryside Alliance.  The move marks a cautious step towards further reintroductions and establishing native beaver populations.  Under the proposals, applications for licences to release would need to meet certain criteria, including demonstrating positive stakeholder engagement and local buy in, and proof that a comprehensive assessment has been undertaken on the impacts on surrounding land, the water environment, infrastructures, habitats and protected species.  To participate in the consultation, the link to do so is available here:

THE IMPACT ON WILDLIFE OF THIS YEAR’S UNSEASONAL WEATHER COULD BE CONSIDERABLE, reports the GWCT.  While the weather has played havoc with the harvest, we should also stop to consider the impact on wildlife.  The grey partridge, known by conservationists as the “barometer of the countryside,” is one species likely to be affected by a dry spring and a wet July and August.  The Partridge Count Scheme wants your help to find out just how much of an impact the summer’s weather has had on our wild grey partridge population.  It is a voluntary initiative that, since 1933, has been collecting information on the abundance and breeding success of the species.

JOHN LEWIS HAS LAUNCHED A NEW MATTRESS RANGE USING 100% TRACEABLE, SUSTAINABLY SOURCED WOOL, reports Farming UK.   The collaboration between John Lewis and Waitrose seeks to prevent unnecessary waste, support farmers and re-establish wool as a highly sought after and widely used commodity.  Wool has been under-utilised for decades, with the price offered not even covering the cost of shearing, let alone transportation.  Farmers are often forced to burn or bury the wool after shearing.


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

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