25th September 2020


Rural Rap

A FREE RANGE EGG PRODUCER IS PLANNING A NEW £8M FARM NEAR MAIDSTONE, reports Farming UK.  The proposed Wealden Woods Free Range Farm will be situated on land at Reed Court Farm at Chainhurst, in the Weald of Kent.  The farm, which would accommodate over 190,000 hens, would produce around 60m free range eggs each year, said Kent-based egg producer Fridays Ltd.   The project would also include the planting of over 20ha of woodland and a new public access route.  If approved, the farm will be able to plant 36,000 trees, which is more than 3x those at Bedgebury’s National Pinetum.  farminguk.com/news/egg-producer-looks-to-build-8m-free-range-farm_56603.html

TODAY MARKS THE START OF THE KENT GREEN HOP BEER FORTNIGHT, reports the Kent Messenger.  The fortnight celebrates beers made with hops which are so freshly-picked they’re still green.  It is also the chance to taste the newly-released beers produced by over than 30 of Kent’s finest brewers.  While the usual bus tours to venues are off, there is a list of the breweries taking part on the website at www.kentgreenhopbeer.com.  This coincides with Cask Ale Week which started yesterday – six pubs in the county are offering two pints for the price of one on Doom Bar to mark the occasion.  Shepherd Neame is participating in the occasions with Oast Dodger being in pubs now.   kentonline.co.uk/whats-on/news/feeling-ale-and-hearty-234260/

PUBLIC CONCERNS ARE GROWING OVER THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON UK FOOD SUPPLY, reports Farming UK and Farmers Weekly.  Calls are being made for farmers to have increased access to new technologies as the public highlight their worry over the fragility of the food system in the face of Covid-19, climate change and possible trade interruptions.  66% of adults are concerned of the impact of a second wave on food supplies.  32% are concerned about the availability of fresh food in the UK now or in the next year, compared to the views of food security in other countries.  Notably, the data suggests the public think more should be done to support farmers and food producers, with 52% expressing support for new agricultural innovation such as gene editing.    farminguk.com/news/public-concern-grows-over-uk-farming-s-resilience-to-threats_56583.html

HISTORIC VOTES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS HAVE PUT MORE PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT TO BAN SUBSTANDARD FOOD IMPORTS, reports Farmers Weekly.  The votes on Tuesday sought “a requirement for agricultural and food imports to meet domestic standards” and to beef up the powers of the Trade & Ag Commission to give MPs full scrutiny of its findings and recommendations.  Many members spoke of the dangers of opening the UK’s borders to substandard food imports and its potential impact on British farming viability.  Yet others referred to the NFU’s June petition, which saw over 1m people express their desire for imported food to match UK standards.   fwi.co.uk/news/farm-policy/lords-vote-to-protect-farmers-from-substandard-food-imports

MINISTERS HAVE UNVEILED INITIAL DETAILS ABOUT THE INTERIM SUBSIDY SCHEME FOR ENGLISH FARMERS IN THE EARLY POST-BREXIT YEARS, reports Farmers Weekly.  Eustice confirmed that DEFRA is to roll out elements of future agri-environment policy in 2022 and 2023 that will be a “prototype version” of its ELM scheme, due to be introduced in 2024.  The interim scheme has been dubbed the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and will bridge the gap between CAP and ELM.  Full details are to be published this autumn, before November.  Rather than a “big bang revolution,” it will be a “year on year progress to the end state.”  The key areas of the early years transition will include grants to help farmers increase productivity and efficiency; an end to greening, crop diversification and ecological focus areas; “public money for public goods”; and a phased removal of direct subsidies over seven years, beginning in 2021.  fwi.co.uk/business/payments-schemes/environmental-schemes/eustice-unveils-details-of-stepping-stone-subsidy-scheme


Invites you to join online in support of Kent RABI and Kent FCN. 

Sunday 4th October 2020, 17.30

This year, the service will be hosted online through Facebook and YouTube, and will be brought to you from Brookland Church on Romney Marsh. 

The service will beled by Rev Shuna Body, Rev Chris Hodgkins and Rev Dr Jonathan Arnold, with readings from Krisinta Boulden of Romney Marsh Wools. 


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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