26th November 2021


Rural Rap

THE EAST MALLING TRUST HAS UNVEILED A £1M FUND TO SUPPORT SCIENTIFIC WORK, reports the Kent Messenger.  It says that its “Director’s Grant” will enable NIAB EMR to support five years of scientific research.   The cash was raised through the sale of land on the 500-acre estate for 400 new homes.  The £1m grant is in addition to funding for the delivery of new research glasshouses and plant growth facilities, home to Growing Kent and Medway.

A MANDATORY POULTRY HOUSING ORDER COMES INTO FORCE ON MONDAY, reports Farming UK and the Countryside Alliance.  Farmers and poultry keepers are being urged to prepare for the new measures as bird flu cases in the UK continue to increase.  It means that it will be a legal requirement for all farmers and keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures.  Keepers are also advised to be vigilant for any signs of the disease in their birds and any wild birds.

THE FORESTRY MARKET HAS SEEN A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR, reports Farming UK.  Average values of forestry are now more than double what they were three years ago.  Forests are seen as critical to growing the UK’s low carbon economy, which is why, alongside natural capital factors, companies and funds are keen to invest.  Accordingly, the sector is attracting unprecedented levels of interest from commercial forestry buyers and financial institutions.  This year, £200.4m worth of forestry properties were traded, at a 21% premium to last year.

FAVOURABLE DRILLING CONDITIONS AND STRONG PRICES HAVE SUPPORTED AN INCREASE IN WINTER CROPPING, reports Farming UK.  However, high input costs may have limited further rises.  The intended UK wheat area for 2022 is forecast up 1.3% year on year to 1.81m ha, higher than the 10 year average and back in line with the 2019 area.  OSR is set to increase by 12.9%.  2022 winter barley is up 2.8%, with spring barley expected to be back 7.7%.

EVENT - Coexisting with BEAVERS: by landowners, for landowners

It is likely that more and more of us will soon be living alongside beavers.  Kent already has a small population of beavers and it seems likely that, following the national consultation, government policy will allow for more releases into enclosures and the wild.

Three short talks from landowners in Cornwall, Essex and Devon who have beavers on their land, followed by a panel Q&A.  The talks will highlight the challenges, benefits and opportunities of coexisting with beavers.

This event is suitable for landowners, land managers, land agents and others in similar roles.

The Spitfire Cricket Ground
Old Dover Road
Canterbury CT1 3NZ

Date & Time:
Monday 20 December 2021
16.30 to 20.30

Three short talks followed by Q&A
Buffet afterwards with the change for further networking and discussion

NB: A livestream via Zoom will also be available.

More info and to book the event is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/coexisting-with-beavers-talk-and-qa-by-landowners-for-landowners-tickets-214527095317

Food Loop

…is seeking 50 businesses and organisations across Kent and Medway to become a FoodLoop Champion.

FoodLoop is a B2B app, connecting Kent food busineses that have surplus food – such as growers, secondary producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and hospitality businesses – with Kent “takers” of surplus food – such as producers, food production companies, social supermarkets, gleanng groups, food banks and other community initiatives.  It aims to reduce food waste, put more surplus fresh food on the table, and help to build Kent’s community.

It is now looking for Food Loop Champions to donate £500 to the cause. 

In exchange, donors receive a Food Loop Champion logo to use on marketing materials, a mention on all FoodLoop promoitional materials, and a ticket to the inaugural dinner of Kent FoodLoop Champions.

To enable the development of the app and to run a 12 month project to build the community, the enterprise needs £43,000.  It has already raised £19,000 through various routes including crowdfunding.

For further information, contact: floortje.hoette@producedinkent.co.uk

AONB KENT DOWNS : Grants for farmers, land managers and landowners

Applications are now open for the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme (link)

The three year scheme aims to fund outcomes for People, Place, Climate and Nature in the Kent Downs.  It is possible to apply for more than one year.  Applications can range from £250k, to no miminum.  Funding can be up to 100%, but value for money is part of the assessment criteria.

Applicants will be supported to carry out projects that:

  • Provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage
  • Support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses
  • Mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • Support nature recovery


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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