8th September 2023


Rural Rap


KENT winemaker Balfour Winery has launched a shuttle service to the nearest railway station, to attract visitors to its tours and tastings from London.

The winery says it can offer a 45-minute journey time from central London, by running its new shuttle bus service to and from Marden station, timed to coincide with the trains.

Read more. 


Information is being sought after a distinctive wheel from vintage farming machinery was stolen near Ashford.

Read more. 

NFU calls for stop in BPS reductions as farmers in ‘perilous place’

The NFU has urged the government to halt reductions in BPS payments – due to fall by another £720m this year alone – until delivery problems with the new post-Brexit scheme are resolved.

Read more.

Dover: Site transformed into wetland habitat for rare species

An area of “reclaimed” land is being transformed into a wetland habitat for rare and threatened species.
Dover District Council (DDC) said a 27 hectare (0.1 sq m) site at Blue Pigeons Farm on Worth Marshes would deliver “noticeable benefits” to wildlife.

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Former Boris Johnson aide picked for new Weald of Kent seat rated one of the country’s safest

A former Downing Street advisor to Boris Johnson has been picked to contest the county’s newest parliamentary constituency for the Conservatives.

Katie Lam, now a special advisor to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, won a tightly contested selection battle for the Weald of Kent seat.

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Soft fruit AI tool launches to market following £2.8m backing

A new digital forecasting tool to maximise planning and profitability for soft fruit growers will soon launch to the market after £2.8m capital was raised from private investors.

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Win for local communities as NDMP scrutiny amendment is passed in the Lords 

In a huge step forward for local communities, the House of Lords on Monday voted through an amendment that ensures both the public and parliament have a say on any new national planning policy created by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB).

Read more.

Defra’s Hedgerow Consultation: Take part before 20th September

As part of Defra’s efforts to protect hedgerows in England, they launched a consultation in June to gather your views and suggestions. So far, around 2,000 people have responded to the survey.

The consultation will close on 20 September, so there is still time for you to have your say and help shape the future of hedgerow policy.

Read more. 

Tesco calls for govt to back green innovation

Stand by net zero and support environmental innovation, urges Tesco boss as supermarket unveils rapid expansion of low-carbon fertiliser trial.

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy has called on political parties to stand by their net zero commitments and give businesses the confidence to invest.

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What does rejoining EU’s Horizon scheme mean for UK research and innovation?

The UK has rejoined the flagship Horizon Europe research programme, to the widespread relief of the scientific community. But what is Horizon Europe and what does it mean for UK science?

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CMA launches review of vet sector

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a review looking at consumer experiences and business practices in the provision of veterinary services for household pets in the UK. It will explore how well the market, worth over £2 billion in the UK, is working for pet owners including whether they are receiving the information they need at the right time to get appropriate treatment for their pets.

Read more.

CLA welcomes new Shadow DEFRA Secretary as Labour reshuffles top team

The CLA has welcomed the new Shadow DEFRA Secretary, Steve Reed MP, into the role as part of Labour’s reshuffle this week.

Mr Reed has been MP for Croydon North since a 2012 by-election and replaces Jim McMahon in Sir Keir Starmer’s top team.

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Government gives ground on oil boilers following Alliance campaigning

The Energy Bill passed the House of Commons Tuesday (05 September) after the Government adopted an amendment along similar lines to those tabled by George Eustice MP who sought, with support from the Countryside Alliance, to offer an alternative to the proposed ban on replacement oil boilers from 2026.

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National Rural Crime Action Week is back!

National Rural Crime Action Week, which will take place between 18th – 23rd September 2023, has one key aim; to make the countryside a hostile environment for criminals. This week will show new partnerships being forged between police forces, rural crime campaigners, rural crime watch volunteers, private technology companies and rural communities to make our countryside a safer place.

Read more. 

Help us celebrate game meat heroes

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Eat Game Awards, where we celebrate and reward those who are helping to promote game meat as a sustainable and healthy food source.

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Local areas supported to progress onshore windfarms

Onshore wind projects supported by local people will be approved more quickly in England, in new measures being brought forward by the government Tuesday (5 September 2023).

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Pace of delivery of new SFI scheme ‘unacceptable’ body says

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has slammed the government’s pace of its delivery of the new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme as ‘unacceptable’.

Read more. 

Back British Farming Day: Farmers urge MPs to show farming strategy

Farmers are set to use this year’s Back British Farming Day to encourage MPs to have food and farming at the forefront of their strategy to win votes in the next general election.

Read more. 

Calling all fruit growers

Call for entries for the National Fruit Show in its 90th year – apples, pears, soft fruit and nuts. Competition schedule now available.

Read more. 

Weald of Kent Ploughing Match - Saturday 16th September 2023

We look forward to welcoming you all to the Weald of Kent Ploughing Match at

Reed Court Farm, Hunton Road, Chainhurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 9SX
by kind permission of Fridays Ltd and sponsored by BTF Partnership.
Gates open 8am.

For full details and tickets


Gravesend & Rochester Agricultural Association Ploughing Match - Saturday 23rd September 2023

Lillechurch Farm
Lower Higham
Kent, ME3 7HW

Starts 9.30am

For full details and tickets


East Kent Ploughing Match - Wednesday 27th September 2023


For full details and tickets


The National Fruit Show - 1st & 2nd November 2023

Kent County Showground, Detling

9.00am-5pm daily.

Free to attend and full programme of events and speakers over two days including keynote speech given by Minette Batters, President of the NFU.

Tickets to dinner (1 Nov, 6.30pm-midnight) with champagne reception and networking now for sale, contact info@nationalfruitshow.org.uk

Come and celebrate the 90th year of the show and support the industry as it looks forward to a bright future.

For full details, to enter fruit or cider or to register attendance click here.

CLA Rural Business Conference- Thursday 30 November 2023

This year’s CLA Rural Business Conference ‘Competing visions: the future of land’ will help those who own or manage rural land to make sense of the vital role of land in an increasingly political and polarising landscape.

Taking place at the QEII Centre in central London, our flagship event will allow landowners and land managers to explore the complex relationship between themselves, consumers, corporations, governments, environmentalists and political campaigners.

More details.