10th September 2021


Rural Rap

A PROJECT TO BUILD A 114-ACRE SOLAR FARM ACROSS APPLE ORCHARDS IN EAST KENT HAS BEEN UNVEILED, reports the Kent Messenger.  International firm Green Switch Capital wants to install thousands of panels on land north of Chilham and Old Wives Lees, as well as build a 2.4m security fence to protect the sprawling site.  Official plans are expected to be submitted formally in the coming days.  The site, evisaged to provide power for 15,000 homes and have a lifespan of 30 years, will be the size of 86 football pitches.  Titled the North Court Solar Farm, it will be bisected by Lower Ensden Road and also sit beside part of Shalmsford Road.

CLOCK HOUSE FARM IN COXHEATH, WHICH SUPPLIES AROUND 40% OF THE UK BLACKBERRY MARKET, IS TO FEATURE IN A NEW TV ADVERT FOR M&S, reports the Kent Messenger.  The series of M&S adverts, entitled the “Fresh Market Update,” aims to shine a spotlight on the lengths its Select Farmers go to across the country to deliver home-grown produce.  Oli Pascall, MD of Clock House Farm, will champion his Victoria blackberries which are known for being substantially sweeter than others.

VINEYARDS FARMS HAS SOUGHT PERMISSION TO CONSTRUCT A WINE PRODUCTION FACILITY ON LAND IN CUXTON, reports the Kent Messenger.  This marks the next stage in ambitious plans for a “world class winery.”  Earlier this year the company unveiled designs for a state-of-the-art visitor centre, restaurant, coffee shop and presentation room imagined by Lord Norman Foster of Wembley Arch fame.  The CEO said that he wants to “kickstart a wine revolution in England, with Medway at the centre.”

KENT RESEARCHERS HAVE ESTABLISHED A METHOD OF SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING IVF IN CATTLE, reports Farming UK.  The team from the University of Kent and the University of Nottingham has developed a means of identifying a subset of embryos that rarely lead to a live birth, less than a 5% chance, due to carrying chromosome disorders.  The process improved overall pregnancy rates in cows by 7.8%.

THE RELEASE OF PARTIALLY TREATED SEWAGE IS NOW PERMITTED BY THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY, reports the Kent Messenger.  Water and sewage companies are being given permission to release waste water that has not been properly treated into rivers and seas if they can’t get hold of the necessary chemicals because of “supply chain issues.”  Sewage treatment chemicals are now being added to a growing list of items UK companies are struggling to get hold of.  A regulatory position statement has been posted on the government website.

EXPANDING HEDGEROW COVER ACROSS THE COUNTRYSIDE WOULD HAVE MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS, reports the Times and Farming UK.  The government has been told to set a target to increase the UK’s hedgerow cover by 40% by 2050 as recommended by the climate change committee.  The new research from the CPRE said the move could generate 25,000 jobs over 30 years and for every £1 invested in hedgerows, £3.92 would be generated for the wider economy due to key environmental and economic benefits.  Ultimately it would be a win-win-win for climate, nature and the economy.

A NEW CRIMINAL OFFENCE FOR PET ABDUCTION IS SET TO BE INTRODUCED FOLLOWNG A RISE IN WORKING DOGS STOLEN DURING THE PANDEMIC, reports Farming UK.  The offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced and will highlight the welfare of animals and acknowledge that pets are valued more than property.  A growing demand for puppies as a result of lockdown saw prices rise, catching the attention of criminal gangs.  Working breeds such as cockers and springers were high up on the list of most frequently targeted breeds.


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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