14th July 2023


Rural Rap


Farmers have been warned after a “hitchhiking” beetle posing “a significant threat to potato crops” was discovered on UK soil for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The Colorado potato beetle has been found in a Kent field and confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) following lab tests.

Read more. 


A huge area of  Kent farmland hosting family attractions, a popular business park and the world’s largest collection of fruit trees is set to be sold off for almost £5 million.

The 146-acre Brogdale Farm, on the outskirts of Faversham, has been put on the market with the potential for “significant further commercial development”.

Read more. 

Medway Council loses £170m HIF funding for Hoo Peninsula

It has been confirmed the government is to pull the plug on £170m of funding promised to Medway Council.

It was reported last month that spiralling costs and scheduling fears had led to a rethink from Homes England over cash from its Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

Read more.

Operation Brock to return to M20 this summer

A traffic-holding system for lorries queueing to cross the English Channel will return to the M20.
Operation Brock sees lorries heading to Dover queue on one side of the M20, with the other carriageway operating as a contraflow.

Read more. 

Permitted development rights: encouragement for camping and filming

Between March and April 2023, the UK Government launched a consultation on potential changes to the permitted development rights. The intention of these changes is to further support temporary campsites, solar panels and film-making.

Read more. 

Discrimination against shooting businesses by banks highlighted by BASC

The disproportionate treatment of shooting businesses and the gun trade should feature in any review into bank account closures, BASC has told the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

In a letter to Andrew Griffiths MP, BASC has highlighted that shooting businesses, clubs and syndicates have been suffering the consequences of disproportionate risk adverse decision making for many years, with sudden unexplained account closures and new account applications refused.

Read more.

New regulations to promote fairness and transparancy for dairy sector

The government has outlined more detail on regulations set to come into force later this year which will ensure supply contracts in the dairy sector are fair and transparent, with farmers being paid a fair price for their produce.

Read more.

National Food Crime Unit seeks more powers to investigate fraud

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a new consultation on giving the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) more powers to investigate food fraud.

 Read more. 

UK-wide crackdown on tractor GPS thefts to commence as crime rises

Thieves who steal expensive GPS technology from farm machinery are being targeted as part of a new UK-wide crackdown.

The newly-launched National Rural Crime Unit (NRCU) has unveiled ‘Operation Walrus’, which will target the criminals and work on prevention.

Read more.

Rural England risks being ‘left further behind’ after general election

Rural England’s population of 9.7 million could be ‘left further behind’ after the next general election if inequalities continue to be ignored, campaigners have warned.

The Rural Coalition, an alliance of 13 organisations who champion rural issues, has set out an appeal for political parties to empower rural areas in election manifestos.

Read more. 

On-the-spot fines for fly-tipping to increase from £400 to £1,000 

On-the spot fines for litter and fly-tipping are set to rise as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, as such crimes continue to impact farmers’ livelihoods.

Read more.

UK tractor sales increase by 6% in first half of 2023 as backlog reduces

UK tractor registrations have risen by 6% in the first half of 2023 as the industry continues to reduce the backlog of order which build up during the pandemic.

The latest figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) have been published, showing that the tractor market is on the up following a tough few years.

Read more. 

NFU calls for industry to collaborate on strategy

NFU Horticulture & Potatoes board chair Martin Emmett has urged the government to pursue the union’s strategy for the future prosperity of the industry.

Read more. 

AHDB chief executive Tim Rycroft to step down at end of year

AHDB chief executive officer Tim Rycroft is to step down from his position in December after two years at the levy organisation.

Mr Rycroft said it would be the “right time” to leave at the end of 2023 following two years of significant change and challenges for the AHDB.

Read more. 

10 ways you can volunteer with FCN 

Volunteers are the front line for FCN in our work to support the farming community. We have a fantastic team of volunteers operating our helpline and conducting case work, but did you know there are many other ways you can get involved in the charity?

Read more. 



NP Seymour's Machinery demonstration days

Orchard Day – Thursday 20 July 10am-3pm
Vineyard Day – Friday 21 July 10am-3pm
Amsbury Farm, East St, Hunton, Maidstone, ME15  QY
by kind permission of Clive Baxter
RSVP hello@npseymour.co.uk

Kent Wildlife Trust Dover Downlands Project Dung Beetle Workshops

Dover area aimed at Landowners/ Farmers/ Vets/ Equestrians, etc.

13th July– Minismoor Stables, near Dover
More details.

14th July- Broadlees Farm, Dover
More details. 

15th July – Great Watersend Farm, Temple Ewell
More details. 

Biddenden Tractor Fest 2023

Biddenden Tractor Fest Holden Farm, Sissinghurst Road, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8EZ.  what3words ///sizes.mopped.dabbling

19th & 20th August 2023

For full details and tickets


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