11th March 2022


Rural Rap

KENT’S RURAL TASK FORCE DETAINED 11 PEOPLE LAST MONTH, reports Kent Police.  The team also seized 18 vehicles, reported 12 people for traffic offences, investigated 33 incidents of poaching and 18 wildlife crimes.  The team have patrolled rural communities and responded to reports of hare coursing.  This led to nine people being issued with a Community Protection Warning for the offence.  Information on the hare coursing suspects were then shared with neighbouring forces as part of a seven-force collaboration.

KCC HAS LAUNCHED ITS CONSULTATION ON “PLAN TREE.”  Plan Tree is the council’s proposed Tree Establishment Strategy for Kent.  The strategy includes ambitions for increased trees and extended tree canopy in Kent, and the principles that should underpin any tree establishment to achieve this.  It also outlines objects, as well as actions planned for the next 10 years.  Views are now sought to ensure that KCC has a suitably ambitious, but achievable strategy.  To respond:
Plan Tree consultation: Have your say on Kent’s new tree establishment strategy – KCC Media Hub

CREATING CULTIVATED MARGINS ON FARM CAN SUPPORT WILD BEES, reports Farming UK.   A new study from the GWCT shows that cultivated margins, created by leaving narrow strips of shallow ploughed land to regrew from seeds left in the soil, provide excellent habitat for solitary bees.  While floristically enhanced grass margins available through agri-environment schemes proved beneficial to bumblebees, the plants offered less support to solitary bees.  The GWCT advocates that, where possible, both habitats should be provided.

THE PUBLIC SECTOR CAN STRENGTHEN SUPPLY CHAINS AND HELP FARMERS BY REPORTING WHERE FOOD COMES FROM, reports Farming UK.  A regional mission statement, committing to local food procurement, should be adopted by all public sector organisations to help drive a positive change in purchasing decisions.  Buying local produce has a range of environmental benefits including reduce food miles, and would also deliver other social, environmental and economic improvements.  Furthermore it would create a more efficient and resilient supply chain.

APPLICATIONS FOR TWO WOODLAND FUNDS, WORTH £4.4M, HAVE NOW REOPENED, reports Farming UK.  Applications for the Woods into Management Forestry Innovation Funds (£3m) and the Tree Production Innovation Fund (£1.4m) have now reopened.  The government says the funding aims to help futureproof trees and forests against impacts of pests, disease and climate change.  Applicants are invited to submit multi-year proposals with projects valued at up to £300,000 a year.

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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