The Upper Beult Farmer Cluster is a network of farmers and other stakeholders who work within the upper catchment of the River Beult.

Core Partners

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We are a diverse collection of over 20 farms within the Upper Beult Catchment, this includes some contracted and tenanted land, a mixture of livestock, arable and dairy, which reflects the mixed nature of farming in the weald. We are proud to steward the landscape, produce food and care for the wider environment. We welcome new members who share our passion for farming alongside nature. We aim to come together through meetings and at events to share our knowledge, expertise and experience of land management, and work with local conservationists to improve outcomes for wildlife.

We are a charity dedicated to restoring nature across Kent. We work in partnership with farmers and other stakeholders across the county to create more and better opportunities for wildlife to thrive alongside successful farming businesses. We are pleased to be working with Southern Water and farmers of the Upper Beult to make this part of Kent wilder.

We supply drinking water across the South East, with the ever increasing challenge of supplying less water to more people. This means working closely with our customers, communities and partners to create a resilient water future for the South East. We are excited to be working in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust and farmers in the Upper Beult catchment, to improve water quality and increase natural water storage within the landscape.

Additional Partners

We are a charity dedicated to the conservation and restoration of rivers and their catchments in the south east of England. This often includes working closely with landowners and farmers across Kent. We are working on several projects, including ProWater to improve the resilience of the river Beult catchment. Together with the Farmer Cluster we’ve delivered joint events for farmers on the themes of flooding and drought.

We are made up of representatives from organisations that have an interest in the health of the River Medway and its tributaries – and the many benefits associated with having an environment rich in biodiversity and recreational opportunities. The Senior Farmer Cluster Officer for the Upper Beult regularly attends our Catchment meetings, allowing us a great avenue for communication with the farmers in this catchment.

We are the local host for the Middle Medway sub-catchment and Beult sub-catchment. MVCP also delivers the Invasive Non Native Species control programme for the Medway catchment and coordinated a pesticide amnesty across the area, collecting old pesticides to prevent future contamination. The cluster provided a fantastic opportunity to spread the message and is a useful platform to notify landowners of invasive species.

We work closely with landowners and local communities to promote both landscape and nature conservation, and develop opportunities for appropriate access and informal recreation. We are delighted to have run a joint event with the Upper Beult Farmer Cluster to highlight the work that KSCP is doing for the Great Crested Newt pond restoration/creation scheme, a Natural England funded project. This added to our ability to reach many farmers in the upper Beult area to enhance and create ponds across the river Beult catchment.

We are the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England. We help to protect and restore our natural world. We have presented to the Upper Beult Farmer Cluster on Countryside Stewardship and future Environmental Land Management Policy, and our local officer has been able to attend events, strengthening their relationship with farmers in the catchment. This enables us to jointly deliver for nature, and promote sustainable farming.

We work to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development. The Farmer Cluster provides a great avenue for us to update farmers and landowners on current legislation, funding opportunities and discuss concerns such as flood risk or pollution incidents. For environmental enquires our customer service email means that any enquires are logged and sent to the right teams for a response.

We are a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community. We run a confidential, national helpline and e-helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm and volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help.

Farm Cluster member Hugh Richards is an FCN representative.

We are a national charity that provides local support to the farming community across England and Wales. Confidential support is available to those who currently work within agriculture and also to those who are no longer able to work due to ill-health, accident or age. Support is tailored to each applicant and initial advice can be accessed via the RABI freephone helpline or through the helpline email (details below).

Farm Cluster member Charles Tassell is a RABI representative and will happily speak to anyone in need of support.

“Working in partnership with the cluster has been instrumental in helping us build a strong connection with landowners and farmers that are keen to deliver nature-based solutions on their land, and develop shared learning about how farming can support a healthier River Beult. The vision, drive and openness of cluster members and facilitators has been a joy to work with. Sharing thoughts around challenges and opportunities for farming in the catchment has allowed SERT to provide valuable input to Defra on the design of the new ELMS, develop ideas with water companies about how investing in nature can create a more resilient water supply, and to co-design a scheme that has the potential to restore and protect almost 10km of connected stream network.”

Kathi Bauer

Natural Capital Coordinator,
South East Rivers Trust