September Update

September has been an exciting month with a lot of the focus being on ploughing matches! I hear the Romney Marsh was a great success and had a huge sign up for the dog show there! The East Kent Ploughing Match also had a great turnout and there was a lot of interest taken in my colleagues stand which showcased a water trough with a prototype to avoid wildlife drowning. 

I attended the Weald of Kent Ploughing Match with colleagues from Kent Wildlife Trust, South East Rivers Trust and Southern Water to showcase all the work that has been happening in the Upper Beult and Marden cluster, alongside work SERT are doing to support the local rivers. We had some great conversations and there was so much interest from the public about all the projects going on! Thank you to everyone who shared information to help create the displays and those who stopped by to say hello! 

The Upper Beult Cluster had a steering group meeting this month which was a great opportunity to discuss what projects have been happening this year, and how we can progress and develop these as we head into 2024 and beyond. The nightingale surveys have been really interesting, and I have included the report for these further on in this newsletter. We also discussed the Natural Capital Assessments that have been carried out and how to proceed with these. We will be hosting a cluster meeting in November which will be a chance to discuss all this work and get everyone’s feedback. We will also invite some advisors along and speakers to make this a really useful event for everyone. 

I was lucky enough to be invited along to a Sustainable Farming Incentive training event with some Natural England advisors this month and it was really interesting hearing about all the different payment options available. There seems to be some really great opportunities and worth checking out the handbook below. Catchment Sensitive Farming Advisors are currently planning some events over the winter period including information on SFI and other funding opportunities. 

A vintage plough at a Kent plough match, painted blue and red.

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