Environment Minister commends Kent Downs’s flagship project in Farming in Protected Landscapes programme

Minister Pow buying Blackwoods Cheese Company’s organic soft cow’s cheese made on-site from the farm’s vending machine.

Farming & Animals tags

31st January 2024

On Thursday 18th January, Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow MP, celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme during her visit to Bore Place in the Kent Downs National Landscape. The organic dairy farm near Sevenoaks, known for its commitment to sustainability, was selected as one of the flagship projects in the FiPL programme.

The aim of their project, called ‘Every Day is Open Farm Sunday’, is to open additional areas of Bore Place to local people, schools, and visitors by providing year-round opportunities to connect with nature, heritage and farming. Bore Place was awarded £244,683 of funding to enhance access to the farm, create a 24/7 accessible farm trail and a diverse events programme, and deliver a work experience scheme for local Special Educational Needs (SEN) students. These students now manage a farm welcome hub and a unique vending machine for visitors.

During the visit, Minister Pow spoke to farm staff and members of the Grassland Society and had a tour of the visitor and viewing experience in the dairy farm which allows the public to watch cows being milked in the parlour. She learnt about sustainable farming practices adopted by Bore Place, and even helped feed the calves. She also met with Caroline Arnold, Chief Executive of Bore Place, to learn more about their approach to organic regenerative farming, the challenges they face and ideas for improvements.

Reflecting on the achievements of the Farming in Protected Landscapes ( FiPL) scheme, Nick Johannsen FLI, Director of Kent Downs National Landscape, said

“Through this scheme, and our relationships with rural communities and businesses, National Landscapes are perfectly placed to help the government deliver their biodiversity and nature-based targets and Environmental Improvement Plan on the ground.

We have seen some amazing projects and work funded through the hugely successful Farming in Protected Landscape grants programme. From planting miles of new hedgerows and managing beautiful wildflower meadows, to creating natural flood management, securing carbon and creating new wildlife opportunities to installing new Barn Owl boxes and introducing Kent’s first ever mobile milk vending machine! We would love to continue to work with our colleagues in Defra to extend and expand the scheme over the coming years so even more farmers, land managers, rural communities and businesses as well as nature and the beauty of the National Landscapes– can benefit.”

The Kent Downs National Landscape funding for the next financial year is almost fully allocated. However, we’re seeking more funding and would still like to hear from farmers, landowners and managers about any projects or ideas they might have that we can support them with.

To get advice from a member of the Kent Downs National Landscape team and apply for a Farming in Protected Landscapes grant, get in touch with us below.

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About Farming in Protected Landscapes

DEFRA’s Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme is funding over 200 different projects nationwide in National Parks and National Landscapes. There are a wide range of projects including wildflower margins, soil carbon measurement, orchard repair,  habitat connectivity, farm education for children, wheelchair accessible footpaths and many others.

About Kent Downs

The Kent National Landscape (formerly known as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark is a protected landscape stretching across Kent from the London/Surrey border to the White Cliffs of Dover. The Kent Downs National Landscape team works with a host of organisations and partners to deliver a variety of projects and schemes across the Downs to help protect the landscape, nature, local communities, and businesses. 

About Bore Place

Bore Place is a 500-acre regeneratively managed historic estate, just an hour from London. Their focus is on organic farming and regenerative land management whilst supporting people to live happy, fulfilling, and sustainable lives. They offer educational programmes for school children and young people, holiday stays, group retreat accommodation, marked trails to explore the estate and farm, and a programme of public events.

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