Over 70% of the land in the AONB is farmed, be it arable production, livestock production, dairy, fruit production, energy crops, and alternative crops such as lavender and other flowers for oils and other markets. All this shapes the landscape and the decisions farmers and land owners make directly influence the future of the Kent Downs. The Kent Downs AONB Unit aims to provide advice and support to farmers and landowners, influence policy such as CAP reform and environmental stewardship, identify funding opportunities, support markets for products, and celebrate farming in the area through awards such as the Produced in Kent Food, Farming and Landscape Award.
Tools available from the AONB Unit that may be of specific help to farmers and landowners include the Farm Diversification Toolkit, Farmstead Guidance, Landscape Design Handbook, Land Managers Pack and Managing Land for Horses. All these are available to download from the publications page.
Farming Advice Service Helpline
The Farming Advice Service (FAS) includes and replaces the former Cross Compliance Advice Programme and provides land management advice to help you improve your economic and environmental performance on:
- Cross Compliance
- Nutrient Management
- Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
The website provides up to date information as well as details of workshops and events. Tel 0845 345 1302
Campaign for the Farmed Environment
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) encourages farmers to retain uncropped land and take up ELS and HLS options or voluntary management that is likely to be of greatest benefit to the environment, while at the same time being agronomically reasonable. CFE organises and supports events and provides literature and advice.
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Advice, information and training for farmland biodiversity; species research; integrated pest control 01425 652381RAMSAK
Kentish Cobnuts Association Advice on sourcing, planting, maintaining and marketing cobnuts 01732 882734
National Farmers Union
Country Land and Business Association