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The Kent Downs AONB unit is helping Defra design the new Environmental Land Management Scheme. We are running three Tests and Trials covering Viticulture, Accessibility, and Natural Flood Management and are inviting farmers and landowners to participate and help co-design them. The evidence and recommendations from these Tests and Trials will be submitted to Defra in 2021 and will help shape the way payments are made to farmers and landowners from 2024 onwards.

Our Natural Flood Management project will combine the results of recent research with engagement of farmers, to incorporate best practice in water management on farmland (addressing both flood and drought risk) into ELM design:

  • How can we identify the places where NFM is most effective?
  • How can farms work together in clusters to achieve results across a whole catchment?
  • How can we make sure the landscape is positively impacted by NFM?

Locations: Darent Catchment or Stour Catchment

How can farmers and landowners get involved?

This is an excellent opportunity for farmers and landowners to influence the shape of the reports and recommendations that we submit to Defra. If they become involved in the scheme, we will pay a rate of £200 per day.

What is involved?

We will be holding up to three meetings for each of the Tests and Trials (these are online at the moment) that we would like participants to attend.  There will also be 1 to 1 meetings to talk about specific issues at a farm level.  We will also send draft reports to participants to get their feedback and opinions.  Most importantly, we want ideas about what ELM interventions should look like, what rates of compensation would make them attractive to farmers and how they should be administered.

Who should I contact if I want to be involved?

If you are interested in becoming involved in any of these Tests and Trials please contact Mike Phillips at or call on 01227 652126.




We’re delighted to be working with expert consultants in both nature conservation and natural flood management