Sustainable Farming Incentive January 2024 Update

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme has recently announced some unexpected yet welcome changes. The highlight of the update is the significant increase in payment rates for various schemes, an average increase of 10% across the SFI and Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreements. One of the noteworthy improvements is the boosted payment rates for wild bird…

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Comprehensive Renewable Energy Package with Heathcote Holdings

As the demand for clean energy continues to rise, the need for efficient and responsible infrastructure and maintenance increases. That’s where Heathcote Holdings steps in to offer a complete package for renewable energy farms in the UK. What services do we offer? Site Clearance: Before any construction begins, proper site preparation is essential. Skilled operators…

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Biodiversity Net Gain Secondary Legislation

The secondary legislation on Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) has finally been unveiled, providing a detailed framework for the implementation of the Environment Act 2021. With 6 Statutory Instruments in play, all awaiting formal Parliamentary approval, the landscape for new planning applications post 1st February 2024, is set to change. The BNG Register – The Draft…

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Great Crested Newt Licensing Project

Good news story on our Great Crested Newt ponds. Through developer funding, FGS Pilcher have been awarded contracts to deliver newt ponds across the Stour and Medway river catchments, over the past five years. Habitat Regeneration have helped to find suitable sites and delivered seven of these ponds across one of our rented farms, Coldharbour…

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Forage Wagon

What is Cut & Collect and why do it?

Wildflower meadows are a particularly rare habitat within the modern landscape, as pressure on farmers to maximise yield and productivity, saw the introduction of herbicides and fertilisers, which resulted in wildflower meadows being lost. There is now an opportunity to re-instate wildflower meadows, working in collaboration with farmers and land managers. Operating at a landscape…

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Compact Tractor and Flail

Forestry England Management Contract Essex

Habitat Regeneration and its sister company, FGS Agri Ltd, are pleased to announce a successful contract award from Forestry England, marking a significant stride in environmental conservation. The last-minute nature of the contract led to the responsible management of nine sites, focusing on preserving wildlife while ensuring safe access for the public. Project Overview The…

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Groundswell 2023

Last month we attended the Groundswell Agriculture Festival in Hertfordshire. We exhibited alongside sister companies FGS Organics and Envar with our show trailer. It was great to speak to interested parties about the services we offer such as our Regenerative Agriculture Land Management Practices. The event was well attended with plenty of talks throughout the…

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Forestry England Management Contract Won

We have been awarded a management contract by Forestry England to manage, maintain and enhance their Pleasant Farm woodland creation project covering 225 acres. This follows the initial pre-planting preparation works and site management we have already undertaken to date. We are excited to see how the site develops over time, particularly as the eventual…

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ELMS Updates

As of the 26th of January 2023, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced some updated information to the Environmental Land Management Scheme (also known as ELMs). DEFRA are expanding their schemes to pay farmers and land managers to provide environmental goods and services alongside food production; and providing one-off grants…

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Mowing at Forestry England site

Changes to Biodiversity Net Gain

The Environment Act 2021 has bought changes to Biodiversity Net Gain requirements for all planning permissions granted in England (with a few exemptions). From November 2023 all planning permissions will have to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain. Biodiversity Net Gain delivers measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats in association with…

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District Level Licensing Scheme

Natural England have posted an interesting video about the District Level Licensing scheme for Great Crested Newts. Over 1000 ponds have been created and/or restored throughout the UK. We have carried out six ponds on our own farms as well as secured suitable sites on a number of ponds across Kent. Our sister company FGS…

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South East Rivers Trust NFM projects

The South East Rivers Trust have put together this interesting article about recent natural flood management projects being delivered through the Medway Flood Partnership across the Medway catchment. Our sister company FGS Pilcher worked on the Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens project where they restored a floodplain water meadow. Natural Flood Management (NFM) uses natural materials…

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World Soil Day 2022

Today is World Soil Day. This day has been dedicated by the UN to raise awareness of soil health and to create positive change. The message for this year is “Soils, where food begins”. Healthy soils are the basis for healthy and nutritious food. At Habitat Regeneration we believe that effective farm management utilising some…

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Owl box

New Owl box installation

On the family farm we have been busy providing habitats for the next owl breeding season. We obtained funding and support to install another barn owl box on the farm in Egerton, with help from the Countryside Partnership. The site for the barn owl box was carefully selected in an area of grassland which is…

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POND, SCRAPE AND WETLAND CREATION AND RESTORATION

Newt Survey Results

We have some positive news following a recent Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership survey of restored ponds at Will Fraser’s family farm in Egerton. The Countryside Partnership undertook Environment DNA (EDNA) testing of the water which is sent off to a lab for analysis. We are pleased to announce that three of the six pond restorations…

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Ban on peat compost by 2024

Great news, peat is staying in bogs! The government has announced that all sales of peat to amateur gardeners in England will be banned by 2024. Peatlands are the UK’s largest carbon store but only approximately 13% of our peatlands are in a near-natural state. Bagged retail growing media accounts for 70% of the peat…

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World Bee Day 2022

Today is World Bee Day – raising awareness on the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy. We are committed to enhancing habitats for bees. We are proud to assist with the creation and maintenance of habitats to promote bee and pollinator numbers, through the creation of pollinator…

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No Mow May 2022

This month is No Mow May. It is a campaign to encourage people to stop mowing their lawns for the whole of May. Doing this should give flowers the chance to grow and produce nectar for pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and moths. Research has found that simple changes in mowing can result in…

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Tree Sparrow Boxes

Working with the Kent Wildlife Trust we have identified two areas suitable for tree sparrow nest boxes at the family farm in Egerton. We are lucky to have two small colonies on the farm and are making efforts to boost resident populations through habitat creation, supplementary winter feeding and now the installation of 10 tree…

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owl box

National Bird Box Week

This week has been national bird box week, which aims to raise awareness for the importance of providing nesting habitat for the UK’s bird population. This is particularly important as there is a serious shortage of suitable nesting sites. Last year we put five owl boxes up on trees across our farm in Egerton, with…

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Badger gate fitting

Forestry England Badger gates

Habitat Regeneration are pleased to be assisting Forestry England in delivering 10 badger gates across their woodland creation scheme near Lenham, ensuring continued movement across their foraging areas. The main planting areas were rabbit fenced to reduce the need for tree guards across large proportions of the site, although the installation of these gates ensure…

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Bird count

Big Farmland Bird Count

Today is the start of the Big Farmland Bird Count which runs between 4th and 20th of February. It invites farmers to spend 30 minutes counting the birds they see in one part of their farm. We held an early morning farm walk at Frasers with the Upper Beult farm cluster group and Kent Wildlife…

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World Soil Day 2021

Today is World Soil Day. The UN has dedicated this day to raise awareness for soil health and to create positive change. At Habitat Regeneration we believe that effective farm management utilising some regenerative practices can help to address long term soil health. We can help landowners deliver regenerative land management practices, incorporating wildflower mixes,…

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Grassland drilling at woodland creation site

Forestry England

We are working with Forestry England who are creating a new multi-purpose woodland at their 127-hectare site called Pleasant Farm in Kent. The woodland creation will increase and enhance the landscape, providing carbon sequestration, increasing the regions coverage of native broadleaf species and providing a mosaic of habitats to benefit local wildlife. We have undertaken…

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Kent Wildlife Trust’s winter farmland wildlife survey

We took part in Kent Wildlife Trust’s winter farmland wildlife survey for the 2020-21 season.   The farm was surveyed weekly to look at indicator bird species, this information will be used to build statistics for the trust and will be used as a baseline to assess population levels over time. In line with these…

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Traditional Chalk Grassland

This is a fantastic example of a traditional chalk grassland, which has been managed by Habitat Regeneration with a conservation grazing scheme and is within a Mid-Tier agreement for species rich grassland. This management approach has resulted in a hugely rich diversity of wildflowers and traditional grass species, including Pyramid Orchids, Oxide Daisy, Birdsfoot Trefoil,…

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Great Crested Newt Ponds

We are proud to work with the Stour Countryside Partnership in delivering Great Crested Newt Ponds, which utilises developer contributions to generate genuine benefit to ecology. Here are examples of a couple of ponds we have worked on near Egerton: The top pictures are of a pond creation, which looked to utilise an unproductive and…

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Owl Boxes

We recently put five owl boxes up across the family farm in Egerton, with a view to support the local Tawny, Little Owl and Barn Owl populations. The boxes were placed out of the prevailing wind, in areas with lower levels of disturbance and close to grassland management under a low intensity Mid Tier Scheme.…

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Woodland Creation Offer now open

The new England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) for support to create new woodland is now open for applications. The scheme is for farmers and landowners where it will support the creation of a range of woodland types and sizes. The minimum total size is 1 hectare. Bonuses can be given to woodlands that help nature/wildlife recover, woodlands…

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Habitat Regeneration Farm Walk

On the 18th May Habitat Regeneration hosted a farm walk at Will Fraser’s family home, Coldharbour Farm. This was a joint event run with the Kent Wildlife Trust and Stour Countryside Partnership, where guest speakers included Charlie Chantler from Natural England and Sarah Harrington-James from Stour Countryside Partnership. The talks provided a useful insight on how…

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Latest Government Plans

This week the Environment minister set out the government’s plans to restore nature and to safeguard our environment. The plans include trebling the number of trees planted with a target of planting 7,000ha of trees each year by May 2024. Also announced today is the England Woodland Creation Offer. The scheme is for farmers and…

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