Latest news from the Lees Court Estate
19 Oct 2015
Our Shooting Season has started!
Having sold out in Spring 2015, we are delighted that our first few days are upon us and we are looking forward to another busy season.
30 Sep 2015
A Successful Day at the East Kent Ploughing Match
Congratulations fo our Farm Foreman, Kim Acres, for becoming the Reserve Ploughing Champion at the 70th East Kent Ploughing Match.
Kim won the Six and Seven Furrow Commercial Plough class to put him through to the 'Plough Off' which decides the Champion and Reserve Champion. Kim was also presented with the Southern Harvesters Trophy for the 'Best Work with a Six Furrow Plough'.
The Farm also won the class for the Best Field of Spring Beans as well as winning the Best Sample of Peas and gaining second place for Milling Wheat and Bean samples.
19 Sep 2015
The Countess Sondes interviewed for The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph published an interview featuring The Countess Sondes - 'Muddy ballgowns, high-heeled wellies and tortoises: the new landed gentry rescuing Britain's crumbling estates'. Click here to view the full article.
18 Sep 2015
The Countess Sondes interviewed for University of Kent Project
The Countess Sondes and farming consultant Charles Ireland of Strutt and Parker were interviewed by Dr Raj Puri for the project '50 years, 50 stories: The Dynamics of farms and farming in UKC's backyard, 1965-2015', which studies the social and ecoligical changes in Kent landscape over at least the last 50 years. View the interview here
21 Jun 2015
Smashing Clays raises over £3700 for two Charities
Over 150 clay shooters attended the Charity Clay Shoot in aid of The Pilgrims Hospice and The National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO) Educational Trust. The event was organised by Jeff Handy (NGO Chairman for Kent) with the support of The NGO and the Estate's gamekeeper, Shayne Dean, who is also The NGO Educational Representative for Kent. With major sponsorship from Strutt and Parker LLP, the event also received help and support on the day by Faversham Scout Group and Plumpton Agricultural College.
In total, just over £3700 was raised, with £2109.50 being donated to the Pilgrims Hospice and £1594.50 to The NGO Educational Trust
The Countryside Code is a set of statutory guidelines on the responsibilities for visitors to the countryside and those who manage the land.
Below is a brief summary, the full code can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code
Respect the local community and other people using the outdoors. Remember your actions can affect people's lives and livelihoods.
- Respect the needs of local people and visitors alike – for example, don’t block gateways,driveways or other paths with your vehicle.
- When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horseriders on bridleways.
- Co-operate with people at work in the countryside. For example, keep out of the way when farm animals are being gathered or moved and follow directions from the farmer.
- Busy traffic on small country roads can be unpleasant and dangerous to local people, visitors and wildlife - so slow down and where possible, leave your vehicle at home.
- Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths.
- A farmer will normally close gates to keep farm animals in, but may sometimes leave them open so the animals can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs.
- Follow paths unless wider access is available, such as on open country or registered common land (known as ‘Open Access land’).
- Leave machinery and farm animals alone – don’t interfere with animals even if you think they’re in distress. Try to alert the farmer instead.
- Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries if you can – climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
- Our heritage matters to all of us – be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites.
- Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home. Litter and leftover food doesn’t just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals. Dropping litter and dumping rubbish are criminal offences.
- Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property – so be careful with naked flames and cigarettes at any time of the year.
- Keep dogs under effective control, when you take your dog into the outdoors, always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control. This means that you: keep your dog on a lead, or keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it’s doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command and ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access
- It’s always good practice (and a legal requirement on ‘Open Access’ land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog’s owner.
- However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead.
- Always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly –‘ bag it and bin it’.