Latest news from the Lees Court Estate
13 Jul 2012
Work starts on the new Loading Bay
The Estate staff have started to build the loading bay to allow the safe handling, stacking and loading of lorries as part of the woodland project. Weather permitting, the bay will be finished by the end of July.
29 Jun 2012
Faversham Creek Trust
The Countess Sondes has accepted the position as a Patron of the Faversham Creek Trust.
15 Jun 2012
Icehouse Conservation Project
Although the Estate has long known about the Icehouse to the East of the Mansion House, it had been left locked and secure for many years. This had allowed for soil and other matter to get washed in and the area became overgrown. In June 2012, a descision was taken to expose more of the extrance and check the overall condition of the Icehouse. It is in remarkable condition and with great care, the debris was removed by the Estate Maintenance Team.
15 Jun 2012
In 2011, the Estate, with assistance from the Forestry Commission, applied for the English Woodland Grant Scheme to assist in funding woodland operations. The enhanced grant aid is applicable to woodland located in the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Scheme has been approved, with works commencing in 2012, and will run until 2017.
17 Jun 2012
Shepherd Field Jubilee Appeal – Appointment of Vice Patron
The Countess Sondes was delighted to accept the position as Vice Patron for the Shepherd Field Jubilee Appeal. This Appeal is to raise funds for the Faversham Scout Field (located in Sheldwich Lees) development of a Toilet and Shower Block and later to develop an accommodation block for local, national and internation scouts.
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’.