The majority of the soil on the Estate is listed as Grade One (under the Agricultural Land Classification of England and Wales) and is therefore extremely fertile. Less than ten per cent of Britain’s soil is listed Grade One. This means that high yields are achievable.
The current conventional cropping includes winter wheat, peas and oilseed rape. For the 2016 harvest the farm produced 11t per hectare of milling grade, winter wheat, 2.5t per hectare of HEAR rape, 2.48t per hectare of peas, 0.30t per hectare of Ahiflower and 0.10t per hectacre of echium.
The Estate works closely with the local community and values the longstanding relationship withits tenant farming families, who farm a mix of dairy, arable and fruit. In keeping with that tradition, the Estate hosted the East Kent Ploughing Match in 2003 and 2011. On both occasions this was a huge success, breaking previous attendance records with over 4200 visitors in 2011. In 2003 tours highlighted the innovative work of the Estate and were sponsored by Bayer Crop Science. In 2011 Lees Court had its own marquee promoting the work of organisations it ‘partners’ including Hollowshore Fisheries, The Kent Wildlife Trust, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Global Partnerships Forum, Strutt & Parker, The Women’s Food and Farming Union and The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation.
In 2016, the Estate and Farm hosted the 2016 Medway History Finders Metal Detecting Rally. Over 250 detectorists visited over three days, searching over 200ha.
The Estate regularly hosts tours for a diverse range of organisations and individuals to showcase its work.
LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) promotes environmentally responsible farming, helping farmers produce good food, with care and to high environmental standards.
In 2001 the Government accepted proposals put forward by the farming and crop protection industry to minimise the environmental impacts from pesticides. The programme was developed as an alternative to a pesticide tax which had been under consideration by the Government.
The Women’s Food and Farming Union is made up of branches throughout the UK. The organisation is often referred to as WFU. The primary aim of the WFU is to link producer and consumer, this is achieved by women working together with a common aim. The organisation was founded in 1979.
Membership is open to all,however most members however have links with food and farming and are passionate about rural matters.There are a wide range of activities within branches across the country,nationally the organisation is well-known for its campaigns which are detailed under “Campaigns” on this website.