Conservation and Restoration
Over the years there has been pro-active restoration and maintenance work to the historic landscape, from the re-instatement of ancient chalk downland pasture and renovation of parkland fencing in the Selling Valley to the excavation and restoration of the icehouse and the limekiln.
Many buildings on the Estate are 'listed' which requires building work to be undertaken in keeping with the age of the property. Our Estate Maintenance team retain many traditional skills largely lost in the 'modern' construction industry including lime plastering, wattle and daub, flint wall building and carpentry.
Over the years, many miles of mixed hedges have been planted, with nearly 6km managed and maintained under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, over 25,000 trees replanted after the 1987 hurricane. Working closely with The Forestry Commission, woodland work and restoration remains very actively ongoing. With the aid of the English Woodland Grant (eWGS) this will help to improve the diversity of the woodland habitat.
Around the Estate and Farm, nearly all of the arable fields are bordered by grassland margins totalling 13.8km or just over 19acres. These are left totally untreated by any chemicals or fertilisers and mowed once a year to improve diversity of flora species. These 'wildlife corridors' become a haven for insects and small mammals providing cover and food for a wide range of wildlife.
The Selling Valley
The Selling Valley lies at the heart of the Estate, this 200 acre permanent chalk downland pasture is managed under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. This allows for minimal stocking rates, no fertilising and only spot spraying of persistent weeds. This has allowed for the regeneration of chalk downland grasses and plant species, and in particular the high sided banks at the northern end of the valley are home to numerous pyramid orchids.
Founded in 1958, we are a registered charity (number 239992) and the leading conservation organisation covering the whole of Kent and Medway, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild habitats for everyone to enjoy.
One of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK, we are a membership organisation with over 30,000 members who care about Kent’s wildlife and support our activities. Together we create a united voice to speak out on issues that affect our wildlife. http://kentwildlifetrust.org.uk
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them.
There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales (33 wholly in England, 4 wholly in Wales and 1 which straddles the border). Created by the legislation of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, AONBs represent 18% of the Finest Countryside in England and Wales. http://www.aonb.org.uk