Saturday, December 19, 2020

Final Glean of 2020

Deal Volunteers

At least 1.5tons of Braeburn apples collected with colleagues from Hythe, Folkestone, Canterbury and Thanet today from a orchard in Elmstone nr Preston. 

Thanks to AC Hulme for hosting us again

Food going to food charities in east kent plus the majority going to the The Felix Project including local charities:

  • Deal Foodbank
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Deal Aged UK
  • Talk It Out
  • Emmaus Dover
  • Dover Foodbank
  • BECHANGE Aylesham

Big Thank you to our gleaning volunteers today - Tim,Sally,Janine,Tom, Jill & Hub, Lucy and Steve.

This our last glean of 2020 - its our 31st ! 

With nearly 10 tons of food collected and distributed locally

If you want to join us in 2021 please join our email list

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Xmas Potato Glean 17th Dec 2020

We did our last potato glean of 2020 at Boundary Road Farm today - Many thanks to Trevor Bradley for his continued support and generosity.

Dino Potato

Thanks to our volunteers Tim, Sally and Steve who filled some 20 sacks today - food going to:

  • Deal Foodbank
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Deal Aged Concern
  • Dover Foodbank
  • Hornbeam Primary School
  • BECHANGE at Aylesham
  • Emmaus Dover
  • Our Kitchen in Thanet

Our last glean on 2020 will be a apple glean on Saturday .....

Saturday, December 5, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary #12 24th November 2020


I'm learning a lot about plastic: its versatility, durability, pliability, transparency, lightness - how many more abstract nouns can I apply to this awesome material?!

Aldi's patriotic bag fails to burst as I cram in 100s of bits of litter - over 90% of which are plastic - picked from just some of North Deal's streets last week.

Just as I think it's impossible to squeeze another wafer-thin fragment of film into the Union Jack carrier, I manage to slide the sliver in.

Emptying it is almost an act of artistic beauty: the colours - bright, shiny, twinkly. The sound - crisp, crackly, tinkly. Seasons Greetings. There will be tons more to pick up after the 25th.

Helen C


Friday, December 4, 2020

Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust need your support:

View this email in your browser

Please remember to help us make the Goodwin Sands a Highly Protected Marine Area!

Dear Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust Supporter,

Firstly, we would like to thank all of you who have responded to the Call for Evidence about the proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas. We really appreciate it as every submission shows that people really care about protecting the Goodwin Sands.

Secondly, if you haven't had the chance to do it yet, this is a gentle reminder that you still have time, as the consultation runs until 15th December 2020.

Please see below for tips on what to say and a link to the Call for Evidence. It really doesn't take long to complete!

The Goodwin Sands MCZ is a prime example of how marine protection just isn’t working; the government’s marine licensing authority granted a licence to remove 3 million tonnes of a protected habitat for landfill in Dover because they were advised by Natural England that the fauna would recover within five years.

This action makes a complete mockery of the meaning of the word ‘protection’. Why is a marine protected area even being subjected to an activity from which is has to recover?

The failure of MCZs' to protect sensitive marine areas has been recognised by the government so they are now considering a new initiative – Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). Within these HPMA’s, commercial activities that damage the seabed, including marine aggregate extraction, or sand mining as we prefer to call it, will be banned.

Five pilot sites have been proposed for designation as HPMAs and the government has issued a a Call for Evidence to give the public an opportunity to express their opinion.

Goodwin Sands MCZ is not included on this list but we feel very strongly that it should be, since none of the proposed sites are under similar threat from sand mining. Not only has the Goodwin Sands been recognised by Defra as containing habitats and species worthy of protection but the sandbanks provide a vital sea defence for the chronically eroding East Kent foreshore.

And of course, the area is a graveyard of over 2,000 naval and merchant ships, their crews and passengers and contains the graves of scores of brave young airmen from the Battle of Britain. That in itself should make it a prime target for protection.

Indifference is tantamount to agreement! We are therefore urging you to please respond to the government’s Call for Evidence with your views before 15th December 2020.

Like us, you may not be able to provide any relevant information about the currently proposed sites. We have used box number 9 at the end of the online form labelled 'Feedback on the Online Survey' to submit our views and recommend you do the same.

Reasons the Goodwin Sands MCZ should become a pilot HPMA include:
  • Protected habitats are currently under threat from marine aggregate extraction
  • The Sands act as a vital sea defence for the unstable East Kent foreshore
  • The area contains the wrecks of a recorded 2,000 ships spanning 700 years or more - probably the largest maritime graveyard in the world - some say 50,000 souls have drowned there
  • The area holds the graves of scores of British, American, German and Polish airmen from WWII

Thank you for your invaluable help and support!

Respond to the Government's Call for Evidence before 15th December 2020

Visit the Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust website

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary #11

How far does litter travel? 


The feather-light packaging that has dramatically reduced costs for manufacturers is swiftly transported considerable distances from the unlidded recycling boxes where it is put out for collection.

A moderate wind speed can transform our streets into an unseasonal snowstorm of wrappers, boxes, blister packs, receipts, scratch cards, transparent film...

But when I find a label from a pack of Indian sandstone in a gutter in Ethelbert Road, that really sets me thinking.

What is the true cost of convenience & desire?

Helen C


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Big Broccoli Glean 2nd December 2020


Wednesday's Broccoli Glean yielded approx 564 kilos of Broccoli collected from a farm in Stourmouth - Thats a lot!

Many thanks to our volunteers today: Lucy, Tim, Sarah L, Jill, Sandra, Ian, Mark & Jane, Steve and Sarah G for deliveries. Thanks again to our generous farmer host/donator Trevor Bradley at Boundary Rd Farm.

This week's glean has gone to:

  • Deal Foodbank
  • Dover Foodbank
  • BECHANGE Aylesham
  • Dover Big Local (Pantry)
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Deal Age UK
  • Talk It Out
  • United Families
  • Sandown Primary School
  • Hornbeam Primary School
  • Felix  Project London
  • and Glean Colleagues in Hythe for their network

This is our 29th Glean of 2020 and we have collected this year nearly 9tons of food for our community

Friends of Betteshanger latest news

 A recent BBC news item (see link below) shows, people are celebrating the unexpected discovery of a rare plant in Norfolk which has not been seen there for over 100 years. The plant is Grass Poly and it is one of the UK's rarest plants.

It is the same plant that is growing on one of the proposed development platforms at Betteshanger, found by the Kent Plant Recording Group earlier in the summer. Betteshanger is the only known site in Kent where it grows.

Far from celebrating its presence here we are anticipating its destruction if the Quinn Estates development goes ahead, despite untested proposals to 'translocate' it to Betteshanger Park.

This is what Professor Carl Sayer, who found the Grass Poly in Norfolk has said to the Friends of Betteshanger.

"To celebrate the re-occurrence of Grass-Poly at one site and then destroy it at another would seem madness to me and I am in full support of your efforts to protect the site you mention and importantly this important endangered plant."

Will Dover District Council celebrate the presence of Grass Poly at Betteshanger ? Or will they risk its destruction by giving Quinn Estates the go ahead for their development ?

Only time will tell.

Friends of Betteshanger.

Friends of Betteshanger are a group of local people opposing Planning Application 20/00419 by Quinn Estates which proposes to build over 200 houses on the old pit head site at Betteshanger, much of which has been rewilding for many years. It is now a haven for wildlife of all kinds. New members welcome on our private FB page, Friends of Betteshanger.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Brocolli and Potato Gleans 26th Nov

Thank you to our Deal With It Gleaning volunteers (Jane & Mark, Sally & Tim, Sarah L, Sarah G, Lucy, Jill and Steve) on today's two Gleans

Potatoes and Broccoli about 1.2tons collected and distributed to local food charities:
  • Deal Foodbank
  • Dover Foodbank
  • BEChange at Aylesham
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Deal Age UK
  • Dover Big Local Pantry
  • Eythorne Community Primary School
  • Sandown Primary School
  • Hornbeam Primary School
  • United Families

Lots of thanks to our kind host farmer, Trevor Bradley at Boundary Rd Farm.

Thx also to Hythe Colleagues for the bags of apples who were gleaning a nearly apple orchard x

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary #10 21st November 2020


Today, West St and Beach St leading on to The Marina provide the most "bends" - I find gloved hands to pick up are faster than the gadget, but bending down to gather

from the gutters doesn't make you many friends! 

West St car park has been the picnic spot for McDonald's munchers. 

Beach St & The Marina is mainly wind-blown scraps & builders' debris - so many plastic ties! 

I guess putting the bag of empties by the Angling Club is marginally better than leaving it on the beach. 

Pity those picnickers didn't make it as far as a bin. 

Helen C


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Potato Glean 19th Nov 2020 #WeAreGleaners

Quick 240kgs potato glean today many thanks to farmer Trevor Bradley for hosting us.

 Spuds gone to 
  • Dover Foodbank, 
  • Deal Foodbank, 
  • Bechange Aylesham, 
  • Deal Salvation Army, 
  • Deal Age Uk, 
  • Meals on the Hill, 
  • Sandown Primary School and 
  • Hornbeam Primary School if you want to join us or a local food charity/voluntary group

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

CleanUp Crew Deal Station Clean up 18th Nov 2020

Thank you to our clean up crew who did a mega litter and tidy up at and around Deal Rail Station today .... Helen, Nick, Patience, Bob and Steve.

Our next one will be 1.30pm to 3pm on 2nd Dec.

Please email as we need to manage numbers etc with LD2

Deal Litter Diary #9 19th Nov 2020

I decide to go to Stanhope Rd to post a card. Shall I wear my stinky gloves & take a dirty carrier bag - JUST IN CASE I see litter that needs picking?

Good decision. It's 0.3 miles to the Sorting Office - that's 482 metres. I collect nearly 200 items.

Surely I'm not the only person who notices so much litter on our town centre streets?

I may well be the only one with stinky gloves & a dirty carrier at the ready for my short strolls to the High Street.

Helen C

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Deal Litter Diary #8 - Nov 2020


The start of November, and there is no detectable let up in the amount of litter on the streets of our town. Polystyrene, one of the world's most widely-used plastics, is abundant - pale green nuggets blowing & bobbing in puddles and today, partially smashed sheets of it with a painted skin binding it, adding weight. It becomes a temporary material for a creepy creation. 

The strange beauty of dirty, household waste.

Inspired to pick up!

Helen c

#DealLitter Diary

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Giant Apple Glean - 12th Nov 2020


Thank you for our volunteers - Fay, Jill, Emily, Lucy, Jessica, Sandra, Mark & Jane, Sally & Tim, Sarah, Jayne and Steve - on our giant apple glean in Eastry, with 1.3 tons of Idareds and Braeburns apples collected.

With about 600kgs going to local food charities and 700kgs to FareShare Kent

Big Thanks to David Bradley at Selson Farm for inviting us and the farm's donation to food charities:

  • Deal Foodbank
  • Dover Foodbank
  • Deal Aged Concern
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • BECHANGE at Aylesham
  • Sandwich Aged Concern
  • Talk iT Out
  • Meals on the Hill
  • Chequers cookery school
  • Dover Big Local
  • Wellington House
  • Emmaus Dover
  • Eythorne Community Primary School
  • Hornbeam Primary School
  • Sandown Primary School
  • Our Kitchen Margate
  • Community supermarket Ramsgate
  • United Families
  • Fareshare Kent

If you want get involved or are a local community food charity please get in touch

#Gleaning #WeAreGleaners #LoveDeal #DealKent #DealWithIT

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Friends of Betteshanger latest

Response by the Friends of Betteshanger to the Cover Letter by Quinn Estates dated 29th October 2020 . 

Betteshanger development 20/00419


Whilst we acknowledge the decision to retain the whole of Woodland block W4 it does not ‘solve’ the issue of Turtle Doves, just as not building at the A258 end of the site did not ‘solve’ the issue. Here are our reasons for this assertion:

1. The proposals are still going to result in the loss of Turtle Dove territory as shown in 5.10.8 of the Ecological Appraisal of July 2020, submitted by Aspect Ecology and commissioned by Quinn Estates. This is what it says in relation to Turtle Doves:

“The fourth territory is located within an area proposed for development ….. The development will also result in potential for increased disturbance and predation of Turtle Doves associated with the residential housing and domestic pets. Accordingly whilst suitable Turtle Dove habitat will be retained … the proposed development could result in the loss of some territories.”

Although Woodland W4 is to be retained this is not where Turtle Doves were found. Turtle Doves prefer to nest in thick scrub rather than woodland. The Cover letter tells us that, despite the changes, 0.16ha of woodland habitat will still be lost. This includes the ‘fourth territory’ of Turtle Doves, mentioned above and shown on map 5805/EC04 in the Ecological Appraisal. There is no apparent plan to change the proposed development to avoid this.

2. It is important to note that Turtle doves return to the same territory year after year. This has been proved by RSPB research into Turtle Dove migration using tracking devices fitted to individual birds, as the following link will show.

3. It is not possible to solve the problem of ‘increased disturbance and predation of Turtle Doves associated with the residential housing and domestic pets’ by mitigation measures. Only protecting the site from development will do this.

4. Turtle Doves do not just use the Betteshanger site for nesting. It is a feeding area too. The RSPB link above, ‘A year in the life of a Turtle Dove’ shows a picture of a typical Turtle Dove feeding area. It bears a very strong resemblance to the Betteshanger development platforms with sparse vegetation, bare areas and seeds from the many flowering plants. This food source will of course disappear under the proposals.

5. So Turtle Doves will lose territories, lose a food source and be subject to disturbance and predation if the development goes ahead. They will doubtless abandon the site. And their precarious hold in East Kent will be further jeopardised.

5. Why does all this matter ?

The latest information from December 2019 about the status of Turtle Doves from the British Trust for Ornithology says the following: (see link below)

“The Turtle Dove’s demise is now almost total showing a 98% decline. This is the largest decline of any UK species and suggests that this once familiar bird will soon disappear from the British countryside.”

We reiterate our view that given the perilous situation of Turtle Doves in the UK it is totally unacceptable to destroy or disturb any Turtle Dove territory or build where the result could be an even further diminishing of their numbers. The only solution here and the only way to protect the Betteshanger population of Turtle Doves is not to build on the site.

However Turtle Doves are not the only species of great conservation concern that are going to be negatively impacted by the proposed development. There are also, for example, Grey Partridge, which the East Kent Wildlife group identified on site in the summer of this year, and believed to be breeding on the proposed development site.

The most recent Breeding Bird Survey report by the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee shows that the number of breeding pairs of Grey Partridge have declined by 64% between 1995 and 2018 in the UK.

We maintain that the Local Planning Authority also has a duty to conserve the Grey Partridge, given that it is one of the fastest declining birds in the whole of Europe.

We maintain that is has a duty to conserve all the other Red and Amber listed bird species, the Reptiles and Amphibians, the Bats and Badgers, the rare Plants and Invertebrates all of which have taken up residence at Betteshanger, where habitats have been establishing and rewilding, largely free of human interference, for many years.

We maintain it has a duty to conserve a site that would be very likely to qualify as a Local Wildlife Site such is the richness and quality of its wildlife and habitats.

Sue Sullivan for the Friends of Betteshanger







Thursday, November 5, 2020

Great Pumpkin Glean - 5th November 2020

Great pumpkin glean with 2.2 tons collected by groups from Hythe, Folkestone and Deal. 

About half of this has gone to the Felix Project in London to support London Foodbanks.

We collected some 240kgs for local food charities and schools, Including:

- Dover Foodbank
- Sandown School
- Hornbeam School
- BeChange Aylesham
- Meals on the Hill
- Chequers Cookery School
- Dover Big Local
- Our Kitchen in Margate

Big thank you to all volunteers and the staff at Pumpkin Moon farm nr Sittingbourne.

A Deal Litter Diary - #7 5th November 2020

I haven't fancied picking sopping, dirty litter from my regular patch in this weeks downpours, so, against form, I step out to the beach. At least the plastic brought in on the tide will be clean!

What? No waste? Have the beach cleans & the regular pickers stripped the shingle of its debris?

Well, it depends where and what you're looking for.

Embedded in each and every clump of vegetation are dozens - hundreds - of pickable pieces. I shouldn't sound excited. 


Seek and you will find. I recommend knee pads.

Helen c

#DealLitter Diary

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Apple Glean Eastry 29th October 2020

Thank you to our apple #gleaning volunteers today - Lucy, Tim, Sally, Sarah G, Sarah L and Steve. 

44 bags or 660kilos of Ida Reds collected in rainy morning in Eastry.

Produce to:
  • Dover Foodbank
  • Bechange & Primary schools Aylesham, 
  • Deal Foodbank, 
  • Deal Salvation Army, 
  • Meals on the Hill
  • Our Kitchen in Thanet
  • Wellington House
  • Deal Centre for the Retired
  • Chequers Kitchen
  • Meals on The Hill
  • Sandwich Aged Concern
  • Sandown School
  • Landmark Community Cafe
  • Hornbeam School
  • United Families
  • Dover Big Local
Big thanks to David Bradley at Selson Farm for inviting us

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Potato Glean 22nd Oct 2020

Thank you to our volunteers on today potato glean nr preston over 300kgs collected and delivered to:
  • Dover foodbank,
  • Dover Emmaus, 
  • Bechange Aylesham, 
  • Deal Foodbank, 
  • Deal Salvation Army, 
  • Meals on the Hill 
  • Hornbeam School
  • and Deal centre for retired. 

Big thanks to Trevor at Boundary Farm who hosted us today

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary - #5 - 12th October 2020

My Sunday stroll doesn't take me far from home. I get to meet 2 locals: firstly a chap who is uneasy about litter picking, worried about what others may think. Don't be! People who stop to converse are kindred spirits in need of a nudge to join the battle to keep the gutters & pavements free of debris.

The second chats as I pick up 145 pieces of smashed hubcap - I had beaten him to it. The splatter of fragments had been irritating him so much he intended to bring out a broom. I saved this elderly gentleman the bother of clearing up neglect on his own doorstep.


Helen C

Friends of Betteshanger - Latest October 2020

Objection to planning application 20/00419 in response to further submissions on Ecology by Quinn Estates. October 2020.

The Friends of Betteshanger object to the above application on the grounds of Planning Policy and Ecology. This document relates to Ecology and is in response to:

The TN2 Ecology Technical Note, the Invertebrate Survey (11/9/20) the amended Open Mosaic Habitat Management Plan (9/ 2020) and the Senior Natural Environment Officer’s Submission (30/9/20)

It is now possible to make a meaningful assessment of the biodiversity interest of the Betteshanger development site. Most of the ecological surveys have been completed, including one for invertebrates, and they reveal a site, not just of importance locally, not just of importance in East Kent, but of wildlife importance at a County level.

We have consulted with Kent Wildlife Trust (Lucy Carden and Dr. Richard Bloor) and sent them a brief summary of the biodiversity interest of the site (see Appendix 1) as shown by the surveys carried out, and they are of the opinion that the site would be very likely to qualify as a Local Wildlife site.

This is what Lucy Carden, assistant Conservation Officer, from Kent Wildlife Trust said:

“From the records you provide within your email, it sounds like it is a particularly good habitat for a variety of species and could potentially be considered as a Local Wildlife Site due to the matrix of habitats present and the range of species present within. I would suggest it would largely meet the criteria of ‘WL3 composite/matrix sites’ and potentially, VP2 for its vascular plant composition and equally meeting criteria for both bird and reptile species composition.

I have had a look in our records too and can see that it is within our list of candidate LWS.

Pennyroyal and grasspoly for example are both listed on the Kent Rare Plant Register. Typically for a site to be designated for its vascular plants, it would need to meet a score of at least 150 based on:

- Nationally rare (i.e. UK Red Data Book) - 100

- Nationally scarce – 50

- Rare in Kent (Kent Red Data Book, 1,2,3 or K status) - 40

- Listed in the current version of the Kent Rare Plants Register – 25

With 7 additional plants listed under the Kent Rare Plants Register alone, this would suggest that it would be likely to meet this criteria.”

What is a Local Wildlife site and why are they important?

Local Wildlife sites are exceptional areas of land and some of the UK’s most valuable wildlife areas. They have a huge part to play in the natural green fabric of our towns and countryside. They make up a web of stepping stones and corridors forming key components of ecological systems and helping to recreate wildlife habitat on a landscape scale. They are identified and selected using robust, scientifically determined criteria and detailed ecological surveys. (see Appendix 2 for a link to the Local Wildlife site criteria)

How relevant is this to the planning application in question?

We believe that the likely qualification, as a Local Wildlife site, provides irrefutable proof that the Betteshanger site is of such significant ecological value that it should be saved from development.

Should Dover District Planning Authority be minded to grant planning permission they would be responsible, in effect for irreparable damage to a potential Local Wildlife site. In our view such action would be impossible to justify, particularly given the Authority’s statutory duty to conserve biodiversity under the terms of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act of 2006. Our view is that such action would constitute ecological vandalism.

We are of the opinion that the biodiversity value of the site has been downplayed by the applicant’s ecologists from the beginning of the appraisal process.

We strongly dispute their claims in the Executive Summary of the Updated Ecological Appraisal that ‘the proposals have sought to minimize impacts on biodiversity’ and that ‘it is considered unlikely that the proposals will result in significant harm’ (subject to appropriate avoidance, mitigation and compensation measures) For example, when the proposals are going to destroy Rare plants and invertebrates of National importance (as shown in the results of the Plant and Invertebrate surveys) how can it be claimed that impacts on biodiversity have been minimized, particularly when species cannot be translocated with any guarantee of success ? It is obvious that the proposals will result in irreparable damage or destruction of, a wide range of species and habitat, that will not be compensated for by the proposed plan for Betteshanger Park.

The downplaying is also evidenced by the disputed assessment of the Open Mosaic Habitat on the development site. Both the Natural Environment Officer and the Kent Wildlife Trust have come to the same conclusions about the assessment and claims for biodiversity net gain, made by Aspect Ecology, and shown that they cannot be justified.

This is of particular significance as the biodiversity net gain percentage and the compensation measures proposed depend upon this assessment. It has now been confirmed that under the terms of the forthcoming Environment bill, developers must show a 10% biodiversity net gain so plans need to show how this will be achieved.

Response to the Submission by the Senior Natural Environment Officer.

We agree with all the comments made in relation to TN2 an Ecology Technical Note.

We would also draw attention to the fact that the Invertebrate Survey is incomplete, as surveys were not carried out to assess invertebrate activity in the Spring (contrary to the advice from Natural England) Also survey efforts were focused on the development platforms, at the request of the applicant, so we do not have a complete picture of the site’s value as a whole for invertebrates.

Also missing is a lichen/bryophyte survey despite historical records which show the site could be significant for this group.

In relation to the plans for compensation at Betteshanger Park, we agree with the Natural Environment Officer’s view that the areas currently proposed for enhancement are valuable habitat in their own right. Removing species rich grassland to create open mosaic habitat does not, in our minds, constitute a gain for biodiversity. We are concerned that no botanical data has been seen for area R2 where Aspect Ecology propose scrapes to enhance OMH. Why is this?

Surely before any compensatory plan can be decided upon a full ecological assessment of the proposed area needs to be undertaken to ascertain its current value, as it may well be that to change it would result in an overall biodiversity loss. Unless this is done it will make a mockery of the whole compensation/biodiversity net gain requirement.

We maintain that the ecological value of the development site has been downplayed by the applicant’s ecologists. Are we now seeing the same thing happening with the area at Betteshanger Park proposed for compensation?

We agree that the proposals for creating Turtle Dove habitat are inadequate and we reiterate Natural England’s advice that plans should ‘provide like for like habitat replacements …in a safe position to provide a long term home’.

Given that bird species such as ringed plover and long eared owls have disappeared from Betteshanger Park as a result of human disturbance, we do not believe it would provide a ‘safe home’ for Turtle Doves as they are very wary of people, and given that park activity is bound to increase it would not provide a ’long term home.’

Dover District Council Planning Authority and its responsibility to conserve biodiversity.

The Government requires all public bodies to conserve biodiversity. This duty is enshrined in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. It is also required as part of the National Planning Policy Framework which says:

174 b) Plans should ‘promote the conservation, restoration and enhancement of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of priority species.’

It is widely acknowledged that we are living at a time of unprecedented crisis for the natural world and the Planning Officer and Planning Committee have to decide whether they can justify the irreparable harm that the proposed development will wreak on a potential Local Wildlife Site.

Our view is that they should signal their commitment to conserving biodiversity by rejecting this application.

Evidence of the perilous state of the natural world is currently coming to us from so many different sources that no one can be in any doubt that we are facing an ecological catastrophy.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, signed the Leader’s Pledge for Nature at the UN’s Summit on Biodiversity in September this year. This includes commitments to prioritise a green recovery post covid and deliver ambitious biodiversity targets. This is what he said:

‘We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. Left unchecked the consequences will be catastrophic for us all. Extinction is forever so our action must be immediate.’

This follows the television programme, Extinction, by David Attenborough and his use of Instagram, and a suite of other recent reports from the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Worldwide Fund for Nature and others, documenting the unprecedented damage the human species is wreaking on the natural world and how it is going to impact us all. There is an excellent overview of the situation by the BBC (follow the link in Appendix 3)

Out of the 90 public comments that this application had received by 1st October, I have counted 57 that state the loss of the site as wildlife habitat as an objection or concern. This does not include the petition. This shows that local people are well aware of the significance of such losses and we hope their concerns will be given sufficient weight in the decision making process.

There has never been a more important time for Dover District Council to show its commitment to stemming biodiversity loss.

The decision on the Betteshanger application provides an opportunity for the Planning Officers and the Planning Committee to show the local community that they take this responsibility seriously and are willing to play their part in stemming the tide of wildlife declines. We urge them to refuse this application.

Sue Sullivan for the Friends of Betteshanger

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Gala Apple Glean in Eastry 15th October 2020

Thank you to today's gleaning team:  Sonja, Heather, Lucy, Eileen, Faye, Sandra, Jill, Jamie? and Steve; who collected some 330kgs of gala apples today in Eastry

A big thank you to farmer David Bradley for inviting us today and shifting our glean from the bottom orchard

Apples are going to:
  • Deal Foodbank
  • Dover Foodbank
  • BeChange at Aylesham
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Meals on the Hill
  • Talk It Out
  • Wellington House
  • Sandown School
  • Hornbeam School
  • Landmark Community Cafe
  • Your Kitchen Thanet
  • Sandwich Age Concern
  • United Families
If your local community organisation would like some of produce we glean or if you would like to get involved please email

We would also like to thank Dover District Council for funding our Gleaning Bags and COVID kit.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Walmer Beach Clean Sunday 1st Nov 2020

Our next community beach clean will be on Sunday 1st November from Walmer Green

You must book to attend this clean:

  • Six bookable starts
  • Max of 6 people per start
  • Full social distancing at start and finish
  • Equipment supplied and disinfected
  • Please bring own gloves

full details please contact

A Deal Litter Diary -No4 12th October 2020

I get more toots and waves along the Ancient Highway now - regular users recognize me as they slow down to pass. "Get yourself a litter picker and gloves! Join my mucky club!" 

Bottles, cans, scratch cards, sweet wrappers, cigarette packets, wipes. Petrol station purchases. All freshly deposited in the verges, hedges and laybys. Swept out of footwells and tossed from windows. 

Fast food packaging and receipts: the yellow arches at Minster have featured more than once. 

How can the habit of ejecting waste from one's vehicle be broken?

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Pear Gleaning in Woodnesborough 8/10 2020

Thank you to our gleaning team - Scot, Sonja, Sarah, Sandra, Jill and Steve - who collected some 250kgs of conference and comice pears today in Woodnesborough

A big thank you to farmer David Bradley for inviting us today.

Food going to
  • Deal Foodbank
  • Dover Foodbank
  • BeChange at Aylesham
  • Deal Salvation Army
  • Meals on the Hill
  • Talk It Out
  • Wellington House
  • Sandown School
  • Hornbeam School
  • Landmark Community Cafe
  • United Families
  • Sandwich Age Concern
  • Catching Lives
  • Hornbeam School

If your local community organisation would like some of produce we glean or if you would like to get involved please email

We would also like to thank Dover District Council for funding our Gleaning Bags and COVID kit.

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary - Three - Monday 5th October 2020 #DealLitterDiary

The babes of Deal sob for their soothers!

I find a range of mainly plastic items, presumably dropped by children.

I wonder if these things are missed. Cheap, disposable, replaceable. If I don't pick them up they will lie there, unbroken. Their owners will grow up and have kids themselves before their stuff has even begun to rot. The planet will harbour this litter way beyond our lifetime.

I wonder how many similar items are dropped nationally?


Helen C

Monday, September 21, 2020

A Deal Litter Diary - Two - 21th September 2020 #DealLitterDiary


It’s the start of the Autumn Term and afternoon picking is a shrewd move as I get seen by children from the local primary and they ask their parents what I’m doing. 

After 8 weeks of serious collecting, I experience a first. Someone sees me, takes a step back, bends down and picks up a piece of litter they’ve just spied amongst the weeds against a hedge. The item is proferred at a distance, and I meet it with my sack. I begin chatting with this environmentally-conscious 10-year old, who helps his Nan pick cans and other stuff when they are out together. He tells me it’s his birthday on Friday. 

I head for the primary school and as luck has it, meet the Year 6 teacher, so I can hope that this young lad gets recognized for the best bit of public spirit I’ve seen in a while. Let’s hope his generation re-kindles the attitude to KEEP BRITAIN TIDY and be more responsible for their surroundings.

#DealLitterDiary is written by Helen C 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

#GBBeachclean Deal Beach Sunday 20th September 2020

you to our 15 volunteers on this afternoons Deal Beach clean 21kgs collected

We had a team of 6 also doing the Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Deal Hop Farm Harvest Report 2020

The community hop growing project in the town - the Deal Hop Farm - has had an excellent 4th season despite the drought, aphids and COVID.

The three harvest days in the town produced at total green harvest of 211.3 Kilos of prima donna hops. About 50 kilos of these went immediately into a Green Hop Pale Ale (brewed by Time & Tide Brewing) and the rest went for professional drying at the Berry and Redsell farms.

We got 40kilos of dried hops for beer brews with Time & Tide between now and next September 2021.

In all we harvested across 175 of our 265 sites with some 307 people involved in the harvest. 

The average harvest per rhizome did drop from 925grams to 650grams - and over all we were down by 30% on our 2019 harvest. 

Much of this was put down to the drought and timing of the aphids spread. This does seem to be reflected in many commercial hop farms in Kent who had cut hop production anyhow because of reduced demand from COVID but also either saw drops in harvest or alternatively had to irrigate the hop gardens which for the UK is very unusual.

The range was 9grams to 4kilos from one plant. The largest garden site produced 4.9kilos and our largest community site 11kilos

Lots of good feedback on our COVID secure harvest drop offs and we are very grateful to the volunteers who ran the drop offs, social distanced community hop picking, our marshalls for arranging pickups from sites who could not make it or were shielding.


For details on joining please email


Harvest 1 - 3/9/2020

Harvest 2 - 10/9/2020

Harvest 3 - 17/9/2020