Saturday, January 30, 2021

DEAL HOP FARM: 5th Season Launch in February 2021

Our colleagues in the Deal Hop Farm - Deal's Community Hop Growing Project - is launching its 5th Season at the Beginning of February

The project was started in 2017 and in 2020 had some 265 sites in and around the town (people's back gardens, allotments and community spaces) with about 400 local people involved.

Last year the group harvested an impressive 211 kilos of hops and to date its brewing partners have produced over 65k pints of 14 different beers using its hops 

To kick the season off it has two virtual meetings aimed at new members and those who want to find out a bit more.

Please register at the eventbrite sites for details of the Zoom meetings

DHF Season 5 Launch – Thursday 4th February 2021 7pm

1DHF Season 5 Launch – Sunday 7th February 2021 3pm


Alternatively you can email for more information.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Deal Litter Diary #15 - 17th January 2021

It's been a while since I've been up Golf Road - weeks in fact. Cold, dark, windy rainy days really aren't conducive to the picking of litter!

Experience tells me that there has been some collecting during my absence - I am not picking weeks' worth of waste. Interestingly what I do find is a lot of very light, transparent items which become camouflaged & easily missed. 

A pitfall of this pastime is that you see all. Today's collection is a mucky mass of mainly plastic mess: this photo isn't one to linger on!

Helen C

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Gleaning News 2021



The 2021 Gleaning Season has officially started – we did our first one this week under the COVID regulations – 240kilos of Potatoes collected.

We are routinely delivering to 20 different local food charity organisations and schools plus contributing to larger amounts going to Felix in London and FairShare in Kent

In 2020, we did 31 Gleans during the year and collected an amazing 10 tons of food.

Nationally ( we are part of the Feedback Gleaning Network ) the total was over 650 tons ! 

Thank you to all our volunteers for making this happen x

COVID & Volunteering

The new lockdown and advice on avoidable contact has meant we have to review our risk assessment for the gleans, especially with the more dangerous period that we are in.

Voluntary work is an exempted reason for leaving your home.

The latest advice from KCC is that all volunteers should be having regular lateral flow test for covid, at least every 14 days.

Some of us are doing these weekly because of other volunteering commitments.

Tests are quick and local at Dover Discovery Centre or Sandwich Guildhall.

You can book a test here

Each glean will have its own cap of volunteers depending on the site, parking arrangements and what the farmer wants to happen.

We will be trying to structure different ‘shifts’ between the groups.


GLEAN 21/1/2021

Looks like potatoes and possibly some Kale – If you can make Thursday and have a current Test please let me know

Organisational Changes

As well as being part of the national gleaning network, We work closely with our friends in Hythe (Hythe Environmental Community Group).

Our shared vision is to have independent hubs around Kent who will supply their local organisations as well as combining for larger Gleans when the opportunities arise.

As we grow and co-ordinate with other gleaning hubs, we are setting up an "East Kent Gleaning Group" with its own co-ordinator Charmaine Jacobs who will also be starting up a Folkestone Hub.

The idea of the EKGG is do more gleans on the especially on weekends and try to involve a wider range of farms in Kent

Deal With It and Hythe groups will continue to organise and coordinate weekday gleans. Both groups will maintain independent email lists but will publicise and support EKG gleans

Hopefully all of this will mean more gleans, more produce for local and regional food charities and less food waste.

We are asking all volunteers to register at East Kent Gleaning as well as ourselves- please could you go to JOIN US IN THE FIELDS

If you want to join us or are a local organisation that could do with some of our gleaned produce or a farmer who would host us please email

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Letter from Friends of Betteshanger 13th January 2021

The Friends of Betteshanger gratefully acknowledge the support of eminent academics in their fight to save the Betteshanger site from development by Quinn Estates.

Sir David Baulcombe, Royal Society Research Professor and Regius Professor of Botany at Cambridge and Michael Crawley, Emeritus Professor of Plant Ecology at Imperial College, London have both submitted objections to the planning application, to Dover District Council.

Sir David says:
"I object strongly to the proposed housing development. This rewilded site is at least of national importance and the development would be an act of ecological vandalism. The Friends of Betteshanger provide a compelling case for complete cessation of this development."

Professor Crawley say:
"The fact is that many of these older brownfield sites are much more valuable in their biodiversiy contribution than the community benefits of new housing. The benefit to the individual developer is clear. But he does not bear the costs of the loss of ecological structure and function. That biodiversity is a genuine community benefit. You must not allow this habitat destruction to go ahead."

We also applaud all the local people who have sent in objections on the grounds of the site's value for wildlife and people. It is obvious that there is a groundswell of opinion now, that during this time of ecological crisis and climate change, sites such as Betteshanger should be left intact for their biodiversity value, for the benefits, both physical and mental that they bring to people, especially at this time of Covid, and for their role in carbon sequestration.

In Dover District Council's new Draft Climate Change Strategy there is a plan for hedge and tree planting projects to improve carbon sequestration and air quality. There is a plan to maintain the existing tree stock, biodiversity and carbon capture rich areas. There is a plan to identify areas suitable for renewable energy, biodiversity and tree enhancement and rewilding. There is a plan for a sustainable pattern of development.

Given these ambitions we see the Betteshanger decision as a watershed moment.
If planning permission is granted then we shall know that the Council's new Climate Change Strategy is so much hot air. However if they refuse we shall know that they are serious in their ambition to tackle both climate change and the ecological crisis.

Best wishes
Sue Sullivan 
(Friends of Betteshanger)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

A Deal Litter Diary - #14 6th Jan 2021


 It's a sunny afternoon. I venture down  an alley unvisited before on foot - I have, rather naughtily already been through on my bike a week or two earlier. 

What a site I have missed when I pedalled at speed to avoid being caught! But surely, my misdemeanor pales into insignificance compared with this collection, fenced off from the path? There's a primary school nearby: no doubt children use that footpath. 

What kind of message about our environment is this mind-boggling collection giving our young people? 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A Deal Litter Diary - #13 - 2nd January 2021


Christmas. A storm. Veolia operatives almost overwhelmed with the stacks of recycling to be collected. 

Upending boxes at dusk, thousands of paper and plastic scraps float and land in the vegetation-clogged gutters of our town. 

The mashup of debris becomes part of the landscape. Do we even notice anymore, as we get our daily exercise, walking the sad streets? 

Where does the environment that we all care about so deeply start and finish? Does it include that mucky gutter?