about the project
Kentish hazelnut production has a long history. Cultivation of hazelnut variants known as Kentish Cobnuts have led to unique landscapes within the county and across the country.
Preserving this industry is important for the rural economy and environment. Natural England Technical Note TIN013 highlights that Kentish Cobnuts are considered to be a ‘traditional orchard’ and contribute to the landscape mosaic of rural England and have significant cultural, wildlife and historic interest. Many traditional orchards (known as Plats) have been lost to neglect, grubbing up and development. Cobnuts are also a UK source of food for Red Squirrel projects.
The project will seek to discover more about:
- Market & Policy Environments
- Farming Practice & Approaches
- Diversification & Value-added initiatives
- Communities & Local Economies
- Marketing & Preservation
The overall aim of the project is to make sure that the humble Kentish Cobnut remains a well marketed product that is popular with the buying public.
Find out more below and over the coming months.
Northern Hemisphere 2019
Southern Hemisphere 2020
Trip begins in....
about the WCMT
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems.
Every year WCMT award 150 Fellowships. These fund outstanding individuals to travel for 4-8 weeks, anywhere in the world, researching a topic of their choice among global leaders in their field. On their return, we help them to share their global learning with professions and communities across the UK.
Tom’s project is in the Rural living: strengthening countryside communities category that examines the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
To apply for your own fellowship and to find out more head to the WCMT Website.
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Check back for all the latest trip updates and videos.
Tom is the third generation involved in his family farm at Roughway Farm in Kent, launching the farm online to provide fresh produce directly to the consumer. He also finds time to represent residents at the local Borough Council, has a full time Marketing career and is the Treasurer of the Kentish Cobnuts Association. He has also previously written for The Daily Telegraph. He studied BA History and Politics and received a full scholarship for his MA in Modern British History at the University of East Anglia.
Gain a clear picture of their market & policy environments
Learn about different approaches to hazelnut farming.
Find out about hazelnut diversification and value added approaches
Discover local initiatives and how these factors have enhanced local economies and communities
Ultimately, I want to make sure that the humble cobnut remains a well marketed product that is popular with the buying public and thus preserves the industry.
Why Cobnuts Are important
A unique Kentish landscape.
Opportunities for diversification and value added.
A UK Feed Source
Cobnuts are a UK source of food for Red Squirrel projects. While feed can be imported, sometimes Kent cobnuts become a critical source of food. In addition, conservation projects like to use cobnuts in public displays.
If you can help with the project or would like to get in contact with Tom please email or get in contact via social media.