Welcome to an insightful journey through our recent Development Team’s away day, penned by our very own Graham Mann. Graham offers a unique perspective into this special event. Join him, as he delves into their day of discovery.
Last Friday marked an exceptional day for the Development Team as we held our team away day at the splendid Bore Place. This 500-acre regeneratively managed historic estate, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Sevenoaks, Kent, is masterfully maintained by The Commonwork Trust and their partners. The choice of location provided an inspiring backdrop for a day filled with rich learning experiences, fun, and team bonding.
Unveiling the Secrets of Biodiversity
The morning was dedicated to deepening our understanding of how nature and development can co-exist. Under the guidance of Dr. Lee Brady, an eminent Kent-based Ecologist, we learned about protected species, unique habitats, and the challenges and opportunities presented by the forthcoming Biodiversity Net Gain legislation. This insightful session allowed us to appreciate the delicate balance of nature and the pressing need to protect our environment.
After an enlightening morning, we were treated to a delightful lunch of soup and bread made from organically grown ingredients straight from the Bore Place farm. The meal was not only scrumptious but a delicious demonstration of sustainable farming in action.
Towards Net Zero Carbon
Post-lunch, our team pivoted to one of the key aspects of sustainable development – achieving net-zero carbon emissions. We further explored the potential of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP). The interactive session sparked stimulating discussions on renewable heating technology and the vital role it plays in our journey towards net-zero carbon.
An In-depth Tour of the Estate
The day’s learning continued with an enlightening tour of the Bore Place estate, led by the farm’s enthusiastic Citizen Science and Nature Programme Coordinator, Heather, and intern James. We had the opportunity to explore the farm’s operations, land management practices, and their diversification strategies. One unexpected highlight involved checking cow dung for beetles, an activity that our Regional Development Manager Nick Hughes, found particularly intriguing…although hands-on volunteers were thin on the ground!
Planning for the Future at Chequers Field
To cap off the day, we visited Chequers Field at Bough Beech, where we recently received planning consent for eight affordable homes. Only a short distance from Bore Place, we will be bringing into play our newly refreshed skills, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to ecology and conservation.
Our Away Day at Bore Place was a unique blend of educational sessions, hands-on experiences, and team bonding. The day provided a perfect blend of ecological insights, technological innovation, and future planning, leaving us inspired, and ready to bring these learnings to our everyday work. It was a truly enjoyable day, packed with fun and learning, and one that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on the team.