Haffenden FarmBNG offset site
Local Planning Authority (LPA) - Ashford
National Character Area (NCA) - Low Weald / High Weald
OS grid ref: TQ 86952 36522
BNG units available
Very high distinctiveness - 331.55 units
High distinctiveness - 12.17 units
Heathland and shrub
Medium distinctiveness - 0.38 units
Medium distinctiveness - 30.95 units
This 68 hectare site is located approximately 15 miles southwest of Ashford and lies between the villages of Biddenden and St Michaels.
It is surrounded by woodland and arable fields, and the wider area is largely made up of small villages, woodland, and arable fields.
The land at Haffenden Farm is not subject to any statutory nature conservation designations, and none are located within a 1km radius. However, the Local Wildlife Site 'Sandpit Wood, Clapper Hill' lies immediately adjacent to the site along the eastern and southern boundary, and two more are found within a 1 km radius. Nine Ancient Semi-Natural Woodlands and one Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site lie immediately adjacent to or within 1km of the site.
The site currently comprises a variety of habitats, including cereal crops, lowland meadow, other neutral grassland, modified grassland, mixed scrub, lowland mixed deciduous woodland, wet woodland. In addition, it contains 8.44 km km of native hedgerows, 5.03 km of which are species-rich priority habitat.
Notably, the site contains an impressive ~40 ha of existing lowland meadow, representing approximately 0.5% of this habitat in the country, though much is in poor or moderate condition. Lowland meadows typically contain a rich mixture of native grass and flowering plant species, making them a haven for many pollinator species. All the existing lowland meadow on the site will be enhanced to good condition, while parcels of cereal cropland, modified grassland, and other neutral grassland will also be converted into this very high distinctiveness habitat.
Meanwhile, areas of mixed scrub, woodland, and species-rich hedgerows are to be raised to a better condition through nature-friendly management such as pruning, grazing, planting, and coppicing as appropriate. In addition, all native hedgerows will be enhanced to species-rich native hedgerow by in-filling with a more diverse mix of hedgerow species.