Local Planning Authority: Dover District

National Character Area(s): North Kent Plain; North Downs

OS grid ref: TR 30741 55571

Postcode: CT13 0EA

What3words: ///tabs.deflection.starts

Habitat units available

A total of 72.18 area units, 20.43 hedgerow units, and 0.46 watercourse units are available from the following habitat types:


Other neutral grassland (Medium Distinctiveness) - 58.57

Traditional orchard (High distinctiveness) - 12.26

Heathland and Shrub

Mixed scrub (Medium distinctiveness) - 0.26


Other woodland; mixed (Medium distinctiveness) - 1.09


Ditch (Medium distinctiveness) - 0.45


Species-rich native hedgerow - 19.77

Line of trees - 0.68

Site description

Selson Farm extends to some 15.9 hectares and is located 9 miles north of Dover. and 10 miles southeast of Canterbury. It is 1 km from the rural village of Eastry, and surrounding landscape consists of primarily arable fields with small areas of broadleaved woodland.

Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay RAMSAR site of international importance for birds is within 2.5 km. The Lower Stour Wetlands Biodiversity Opportunity Area and ancient woodland is 1.5km to the east. It is close to Ham Fen, Kent's last remaining fen habitat which is home to beavers.

Current habitats on the site include: intensive pear orchards, coniferous woodland in poor condition, other neutral grassland in poor condition and modified grassland in poor condition. The site also contains 0.8 km of species rich native hedgerow in moderate to good condition and 0.4 km of lines of trees in poor condition.

The pear orchards will be returned to traditional low-intensity management, creating a high distinctiveness priority habitat rich in wildlife. Traditional orchards are fantastic for biodiversity while also supplying fruit and nuts for humans. Their tree blossoms provide ample nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies during spring. Meanwhile the mature trees with their "veteran features" such as hollow trunks, rot holes, dead wood and sap runs are a haven for hundreds of invertebrate species as well as hole-nesting birds such as woodpeckers and little owls. The trees of traditional orchards are more spaced out, meaning more light can reach the ground and promote grassland wildflower biodiversity too!

Management on existing grasslands will also be relaxed to allow more wildflowers to grow, with areas of scrub designed to provide sheltered areas for wildlife. Additional hedgerows will be planted along field margins to extend and join up those already in place, creating routes through which wildlife can cross the landscape.

In addition, the existing section of coniferous woodland will be enhanced to increase the proportion of native broadleaved species. It has been identified by the Forestry Commission as an opportunity for floodplain woodland, helping to slow the flow of water across the landscape, protect the river from agricultural runoff, and reduce the impacts of flooding.

Habitat Transitions