Confor southeast region event

Jun 11, 2019 at 09:45 — 16:00 (BST)
Organiser: Confor

Cinque Ports Training Area (CPTA) – Managing military training and access alongside ash die-back

Kent Renewable Energy at Discovery Park tour of biomass plant

In conjunction with Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Landmarc Support Services Ltd. and Euroforest, Confor and the ICF are pleased to invite you to their June field meeting. The focus of the morning meeting will be on how these woodlands, infected with ash die-back, are being managed to provide a “safe place to train” for the military alongside forestry operations – taking due regard for health and safety and what our future intentions for these woodlands are, in terms of site clearance, planting and regeneration. The afternoon will start with a presentation by Katharina Schwanda on the Austrian experience of ash die-back and in particular the impact of Honey Fungus and followed by a tour of the Kent Renewable Energy biomass plant.

Chalara dieback of ash, is one of the most significant fungal pathogens to be introduced to Britain in recent years, and its spread represents a major challenge to the management of woodlands on the MoD estate, not just here in Kent – but elsewhere in the UK. The works being carried out in Kent are leading the way on the MoD assess and manage their woodland resource elsewhere in the UK and this visit will highlight how they have tackled the planning and delivery of this and what lessons they are learning, moving forward to other locations.

The area being visited is part of a 90+ha woodland complex at Watersend. It is primarily coppiced mixed broadleaves - ash, hazel and hornbeam, with some field maple, and Sweet chestnut, with oak and Sweet chestnut standards. The woodland composition is a mix of all species, but there are areas of pure ash, which have been wholly infected with die-back, and which can be clearly seen. The site is MoD freehold and found in an area dominated by ancient semi-natural woodland and surrounded by agricultural grazing pastures. The area is also a SSSI – for the rich variety of woodland flora present.

On a day to day basis, this location is an important “dry” training area for the military, using the undulating ground, woodland and hedges for cover and the utilisation of blank ammunition and pyrotechnics.

Thanks are due to Major Rick Bevan (Senior Training Safety Officer CPTA) for his kind agreement in the use of the Watersend woodlands for the morning visit and Euroforest for hosting the afternoon presentations and tour.

If you are not a Confor member and would like to attend please contact:


Space at Discovery Park (CT13 9FF) will be available if attendees want to meet there and car share

09.45: Arrive (access to the site is from Canterbury Road, Lydden, Kent CT15 7ER. The site will be signposted from the road and is accessed via a gravel track. This is suitable for cars/4WD and parking space is available on site. There are no facilities on site. Access and egress is via the same track.

10.00: Welcome and introductions

10.15: General background on the MoD woodlands in Kent (and the wider MoD estate managed by Landmarc Support Services Ltd). Judith Peachey

10.30: Woodland walk/site visit – looking at how and when ash die-back was identified, surveyed and quantified, commissioning of works, H&S implications and lessons learnt to date. What will have to done in the future and how this affects the wider MoD estate. Discussion and questions as they arise.

11.45: Return to car park

12.00: Leave for Sandwich (Discovery Park, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9FF). The journey will take between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on traffic and parking

12.30: Arrive at Sandwich (parking, walk to Euroforest office)

12.45: Lunch/refreshments 

13.20: Presentation 1 - "ash die-back – the Austrian Experience" by Katharina Schwanda

13.40: Presentation 2 (TBC)

14.00: Group 1 - tour of KRE biomass plant (host: Ben Manterfield – Euroforest) 

15.00: Group 2 - tour of KRE biomass plant (host: Ben Manterfield – Euroforest) 

16.00: Depart



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Unfortunately tickets are no longer available for this event.