Story of the Plat

 

The Story of the Plat

Preserving a Kentish tradition

If you look at old maps of Kent, you can see that the plat has been there for a hundred years and maybe more. Cobnuts were cultivated here in the traditional fashion until 2005, when the plat fell into neglect and by 2011, it was something of a jungle.

 More of a green and flowery jungle than a nut plat.

More of a green and flowery jungle than a nut plat.

The plat is on the Ightham Mote estate of the National Trust, who advertised for a new tenant. Word came to the attention of the Kentish Cobnuts Association, of which I am a member, and I decided to take it on. But I needed help!

Six years later, and with the help of volunteers and small grants, the plat is in good shape and thriving again.

 Trees pruned, grass mown: waiting for spring to appear!

Trees pruned, grass mown: waiting for spring to appear!

We welcome in volunteers from the local communityand colleges (including students with learning difficulties), as well as friends and family. We invite children from neighbouring primary schools to visit and take part in activities.

Cobnuts, like hops, are a part of Kentish tradition that need preserving. Indeed there were 6,000 acres of cobnuts in 1914;  nowadays there are approximated 300 acres.

The plat is an 8-acre site with 5 acres of cobnuts, approximately 1,300 trees. Preserving the plat and sharing the tasty produce from it helps to keep this tradition alive,