Canterbury Oast Trust

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South of England Rare Breeds Centre redirects here.
Poulton Wood redirects here.

Canterbury Oast Trust (COT) is a registered charity[1] in England which runs commercial operations that provide occupational opportunities for people with learning disabilities in Kent and East Sussex, as well as providing homes, care and educational support.[2]

Its major project is the South of England Rare Breeds Centre on the B2067 road at Woodchurch, near Ashford, Kent, which is a farm tourist attraction. It also includes a restaurant, plant nursery and conference facility at the same location, all providing occupational opportunities for people with learning difficulties. The Trust also similarly run a restaurant in Rye, East Sussex (Coterie Tea Rooms), and a woodland management and wood crafts project at Poulton Wood near Aldington, Kent, and run an educational facility for people with learning difficulties, Harrington College.[2]

The South of England Rare Breeds Centre has displays of various farm animals, a children's petting barn, children's and toddlers play areas, discovery and wildlife gardens, walk through aviary and butterfly tunnel, falconry displays, woodland walks and the Granary Restaurant. Buildings from a Georgian farm (Yonsea Farm) are being re-located to the site as a preservation project. The Centre offers National Curriculum-based activities for visiting school groups.[3] It is one of sixteen Rare Breeds Survival Trust approved farm parks,[4] and features a variety of rare breeds. Sheep breeds include Manx Loaghtan, Jacobs, Lincoln Longwool, Wensleydales and Portlands; Pig breeds include Berkshires, British Lops, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Middle Whites and Tamworths; cattle include British Whites, Gloucesters and Beef Shorthorns; and there are also Bagot goats.[5][6] Also located at the Centre is The Falcons Centre conference facility, which as well as providing for corporate meetings, is licensed for civil marriage ceremonies and caters for events such as banquets and dances.[7] From 2008 the Centre will be the home of the annual Bilsington Craft Fair (28/29 June in 2008).[6]

Poulton Wood is a 28-acre (110,000 m2) coppiced woodland and Local Nature Reserve renowned for its bluebells. It has free public access.[8] It is situated alongside Homelands, a listed building dating from the 17th century in Aldington which is used by the Canterbury Oast Trust as a residential building.[9] The wood includes Ash, Hornbeam and Oak trees. Poulton Wood Works is run by the Trust to manage the woodland, and also produces craft products, wooden furniture and offers a local tree felling service.[10]


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Coordinates: 51°4′28″N 0°47′39″E / 51.07444°N 0.79417°E / 51.07444; 0.79417