Conservators response to cancellation of the Kite Festival

The Conservators are disappointed that the Kite Festival will be cancelled this year.

For the past four years we have been working with Rotary to find a solution or an alternative site on the Heath for the Kite Festival. The problem with holding the Kite Festival in early August is that area really needs to be cut regularly from mid-March to give a good surface and to prevent ground nesting birds nesting, which would prevent us cutting the grass later. With no agreement to move the event or timings, in November 2023 we encouraged Rotary to submit a section 38 application to the Planning Inspectorate allowing for a full public consultation on the event on common land and cutting schedule on the SSSI.

The Planning Inspectorate’s role is to apply Defra’s policy guidance and decide if the Kite Festival contributes to managing, improving or protecting the common and of maintaining the Heath’s traditional uses.

The Conservators are a small group of elected volunteers, who have an increasingly difficult and time-consuming balancing act between the various demands for activities on the Heath, our desire to protect the environment and biodiversity and the complex legal frameworks we have to operate in. We know we will never be able to satisfy everyone but hope the public can see the difficult position and decisions we face in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.