MBEs awarded to cobnut guru and a community hero

MBEs awarded to cobnut guru and a community hero
John Cannon, MBE

The cobnut, which is a type of hazelnut, has been grown in Kent since the 1600s – and three generations of Cannons have won multiple awards for their crops.

The 88-year-old has run Roughway Farm near Dunks Green with his wife Rosemary and family for more than half a century.

They cultivate 52 different varieties in orchards – known as plats – where some of the trees are 150 years old and still producing the nuts.

Having originally farmed in Tasmania, Mr Cannon started out at nearby Oxenhoath near West Peckham before moving to Roughway in the 1960s.

He set up the Kentish Cobnuts Association in 1990 to raise the profile of the industry when it was being threatened by imports – and is now its President.

He has three children and six grandchildren. His grandson Tom has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship in rural living, researching hazelnut production.

Graham Coldman of Hever has received an MBE for services to the community in Edenbridge.

The 76-year-old has volunteered for several local charities over a period of 23 years, including Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services (DAVSS) and The Eden Centre Community Partnership.

He is also Chair of the Edenbridge and Westerham Citizens Advice, and last year he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement accolade by Len Goodman on behalf of Sevenoaks District Council at the Making It Happen Community and Voluntary awards.

The Council said: “Thanks to Graham, the charities he works with have made a real difference to the lives of thousands of adults, young people and children, including the most vulnerable in Edenbridge and in West Kent.”

Mr Coldman, who has six grandchildren, is closely involved with the Holcot Centre near Edenbridge, a hostel, Christian retreat and community centre.

His brother John received an OBE in 2017 for services to business, young people and charity.

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