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Nature Friendly Farming Week - Hedges & Edges Webinar

There is no doubt that trees play a vital role in addressing the nature and climate crisis. Woodland, agroforestry and hedgerows can make us more resilient to climate change and create a nature-rich landscape that is beneficial to both farmland and wildlife. With the Welsh Government setting the target of 180,000ha of new planting by 2050, there’s no doubt that farmers can and will play an important role in meeting this aim.

Chaired by Rhys Evans (Sustainable Farming Lead for NFFN Cymru), the session will include talks from Jerry Langford (Policy Lead at Woodland Trust/ Coed Cadw), Hilary Kehoe (NFFN Cymru Chair), Malcolm Edwards (traditional hedge-layer) and Ruth Pybus (Broadleaf Wales/ Bron Haul).

Topics under discussion will include the multiple benefits of farmland trees hedgerows and woodland, what good management looks like, as well as some of the current barriers and policy opportunities for farmland tree planting.

  1. Welcome and introduction – Rhys Evans

  2. Benefits of farmland trees and hedges: Jerry Langford

  3. What good hedgerows look like, farmer attitudes and benefits at Tyddyn Isaf – Hilary Kehoe

  4. Hedgerow management – Malcom Edwards

  5. Woodland Management at Bron Haul Farm – Ruth Pybus

  6. Q&A

Book your free place here.

Speakers:

Jerry Langford

Jerry has worked for the Woodland Trust in Wales for more than 30 years, initially as a buyer and manager of woods, then becoming team manager and Wales Director. In the last few years, he has switched to policy advocacy work.  Current work includes highlighting the value of tree cover on farmland, and in towns and cities, and promoting agroforestry and native and multipurpose woodland creation to help address the climate and biodiversity emergencies whilst retaining land productivity.  Another priority is making the case for better protection of ancient woodland and ancient trees.  Jerry is particularly interested in woodland ecology and carbon cycling and has trained as an environmental scientist and ecologist.

Hilary Kehoe 

Hilary and her husband farm at Tyddyn Isaf, which overlooks the Menai Straits near Bethesda. In addition to the farm, they also run a countryside contracting business with their children which incorporates grazing livestock into the management of the nature reserves for the Wildlife Trust, Local Councils and holiday parks. Grazing animals create conditions for a range of species and habitats such as grassland waxcap fungi, breeding waders, leeches, wildflower meadows, wetlands, sand dunes and heathland. The sheep and cattle are finished slowly and are marketed through local butchers or as premium meat through local sales.  

Ruth Pybus

Ruth Pybus has spent the last 15 years converting 20 hectares of young mixed farm woodland to continuous cover woodland growing quality hardwood timber. The woodland is managed to improve opportunities for biodiversity and beneficial rearing conditions for the small suckler herd. The woodland won the gold medal for Small and Farm Woodlands in the Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry competition 2021 and the farm is currently hosting a trainee under the RFS Forestry Roots scheme. She and her partner have recently started a business, Broadleaf Wales. The consultancy part of the business delivers woodland management courses as well as provides mentoring through Farming Connect, woodland creation plans under Glastir and various woodland support through the Woodland Trust. They are enjoying supporting other landowners in their woodland projects. The business is also developing a local market for their timber products, including sweet chestnut cleft fence posts, stiles, field gates and planked timber. She enjoys the excitement of seeing the range of products growing in diversity alongside the rapid improvement in wildlife as the woodland develops. The cows like it too! www.broadleaf.wales 

Mal Edwards

Malcolm Edwards is a countryside management contractor based in Carmarthenshire, where parallel to working on farms, runs his own 38 acres of working coppice, conservation pasture and sustainably managed woodland. He has been involved in this field of sustainable land management for over 30years. Specialising in various styles of hedgelaying, clawdd work and the preservation of Welsh hedgelaying styles, Malcolm teaches and promotes the conservation of these uniquely Welsh elements of countryside heritage. Malcolm facilitated Carmarthen’s first hedgelaying contest in October 2021 with the help of Dyfryn Tywi project based at The National Botanic Gardens of Wales.