Hilary farms in North Wales, her main holding is a 66 acre upland farm with mountain rights on Llanllechid common. She also rents and manages the grazing on a range of SSSIs and nature reserves. Hilary is passionate about nature and wildlife and has found that it can fit into our farming system. She is keen to reduce inputs and manage the land and livestock as naturally as possible.
Sorcha lives in the beautiful Elan Valley in Mid Wales where she farms with her husband and 2 children on an upland hill farm. She is passionate about promoting how amazing our uplands can be, the variety of wildlife that depend upon them and the people that help maintain them.
Gethin Owen farms 110ha at Nant-yr-Efail near Abergele on the North Wales coast with his family, and is a former regional winner of the RSPB Nature of Farming award. He farms 35 suckler cows and 650 ewes, and also grows spring oats and barley, forage peas, swedes and red clover. The farm is run following traditional principles of variety in space & time and being as self-sufficient as possible to reduce input costs. The farm has been within the Glastir Advanced and Tir Gofal agri-environment schemes since 2008, and has resulted in significant environmental improvement & habitat creation, including several kilometres of hedgerow planting and restoration and provision of overwintered stubbles for many species of seed-eating birds. Gethin is passionate about creating a home for wildlife, and demonstrating that this can be mutually beneficial in its co-existence with productive and sustainable agriculture.
Polly is a mixed organic tenant farmer in South Wales, with a large range of agri- environmental management options undertaken, due to the Glastir Advanced contract with the Welsh Government. The farm enterprises include a beef suckler herd, 600 Romney Ewes & 80ha of organic cereals in rotation, including Spelt, Spring Wheat, Spring Barley, Spring Oats & Spring Beans. There is also a small number of Gloucester old spot pigs to supply the small farm butchery and meat box delivery business. Polly is passionate about increasing the farm yields both in ecology and improved organic agronomy, so the environmental management options are not a fringe to the farming enterprise but embedded within the whole farming system.
Tony is a fifth generation tenant farmer on a Mountain farm in Mid Wales, over 80% of the land has SSSI status. The farm management focuses on environmental improvements supported with Organic, Glastir Advanced and Woodland Creation agreements. This nature friendly habitat is managed by a flock of Welsh Mountain sheep and a herd of Dexter cows. The remote off-grid farm depends on solar PV for electricity and biomass for heating. Tony also produces biochar from low quality forage for use as a carbon sequestering compost improver.
Becky Holden farms 300 acres in partnership with her husband Patrick at Bwlchwernen Fawr near Lampeter, Ceredigion, now the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales. The main enterprise is milk production from 80 Ayrshire cows, from which they make Hafod, a single farm raw milk cheddar recipe cheese. The farm has been organic since the 1970s, and has always focussed on food production in harmony with nature, as well as minimising the use of imported energy, animal feed, bedding and nutrients along the lines of the principles of the circular economy. The Holdens believe that biodiversity is best preserved and enhanced through the application of sustainable farming practices, rather than through stewardship schemes around the edges of otherwise intensively farmed land.