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  • Writer's pictureAlistair

Getting the experts in ... Rob Parry and Derek Gow walk the land


Rob Parry of INCCymru (Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru www.natureconservation.wales) and Derek Gow (known for his work on re-introductions, including beavers, as well as his rewilding project on his own farm www.rewildingcoombeshead.co.uk) first visited Cefn Garthenor with me back today, before I make a final commitment to buy the farm. I want to be sure that it is a good site to work with and get nature back to.


The good news was that from an ecological point of view the land is very interesting. The “structure” is good, meaning that the farming has not been so intensive as to destroy everything. The is a great variety of habitats, from regular “improved” fields through marshy wet areas with lots of soft rush to woodland, both wet and dry. There is likely also a good seed bank buried in the soil so more stuff should come back when the sheep are removed. The land certainly needs a rest from intensive grazing. The SSSI status (around 70 out of 210 acres are in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning rare flora and fauna) will naturally need to be handled carefully. These sites tend to focus on the specific rather than overall biodiversity, and there are mixed views on this from ecologists who know far more than me on the subject.


But, overall, we are good to go with the project, which is really exciting!

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