They (trees) are doing their important work, they will grow over future years, and their purpose is to have trees in the landscape, in addition they are going to be helping the river where they will be holding water back, taking water out of the ground, as well as creating shelter for the river course so that the temperature of the river stays nice and cool over the summer months. They will aid water quality, from their role in managing soil health. So when I work the land the trees play their part in preventing any run off. The soil will stay where it should and the water is as clean as can be, not just for wildlife but for the benefit of livestock too. So everything ties into itself naturally here where we see benefits in different sites.
We’re stood here in a field where we have broken it into two fields, we have planted 2,350 trees over the last few years here in the form of a hedge which has transformed the place in all honesty. These fields have become more intensive here and we’ve maintained productivity. The bottom part is a lot drier since the hedge went in, the soil temperature is warmer in the spring and remains higher going into the winter months, so we are growing grass for longer in the year as well. So, it’s saving us money in the long run. Looking forward to the future I hope the hedge will have grown to a point where we will have really good shelter for the stock to benefit from, whether it’s in the summer months or winter. We are on the outskirts of the town of Bala, and it’s been important to me to show the public what we are doing here for the environment, and for food production that can go hand-in -hand to tell the truth. So, yes, I think we have transformed this field from something very average to something quite great, a potential any farm in Wales can achieve and reap the rewards that come from it.
The ffridd has always had trees on it, so as the older trees come to the end of their life it is important to me that there are trees there to take over after they have gone. It is important to me that the landscape looks like it did a few centuries ago, this landscape needs to be kept as natural as possible.
The land works really well; it is able to hold water in all weathers instead of just running straight off into the watercourses and subsequently the rivers. The healthier the ffridd or field is the more water it can hold, and with that it enables us as farmers to produce food in a changing climate.
It is essential that the shelter is here as well; we usually think of shelter for the winter when the weather is harsh but like we’ve witnessed these past few summers the animals also need the shade provided by trees. An animal with an optimum body temperature is a happy animal, and a happy animal is a productive animal. The trees go hand in hand leading to success there.