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The Pontbren Project. A farmer-led approach to sustainable land management in the uplands (2013)

Description

The Pontbren Project is an innovative approach to using woodland management and tree planting to improve the efficiency of upland livestock farming, led by a group of neighbouring farmers in mid-Wales. They went on to develop new on-farm uses for woodland products, and when it became clear that tree planting had not just improved farm businesses and wildlife habitats, but had also reduced water run-off during heavy rain, they invited scientists to investigate. Supported by government funding, this internationally important research has revealed why strategically located belts of trees are so effective at reducing the amount of water running off improved upland grasslands. The scientific data from Pontbren is now being used to study the effects of land use on bigger catchments prone to flooding. Key lessons: Broadleaved woodland and shelterbelts can make the management of upland farms more efficient, and make them better places to live and work; planting and management of woodland and hedgerows on improved upland grasslands can have far wider environmental benefits than was previously understood; a critical factor in achieving the potential environmental benefits of tree and hedgerow planting is the strategic and well-informed choice of locations, species and management.

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Pontbren Project

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