PONT “Working with Farmers and Understanding Livestock Grazing” training course

PONT has developed a one-day training course explaining farming systems, managing livestock grazing and how to work with farmers. This was delivered to groups in South Wales at Kenfig and North Wales near Bethesda. A total of 56 people were trained over 3 days.

The Courses took place at the Kenfig nature reserve in South Wales and at Tyddyn Isaf, near Bethesda in North Wales.

The aim of the course is to help members of the conservation community understand more about livestock grazing and management, farming rules and regulations and ways of talking to farmers about land and habitat management.

• We are training people to communicate with farmers and discuss effective conservation management using farm livestock.
• The course includes discussion of farming terms, farm incomes and the time taken to carry out certain practical work such as TB testing.
• It intends to help to bridge the gap between the farming community and conservation professionals.

The course programme is as follows:

1. Farming terms
2. Overview of different farming systems
3. A farming year
4. Farm walk with a full-time farmer and detailed discussion of his system
5. How animals graze and benefits for conservation
6. Finances- gross margins, farm incomes and costs of activities
7. Talk from Farmers Union of Wales or land agent about single farm payments.
8. Legislation
9. Hours in the day
10. Open discussion with a farmer

• By the end of the course participants should have gained a greater understanding of farming and grazing, and understand the issues faced on today’s livestock farms.
• The course is led by a LANTRA accredited PONT trainer.

A lunch of locally sourced, conservation grazed produce was provided. Promoting the wonderful local produce available.

Project Partners

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales, Wildlife Trusts, Local Councils, RSPB, National Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Private individuals and consultants

Community Benefits

Improving communication between conservation professionals and farmers will help to resolve past conflicts between the nature conservation and agricultural sectors. This work improves understanding of livestock management thus providing a bridge between the farming community and the non-farming community. Improving management of land through better communication and understanding will enable communities to access more areas and encourage people into the great outdoors.

Economic Benefits

This training course offers employment opportunities for farmers involved in the delivery of the training. Local produced sourced for lunches, benefiting the local economy.

Natural Resource Benefits

This training benefits natural resources by ensuring continued management of land which needs to be grazed to promote healthy habitats and species populations. If conservation professionals understand better how to work with farmers, they will have improved success in getting land grazed and managed properly.