Virtual Tour

Tyn y Bryn Farm Virtual Tour

Tyn y Bryn forms part of the Pontbren group of farmers in Mid Wales. Farmed by Roger and Eirlys Jukes since 1972, much of the land was improved in the 1970’s using grants for land drainage and reseeding. This was accompanied by a shift to continental breeds of sheep and cattle. Alongside their neighbours, the farmers soon realised they were on a ‘treadmill’ and began to explore ways to reduce costs, add more value to their produce and reduce reliance on the ‘brown envelope’. In the early 1990’s they explored keeping hardier stock requiring lower inputs and less time indoors which meant restoring and extending the network of hedges, copses and shelter on the farms. They each drew up a plan for their farms and carried out the work over a 10 year period. 15 years later this ‘virtual tour’ demonstrates some of the results of their work and the contribution of trees to the management of the farm, wildlife and soil and water.

Later on after the trees had established, it was noticed that water after heavy rainfall was disappearing into the shelter belts. The farmers invited scientists to investigate and a major research study resulted. This work showed why strategically located belts of trees are so effective in reducing the water runoff from improved upland grassland with much wider implications for land use policy in Wales and beyond. In 2013 a Pontbren Project report was produced.

Our view of ‘forestry’ in Wales is changing, with a shift away from trees being seen as an alternative to farming and towards the integrated approach demonstrated here. The tree cover you see in these pictures covers just 5% of the total 280 acres on the farm. Our challenge is to find better ways to implement this type of work across Wales providing support for farmers to make these changes.

Most of the work shown was carried out between 2000 and 2011.