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COED AGRI: Marion Howells

Arwel planting trees
Marion Howells​ from Llanllwni tells us why she decided to get involved with our CoedAgri scheme.  If you'd like to apply for trees through the scheme, contact us on  coedagri@agritrader.co.uk

Marion Howells o Llanllwni sy’n egluro pan wnaethon nhw benderfynu dderbyn coed i’w plannu ar y fferm fel rhan o gynllun CoedAgri.  Os hoffech chi wneud cais am goed cynhenid, cysylltwch gyda ni ar coedagri@agritrader.co.uk. 

We run a very traditional family farm, comprising of Ken, Janet, Arwel and Marion, farming around 450 acres. We have a 130 cow milking herd, producing around 1,000,000 litres of milk yearly, which is sold to First Milk on a Tesco Cheese Group Contract. 

Milk quality is very high on our list of priorities, which has seen us in the top five producers for quality in the UK four times in the last 5 years. Another high priority for us is cow welfare and health, which we believe plays a large part in milk quality. We also have around 120 young stock, rearing all our replacements, all cows are born and reared on the farm. We also keep around 500 sheep and 130 yearlings.

The farm is predominately south-west facing, with the land ranging from 550 ft. above sea level to 1000 ft., bordering on Llanllwni Mountain. 

Conservation and biodiversity are very important to us. The farm has several woodland areas, some enclosed and not accessible to livestock, and some as part of the fields offering shelter in extreme weather. Most of the fields are enclosed by traditional hedges consisting of deciduous trees. There are a number of fallen trees in our wooded areas along with tree stumps, which have been left to encourage invertebrates and other wildlife as a food source for the farmland birds. 

There is an 8-acre field, comprising marshland and woodland, which is accessible to livestock, but is left unfarmed with no tractor activity. This area is a haven for wildlife, comprising a few rare wildflowers and insects, for example wild marsh orchids, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Wood Anemone, Marsh Marigolds, Scarlet Pimpernel, and Cuckoo’s Flower to name a few, alongside the more traditional Wood Forget-Me-Not, Foxgloves, Cowslips etc. Frogs, toads, and newts also flourish in this area. We also introduced 10 beehives to the farm in 2021, which we believe is fundamental to enhance wildlife back to the holding.

We have planted a few new hedgerows over the last few years and were looking to plant again this year. We happened to read about the Coed Agri scheme through the Agritrader newsletter, and applied. Luckily, we were accepted, and received delivery of 50 healthy saplings and protectors. 

We opted for a mixture of native trees: Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Field Maple, Hornbeam and Crab Apple. The whole process was easy and straightforward, and both Chris, who dealt with our application, and Damian, who delivered the trees, were very friendly and approachable. I would recommend anyone who is thinking about planting trees next winter to apply for the scheme, whether you are after a single tree or a larger quantity. Every tree planted will benefit the environment! We planted ours on a hedge we had double fenced last year, to re-establish a fully stock proof hedge for the future, and are looking forward to seeing them flourish over the next few years. Diolch yn fawr CoedAgri!!

Arwel holding the new trees
Coed Agri Trees Planted

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