David Best

Treathro, North Pembrokeshire


Treathro is a 170-acre coastal moorland farm, rearing a herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle along with a small flock of Lleyn sheep. It is a forage-based system whereby all cattle are certified under the Pasture Fed Livestock Association. The farming principles follow a regenerative approach, combining min till, limited chemical inputs and rotationally grazing livestock. 

David and Debbie are keen to explore which fields and management practices are encouraging improved soil health and microbial activity in order to plan ahead for the future. The project will therefore explore soil health and biodiversity for a range of different management and sward compositions, including permanent pasture, areas of no grazing, silage fields and min till herbal leys.

The aim of the project will be to compare the soil biology of different management practices. The impact of these management practices on the following will be investigated:

  • Soil compaction and visual assessment (VESS)
  • Soil microbiology
  • Earthworm abundance
  • Presence of insects and pollinator species (particularly dung beetles)
  • Forage species composition 

The project will contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • Maximise carbon storage
  • Mitigate flood and drought risk
  • Resilient ecosystems
  • Resource efficient

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