Enhancing the land on an organic sheep farm
Clyttie Cochion is a 150 acre organic sheep farm set in the Gwili valley, on the outskirts of Llanpumsaint, Carmarthenshire.The small scale, family farm, is classed as lowland, at 350 feet but features a landscape more akin to hill farming, with desolated rush covered ground.
This presents some challenges for farm owner Phil Jones, who wants to ensure that both his pasture and 350 sheep flourish whilst working within an easycare approach of land and livestock management. The sheep graze outdoors all year round, meaning good grass cover and healthy soil are critical. Managing the land in a way that ensures a healthy ecosystem, requires a reduction of silage cuts to keep potash levels at an optimum rate and the ground healthy.
Farmers like Phil are rising to the challenge of improving soil health and increasing organic matter in soils. Ground limestone is the only manuring product applied to the soil as maintaining a pH which is near neutral is part of maintaining a healthy soil. The natural ecosystem here relies on the sheep grazing fields, as well as the gradual release of nutrients to the ground.
Small family farms in Wales like Clyttie Cochion are leading the way when it comes to being environmentally friendly and are already responsible for a critical carbon resource in soils,woodland and semi-natural habitats. Phil has further enhanced biodiversity and created more natural habitat through the addition of 8 acres of Alder woodland on land that was not suitable for livestock grazing.
With its low stocking rate and highly considered approach Clyttie Cochion is as sustainable a system as the family farm can be - looking after the environment and producing sustainable, nutritious food in harmony.