Geraint Powell - Sustainable grazing strategies that meet ecological demands
I am Geraint, I am 43 years old and live in the Cotswolds in the county of Gloucestershire.
I was brought up on the family farm in the Brecon Beacons. After leaving school I gained a Bsc in Agricultural science from Aberystwyth University. After graduating I moved to Devon to shepherd a flock in the Tamar Valley, I then moved to the Cotswolds in 1999 to work on a large mixed estate near Tetbury.
From leaving university to starting my current role in 2004 I travelled and worked for several winters in New Zealand and Australia. Experiencing dairy, sheep and beef in NZ and cattle farming in Australia.
Currently lambing 4200 NZ Romney Ewes and calving 65 AA cows. Forage based system with nothing housed and no concentrates fed. All land is rented on annual grazing agreements. No land is owned and no SFP/environmental payments claimed. All grassland is under HLS stewardship, therefore unproductive grass species as pasture improvement is not allowed. There are grazing restrictions for different parts of the season (mainly to encourage flowering and seeding) depending on how the stewardship agreement was negotiated at the start. There are 16 separate landlords with land ranging in size from 3000 acres to 12 acres all with their own stewardship agreements/demands. In total there is in excess of 4000 acres of permanent pasture grazed at different times of the year depending on what the HLS restrictions dictate.
Outside of work I enjoy all sports especially rugby and cricket, I am a keen supporter of Gloucester Rugby and of course Wales. Its great being the only Welshman in an English pub when Wales beat England!
I am incredibly grateful to my sponsors AHDB Beef and Lamb for this exciting opportunity of travel and learning.