Glamregen 23

3 July 2023

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Question: Is regenerative farming the way forward? Answer: Yes

Or at least to the majority of the audience at the first REGEN23 show held at Sealands Farm, Wick, Vale of Glamorgan. The show was the RWAS Glamorgan feature county event for 2023. Located on the Dunraven Estate, the farm is over 600ac and tenanted by Richard and Lynwen Anthony.

So what is regenerative farming? Regenerative or restorative farming is, in essence, how humans have been farming for centuries before the introduction of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, the plough and monoculture systems. Agriculture is often accused of being a mass polluter, however under the current system Sealands Farm sequesters over 60,000 tonnes of carbon per year, proving that when done right agriculture could be a solution to a big problem.

The system incorporates the five main principles being:
Do not disturb the soil
Keep the soil surface covered
Keep living roots in the soil
Grow a diverse range of crops
Bring grazing animals back to the land

If these principles are followed then the soil will ultimately benefit from not only increased organic matter but life forms, fungi to earth worms. With healthier soils come healthier environments and food. Soils with a higher organic matter sequester far more carbon and hold more water then those with a low organic matter count.

Many regenerative farmers will also argue that whilst their yields are reduced somewhat, their profit margin actually increases owing to the reduction in costs associated with ploughing and the purchase of sprays and fertiliser.

REGEN23 showcased the latest in ‘no till’ machinery including drilling demonstrations on tractors powered by methane, we were also invited to discussions by leading members in the regenerative field including John Pawsey, Jake Freestone and Andrew Ward as well as a question and answer session by the Welsh Government on the future of agriculture in Wales and how they’re acting on the advice they’re being given by the sector.

The show was a great success and was a great opportunity to learn about not only the principles of sustainable agriculture but also how to put them into practice.

- Tomos Davies

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group