In March, Sam, William and Peter Hodge, the tenant farmers for the Gaia Trust at Treraven, joined Richard and Matt from Gaia to visit Martin Howard's farm near Launceston.
The visit was organised through the UK Farmer Group Discussion Network (thanks to Kate and Alex from the University of Exeter for making the arrangements) so that we could see how Martin has used grass and herb rich leys on his farm.
It was an excellent day and we learned how Martin's herb-rich pastures support cattle health, improve soil structure and water penetration, carbon and humic content and soil micro-organisms. In the summer, when they are left to grow long, their flowers provide valuable habitat and food for a variety of insects that are uncommon and declining on rye grass dominated, artificially fertlised 'intesive' pasture.
The Gaia Trust is thinking about including herb and legume rich leys in our management of our Treraven farm Nature Reserve near Wadebridge from 2020.