Optimising farm resources: soil, plants, livestock: Free day course aimed at farmers in the River Kent catchment goes down a storm!

Back in July, LIFE R4ever Kent hosted a free day course aimed at farmers in the River Kent catchment.

Titled ‘Optimising farm resources: soil, plants, livestock’, the course was aimed at enabling farmers to make informed decisions about soils, nutrients, cropping and grazing management that have a positive impact on their bottom line.

Held at the Bryce – a beautiful Art Deco theatre – in the pretty Cumbrian village of Burneside, the free workshop attracted almost 30 local farmers – and they weren’t just here for the delicious free pie & peas lunch!

The morning session kicked off with an informative talk by Charlie Morgan ‘The Grassmaster’, who had travelled over from Wales.

Charlie Morgan is a farm advisor and independent grassland and forage specialist, delivering technical forage advice based on sound scientific research and agricultural and environmental best practice.

During the morning indoor session, attendees learnt about soils and nutrients (chemistry, physics and biology of soils), before moving on to plant activity and identification, and the benefits of multi-species productive leys. There was also a brief section on regenerative agricultural practices and how they might apply to our local situation, which was followed by ample opportunity for questions and discussions, meaning that everyone was able to take something from the course, regardless of their previous knowledge.

After lunch, the afternoon session was an opportunity for some hands-on experience out in the field, where the group headed out to a nearby farm to dig some pits and learn how to do practical assessments of soils, looking at the texture, structure, and sward health. Attendees were also invited to bring spade samples from their own fields for inspection on the course.

The LIFE R4ever Kent project will be hosting more free workshops. To check these out and book your place, just check out our Events page.

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