Land Management in Pembrokeshire – a talk by Mark Underhill, Countryside Manager for National Trust Pembrokeshire 18/11/21.

Mark was our after lunch speaker at Wolfscastle Country Hotel. He told us how the National Trust has a declared aim to be Net Zero for Carbon by 2030, restoring habitats along the way.
The latest acronym is RACE.

Starting with REDUCE, the target is to lower carbon release by 5% per annum. Heating buildings tops the chart, but vehicle use features, and three new vehicles in the local NT fleet will be electric powered, this year.

Then there is ADAPT. The example offered was the proposed new road by passing the coastal road at Newgale. The existing road is threatened by the inward progress of the shingle bank. Mark stressed the importance of regarding the plans as an ecological evolution with a flooded river valley, improved habitat and carbon sequestration, rather than just a “new road”.The new highway would traverse parts of the Southwood Estate.

For CAPTURE, several examples were given. Magnificent Meadows are now to be found across many parts of the county, thanks to the National Trust working with other organisations. In season, the fields are buzzing with insect life.
Rhos Pasture at Southwood is an area of land that escaped the attentions of the drainage contractor, many years ago. It now provides the best habitats on the site, and the aim is to allow the scrub to spread, enhancing carbon sequestration.
The plans at Mount and Barn Fields, north of Colby, are more ambitious. Only in spring of this year, the land came back into NT control, having been tenanted. The intention is to plant 27,000 trees, without tree guards or stakes, by spring 2022!

To end the acronym, ENGAGE. That was what Mark was doing with us, explaining the plans to local people, and listening to their responses.
The large number of questions at the end showed a high level of engagement.

Mark was handed a cheque for £1000 from PNTA. The money will be used to purchase a professional quality battery powered chain saw for Colby Woodland Gardens – one less petrol engine. Every little helps.

Report by Andrew Weaver

Mark Underhill accepts a cheque from PNTA towards a battery powered chain saw, for Colby Woodland Gardens.

Photo by Alan Mason

Thanks to Jim and Margret Price.

At the recent lunch, at Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Jim and Margret Price were given vouchers as a small token of appreciation for the big part they have played as supporting members of PNTA, and their key roles on the committee for many years.
They are in the process of moving house to the Bristol area. We wish them well, and will miss them.

Photo by Alan Mason