Council approves Food Systems Development Project on Llanarthne farm

In the County Council’s latest effort to decarbonise Carmarthenshire, Cabinet has today, 18 September, approved innovative plans to diversify its rural estate.

Two initiatives have been given the go-ahead – the creation of a new Food Systems Development Project at a vacant Council-owned farm in Llanarthne, along with the planting of trees and the creation of a woodland on Council land.

Bremenda Isaf Farm, Llanarthne, has been identified as the suitable location for a Food Systems Development Project, a multi-partnership application led by Carmarthenshire County Council whose ambition is to increase local food production, support rural initiatives and enable diversification on its farm estate, for the purposes of ensuring future sustainability.

The project will put in place infrastructure, equipment and skilled staff for the development of a model market for field-scale sustainable fruit and vegetable production site at the 100-acre farm.

The numerous objectives of the Food Systems Development Project include delivering a low-carbon infrastructure site; engaging with stakeholders – from schools to green & social prescribers, communities and small-scale growers to public and private sector customers; growing new local markets for local and sustainable produce and develop models of aggregation of supply and develop accredited training pathways.

Cabinet has also approved plans to plant trees and create a woodland on Council land.

In February 2019, Carmarthenshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency and has since increased its efforts to decarbonise the county in order to create a more sustainable and greener future. The planting of trees and creating woodland is one strand of this great effort.

The establishment of new woodland on Council estate will deliver outcomes against the Climate Emergency and also mitigate the loss of ash trees and ash woodland in Carmarthenshire, due to ash dieback.

Trees help mitigate climate change. They remove carbon dioxide from the air, store carbon in their timber and the soil, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. New woodland planting also creates new wildlife habitat and provide linkages between existing habitats, building essential ecological connectivity and ecosystem resilience. This approach is consistent with the Resilience Goal of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr. Alun Lenny said: “Carmarthenshire County Council has long acknowledged the climate emergency that is facing the county, Wales and the world and is taking action across all aspects of its work to ensure that the future we provide for our children and our children’s children is a healthy and sustainable one.

“I am particularly looking forward to seeing the development of the Bremenda Isaf Farm and the impact that growing food in a sustainable manner will have on carbon sequestration, biodiversity enhancement, the local economy, reducing food miles and social wellbeing.”