A ST DAVIDS scientist is behind an exciting new research and education centre in the city.
Dr Sarah Beynon has made it her life’s work to learn more about bugs, insects and mini beasts.
Born and raised on Penlan Farm, her research projects have taken her around the world, including Zambia, Honduras and Brazil. But Sarah has decided to settle in Pembrokeshire, saying she ‘wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else’ and that ‘nowhere lives up to St Davids.’
She founded Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm in February 2013, after spending the past 10 years planning it.
The business part of it sees Sarah breed dung beetles to sell to farmers and horse owners.
"Dung beetles, she said "are nature’s bin men. They bury and shred dung, getting the nutrients into the soil so it can be taken up by the grass.”
Without dung beetles it would only take three and a half years for Wales’ cattle to cover an area the size of Pembrokeshire in cow dung.
The bug farm is not just about dung beetles though, last year Sarah received two Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund awards, which allowed her to deliver a programme of bug hunts, insect walks, workshops and talks. Sarah works closely with Oriel y Parc and more recently with Ysgol Bro Dewi Bug Club.
Late last year Sarah bought the 100 acre family farm, Lower Harglodd Farm, just outside of St Davids. She is now in the process of moving the bug farm there and restoring the traditional farm buildings.
Over the next two years she hopes the bug farm will be a public attraction, although she said: “Our main purpose is to carry out top-quality research and deliver benefits to the local community, schools, farmers and decision-makers.”
Sarah’s partner Andy Holcroft is a chef, and also has some exciting plans for the farm. He recently won an entrepreneurial award and is setting up a new food business called ‘grub’ at the bug farm, with some interesting items on the menu.
For more information about what is going on at the bug farm vist www.drbeynonsbugfarm.com