Non Gwenllian Williams

Email

non.williams@bangor.ac.uk

Office Telephone Number

01248 383704

Room Details

Thoday Building, Room S1

Qualifications

BSc Agriculture, Conservation & Environment, 1st Class Honours (Bangor University, 2013-2016)

PhD Title (or subject area)

Optimised management of upland pasture for economic and environmental benefits

Supervisors

Dr A. Prysor Williams
Dr James M. Gibbons

Describe your research

Factors such as market pressures and changes in policy have led to a decline in cattle numbers in UK uplands. Despite this, a large proportion of the uplands is used for agricultural purposes, mainly livestock production. Grazing cattle pose an opportunity for sustainable intensification in the uplands, through food production and the provision of ecosystem services.

The aim of the project is to determine the effect of various grazing management options on production efficiencies. The study will look at comparing grazing systems, supplementary feeding approaches and fertiliser inputs in order to evaluate the cost of production, livestock performance, and grass quality and quantity. The project will use economic and environmental models to study the effect of improved pasture use efficiency on beef suckler systems on-farm. The results may then be used to determine its effect on a national level.

This project will be working alongside another study which is looking at the wider environmental impacts of various bracken control methods, livestock being one of them. My PhD is funded through the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS II) scheme and I am pleased to be collaborating with Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales), Wales' red meat levy board on this project.

Research Interests

  • Livestock production
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Food security
  • Carbon footprint and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Professional Affiliations

Association of Applied Biologists

Biography

Having being brought up in rural Anglesey and appreciating the numerous opportunities relevant to the environment on my doorstep, I decided to study my undergraduate degree at Bangor University. My Honours Project looked at the effect of contrasting grazing systems on the ability to sustainably intensify sheep-grazed upland pasture. My research was part of a wider sustainable intensification project, the Defra Sustainable Intensification Platform Project 1 – Farm-scale interventions at Henfaes Research Centre. Data collection involved measurements and analysis of grass growth and quality.

The opportunities I experienced during my undergraduate studies widened my perceptions with regard to the importance of reducing harmful agricultural practices which negatively affect the environment. The course motivated me to investigate further postgraduate opportunities in the agricultural sector and I was very fortunate that this PhD opportunity came about, with objectives corresponding to both my Honours Project and interests.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.