The Lands at Dowth in Ireland aims to produce healthy beef and lamb on the historic World Heritage site of Dowth, by developing a healthy ecosystem from soil to grass to animals, humans and the planet. Led by Devenish Nutrition and WUR, this project has developed into the Heartland project, an EU Marie-Curie funded project which will start in September 2019.
At the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Lands at Dowth’, Devenish strives to produce low carbon beef and lamb by developing a dynamic, healthy ecosystem.
One of the key features of this farm is the use of up-to-datescientific information to make informed management decisions. Examples include: precision soil sampling and analysis to guide the decision of nutrient management; the use of aerial LiDAR surveys to assess tree and hedge cover to estimate the potential carbon sequestration; weekly monitoring of grass height to guide grazing management.
A key aim ofthe farm is to achieve carbon neutral beef production. This iconic landscape in Ireland has been recognized for its wooded boundaries and is seen as an ally. The 44 ha of woodlands and hedges sequester annually 200 ton of greenhouse gases. And if managed better, the trees and hedges have the potential to triple their annual carbon sequestration capacity.
Annually, more than 10.000 visitors experience the beauty of Lands at Dowth. Instead of being the problem, as so often portrayed. This ancient landscape shows how farming can be part of the solution by proactively improving human and environmental health.
John Gilliland is Director of Global Agriculture and Sustainability at Devenish, an innovative livestock nutrition company, which creates complete solutions, improving animal, human and environmental health, simultaneously.