Last year HRH The Prince of Wales was introduced to the Pontbren initiative and the scientific research taking place within the catchment. The Prince was particularly interested in the link between practical farm management and the environmental effects being shown by the research.HRH The Prince of Wales talking (from left to right) to Brian Reynolds (CEH Bangor), Bob Vaughan (Environment Agency) and Roger Thomas (Countryside Council for Wales)

During his annual visit to Wales this year, the Prince arranged a visit to Pontbren (near Welshpool) to see what had been taking place. Here he met the 10 farmers involved in the initiative and walked across one of the farms. During his visit, the Prince was introduced to Professor Brian Reynolds (CEH Bangor). Brian explained some of the experimental work CEH is involved with in Pontbren, describing some of the equipment installed across the site and discussing the results. With samples taken from grassland and a tree shelterbelt, Brian showed the Prince how land use can affect soil structure; the grassland having a more compacted soil then the tree shelterbelt.