IBERS Aberystwyth

An exposed, slightly sloping site with sandy loam soil, approximately 2km from the coast with a west-southwest aspect. This was historically grazed grassland. As of October 2023, Biomass Connect trials include SRC willow, Miscanthus x giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC poplar, SRF poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF alder, black locust Turbo and black locust Turbo Obelisk. Still to be planted are reed canary grass and switchgrass (upland and lowland varieties). ​Updates on the progress and performance of these crops can be found below.

Address

Fron Goch Farm, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DG.

Latitude, longitude

52°25’30.88N, 04°03’18.89W

Grid ref

SN6056882610

What 3 words ref for entrance

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Site Plans

Aberystwyth Site PlanAberystwyth Soil Sample Locations

Characteristics

Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)

858mm (3-year average)

Mean Annual Temperature (°C)

10.9 (3-year average)

Altitude 

130m

Exposure

The site is located in Mid wales approx. 2km from the coast. The site is positioned on top of a hill facing WSW. It therefore is exposed to the predominant weather patterns affecting the mid Wales coast.

Topography 

The site comprises of 3 fields totalling ~5ha. The site is slightly sloped with an elevation difference of 10m (125m-135m) across the site.

Aspect

West South Westerly Aspect.

Soil type

Sandy Loam (hand textured, using ADAS protocol).

Current vegetation coverage

Improved grassland.

Other relevant site info

 

Project plans/actions

Which biomass crops

Planted (as of August 2023)

  • SRC willow (6-way mixture) (~0.5 ha)
  • Miscanthus giganteus (~0.5 ha)
  • Miscanthus ‘Athena’ (~0.5 ha)
  • SRC poplar (0.137 ha)​
  • SRF poplar (0.125 ha)​
  • SRF Eucalyptus (0.114 ha)
  • SRF alder (0.028 ha)
  • Black locust Turbo (0.034 ha)
  • Black locust Turbo Obelisk (0.031 ha)

To be planted:

  • Reed canary grass​ 10 m x 25m 0.025ha
  • Switchgrass (upland ecotype)​  10 m x 25m 0.025ha
  • Switchgrass (lowland ecotype) 10 m x 25m 0.025ha

Variety trials​ planted (as of August 2023):

  • SRC willow (2023)
  • Miscanthus (2023)​

Variety trials​ to be planted:

  • Grasses (2024)
Planting goals/aim  
Agronomic dates (planting, harvesting schedule)

Site sprayed to remove existing grass – 14/10/22.

Ploughing and cultivation – Oct 2022.

Miscanthus Trial establishment – April 2023.

Willow establishment – April 2023.

Miscanthus harvest – First harvest March 2025, harvest yearly from then onwards.

Management methodology (spray off, nutrient additions, ploughing, site prep, others) Planting area was sprayed off in October prior to cultivation.
Machinery to be used  

General Info

Field management history Long term grassland – Grazed by sheep and cattle.
Other site detail of note  

Updates

Demonstrator Hub Update – IBERS, Aberystwyth – March 2024
18/04/2024
Generally across the IBERS site things have been looking healthy whilst dormant over the winter. Conditions have been very wet except during cold snaps when it has been below freezing. There has been some rabbit damage to certain crops and wind damage to others.
Demonstrator Hub Update – IBERS, Aberystwyth – February 2024
20/03/2024
Generally across the IBERS site things have been looking healthy whilst dormant over the winter. Conditions have been very wet except during cold snaps when it has been below freezing. There has been some rabbit damage to certain crops and wind damage to others.
Biomass Connect Hub Site Updates – November 2023
07/12/2023
With Winter on its way, growth has all but stopped at the hub sites. So, rather than have an individual update for each Hub Site we have a quick round-up below along with some photos. Starting in the North and working our way south.
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – September 2023
20/10/2023
September 2023 – Hub Site Update Observations from the Trial Plots SRF Alder Grass and weeds in the Alder plot have been controlled by mowing. SRF Black Locust ‘Turbo’ The […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – August 2023
28/09/2023
August 2023 – Hub Site Update This summer has been very wet. Some areas of the paths are becoming wet and traveling on them will cause damage. However, there are […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – July 2023
26/08/2023
July 2023 – Hub Site Update Like all sites, the month of July has seen much more rainfall after the extreme dry weather that June brought to Mid-Wales. Ongoing weed […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – June 2023
15/08/2023
June 2023 – Hub Site Update Establishment across the site overall looks good. Like everywhere across the country, the lack of any meaningful rain has stunted growth a little, but […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – May 2023
13/07/2023
April and May 2023 – Hub Site Update Areas that required a second glysophate treatment prior to planting were sprayed. Planting of woody crops was undertaken on the 19th and […]
Willow Planting by ECC at IBERS Hub Site
05/07/2023
Willow planting by Energy Crops Consultancy at the Biomass Connect IBERS Hub site. Planting crops for biomass energy.
Miscanthus Planting at IBERS Hub Site
25/05/2023
Terravesta and Miscanthus Nurseries planting Miscanthus at the Biomass Connect IBERS Hub Site in May 2023
Planting Miscanthus
08/05/2023
It's not all about trees! We may have planted over 100,000 trees for the BiomassConnect project, but we've been busy planting Miscanthus too. Miscanthus is a high-yielding, low-input crop that has the potential to be an important source of renewable energy. Our researchers will be exploring its use as a bioenergy feedstock and the potential environmental benefits it may offer. We can't wait to share our findings with you!
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – March 2023
05/05/2023
March 2023 – Overview of progress to date Remedial ground-work The grassland site was in good condition ahead of taking management control in the summer. Grazing of the grassland continued […]
Planting Eucalyptus
05/05/2023
Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree that's perfect for producing biomass for energy. These trials will help researchers better understand the best conditions for growing alder as a bioenergy crop. By investing in sustainable energy sources like Eucalyptus, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and help protect the planet. 
Planting Poplar Trees
05/05/2023
As part of the Biomass Connect project, we're conducting a biomass trial using Poplar trees. Poplar is a fast-growing, sustainable crop that shows promise as a renewable energy source. Our researchers will be investigating its potential as a bioenergy feedstock and the environmental benefits it may provide. Stay tuned for updates on our progress!
Alder Planting at IBERS Hub Site
03/05/2023
Alder is a fast-growing tree that's perfect for producing biomass for energy. These trials will help researchers better understand the best conditions for growing alder as a bioenergy crop.
Planting at the IBERS Hub Site – April 2023
27/04/2023
Planting at the Biomass Connect Hub Site at IBERS, Aberystwyth. The trial plots of Miscanthus, Black Locust, Poplar, Alder, and Eucalyptus were all completed on a sunny day in April. […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – February 2023
26/04/2023
February 2023 The trial areas for the grass species that were left as furrows have dried well and should easily be workable by April assuming we don’t get significant unexpected […]
Hand Harvesting Willow
30/03/2023
Hand harvesting of Willow at a recent Biomass Connect demo event at the IBERS, Aberystwyth Hub Site.
Media from the IBERS Demo Event
22/03/2023
We’ve just published various items of media from the recent Biomass Connect Demo Event at the IBERS, Aberystwyth Hub Site. Here’s a quick round-up for those of you who couldn’t […]
Drone Flyover – IBERS Demo Event March 2023
21/03/2023
Relax with a drone flyover from our recent Biomass Connect Demo event at IBERS, Aberystwyth. The perfect opportunity to see what a trial site growing the biomass crops willow and […]
Planting SRC Willow
14/03/2023
At our recent IBERS Hub Site Demo Event William MacAlpine of Rothamsted Research explained why a mix of 6 different varieties is recommended when planting willow as a biomass crop.
IBERS Demo Event
08/03/2023
The recent Biomass Connect demo event at the IBERS hub site was well received. The weather put on quite a show with glorious sunshine and calm conditions that were perfect for the harvesting demos and informal discussions on one of our trial fields. The event was well attended and everyone seemed to have a good time and found it useful. We enjoyed connecting with interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds too.
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – January 2023
02/03/2023
January 2023 Risk Assessments for grazing, browsing and crop damage threats were undertaken. Areas of the field that have been drilled with grass seed in field 1 are very wet. […]
Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth
06/01/2023
December 2022 All areas to be planted in 2023 have been sprayed with Gallup Xl at 4lt/ha to remove grass and broadleaf weeds. The whole of fields 1 and 2 […]
Drone Flyover of the IBERS Hub Site
05/01/2023
IBERS Biomass Connect Hub Site, Aberystwyth. December 2022. Ground prepared ready for planting. This drone flyover shows Fields 1 and 2 of the IBERS Hub Site in Aberystwyth. Field 1: […]

Gallery

 

 

52.4328915 -4.017391 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, UK