IBERS Aberystwyth

An exposed slightly sloping site approx 2km from the coast with a West South Westly aspect. It is historically grazed grassland and sandy loam soil. Miscanthus and SRC Willow planting took place in spring 2023 quickly followed by SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar and SRF Eucalyptus. Updates on the progress and performance of these crops can be found below.


Fron Goch Farm, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DG.

Latitude, longitude

52°25’30.88N, 04°03’18.89W

Grid ref


What 3 words ref for entrance


Site Plans

Aberystwyth Hub Site PlanAberystwyth Soil Sample Locations


Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)

858mm (3-year average)

Mean Annual Temperature (°C)

10.9 (3-year average)




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.


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


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 – Miscanthus Nurseries (~0.5 ha)
  • Miscanthus ‘Athena’ – Terravesta (~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
  • Switch Grass (upland ecotype)​  10 m x 25m 0.025ha
  • Switch Grass (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



Hub Site Updates – IBERS Aberystwyth – July 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
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
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
Willow planting by Energy Crops Consultancy at the Biomass Connect IBERS Hub site. Planting crops for biomass energy.
Miscanthus Planting at IBERS Hub Site
Terravesta and Miscanthus Nurseries planting Miscanthus at the Biomass Connect IBERS Hub Site in May 2023
Planting Miscanthus
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Hand harvesting of Willow at a recent Biomass Connect demo event at the IBERS, Aberystwyth Hub Site.
Media from the IBERS Demo Event
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
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
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
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
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
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
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: […]




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