Dr Sarah Beynon - The Bug Farm
Nominated for Environment champion award
Dr Sarah Beynon, a farmer, conservationist and academic entomologist, established the multi award-winning Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm in 2013 on her 100-acre farm, near St David’s, Pembrokeshire, as a research and education centre that showcases about the sustainable future of food, farming and wildlife conservation.
Sarah’s internationally renowned research on the importance of dung beetles for farmers has been integrated into policy in the Glastir Advanced agri-environment scheme and is used by UK-wide conservation bodies to influence environmental best practice.
Sarah is passionate about creating wildflower meadows and restoring wildlife habitat and is currently focused on creating a 200-acre nature reserve to protect some of Wales’s rarest species and habitats, managing the land with her herd of award-winning Welsh Black cattle. In addition to her many achievements in education and raising awareness (for example, coordinating the creation of the St Davids Pollinator Trail in 2018 which led to St Davids becoming the first bee-friendly city in Wales), Sarah has recently begun an extensive project to create habitat corridors which link up fragments of the North West Pembrokeshire Commons Special Area of Conservation. Sarah is also working to create a framework for legally protecting private land for wildlife for future generations.
Sarah and her husband Andy are also pioneers in utilising farmed insects as sustainable protein to feed a growing population. The farm’s onsite Quality Assured café and restaurant, Grub Kitchen is the UK’s first full-time edible insect restaurant and Sarah and Andy’s innovative food R&D, manufacturing and retail business Bug Farm Foods produces insect-based food and has opened the UK’s first edible insect R&D and small scale manufacturing centre. Sarah and Andy are responsible for innovating VEXo – an insect and plant-based protein mince – to reduce childhood obesity in Wales while reducing the environmental impact of intensively-farmed meat. The project to develop VEXo won the overall GO Wales awards and VEXo has been served on school menus with a further roll-out imminent.