Ask the Farmer Q&A with Mariann Klay

Our next Ask the Farmer Q&A, as part of our Farming for Nature Ambassador Series is with Equine Farmer, Mariann Klay from Co. Kildare. Register here to secure your place

Mariann runs a stud farm in Swordlestown Little County Kildare. She bought the land with her husband in 1998 and they have built a successful stud farm where they breed thoroughbred horses. There are between 10-12 breeding mares on the land along with their followers, meaning the farm is run at a low stocking density of approximately 20-30 horses at any given time. The farming system is extensive, and no chemicals are used on the land. Hay or silage is cut off the multispecies grassland and used for winter feeding. A neighbours cattle graze the pasture during the summer months and sheep graze the pasture during the winter. Mariann ensures the stocking density is never too high and the land is aerated every year to minimise soil compaction.
A nature lover her entire life, Mariann places biodiversity and wildlife at the centre of every decision relating to the land. Thick and mature hedgerows line every field and corridor on the farm. A pond was dug on the land a few years ago and it has become a central point on the farm, attracting an abundance of insects and birds. There is steam on the land which provides further water habitat and there is an area of wetland on the farm as well. Thanks to all of their hard work in creating and protecting farmland habitats on the land, there are significant numbers of different bird species, as well as badgers, foxes, deer and pine marten. Mariann is continuously looking for ways to enhance biodiversity and habitats on her farm, future plans include another pond, more tree planting and a riparian zone.

More information on Mariann here

Sign up to our newsletter

Forum logo

Join our forum for farmers to ask questions and share information around farming for nature.

It is set up to encourage and support farmers that are or wish to include nature more in their farming practices. Whilst it is primarily for farmers we welcome users that are able to contribute from related fields.

Scroll to Top