Dr Sarah Beynon

Dr Sarah Beynon is a conservationist, farmer and academic ecologist who also appears regularly on our television screens. Sarah is the founding director of Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm (The Bug Farm) – a research and education centre, visitor attraction, farm and wildlife reserve focussed on the sustainable future of food, farming and nature recovery. The Bug Farm was the UK Best Start-Up Business of the Year in the FSB/Worldpay Business Awards.

Winner of the Royal Entomological Society’s Wallace Award for her doctorate on the importance of dung beetles to farmers, Sarah’s own research focus is on beneficial invertebrates in farmland and her work has been used to inform the protection of invertebrates in UK agri-environment schemes. Her current quest is to bring back the locally-extinct marsh fritillary butterfly to the St Davids peninsula and connect-up wildlife habitat by working with a series of project partners.

In 2018, Sarah developed the ‘St Davids Pollinator Trail‘, which led to St Davids being designated as Wales’s first ‘Bee Friendly’ city. The trail is being re-launched for 2024. Sarah inherited her award-winning Tyddewi Herd of Welsh Black cattle from her late parents and the herd are now a vital conservation grazing team, helping to restore natural habitats across the St Davids peninsula, including Sarah’s own 200-acre farm.

Her interest in farming insects for food led her and her chef husband Andy to launch Bug Farm Foods in 2017, where they innovate and produce a range of food made from farmed insects, including their famous Cricket Cookies and VEXo – an insect and plant protein mince that they developed with Welsh Government and Innovate UK, with the aim of getting it onto school menus to help reduce childhood obesity and highlight sustainable food choices: The project won the overall Go Wales Awards.

Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, was named as one of Wales’s emerging legends in the 2017 Wales – Year of Legends, won Plantlife’s Meadow Maker of the Year for Wales in 2015, the 2019 Royal Agricultural Society’s Research Medal and was a finalist in The St David’s Awards Environment Champion category in 2022. Sarah continues to research, innovate and educate for a more sustainable future and is in the process of turning her farm into a Trust and changing legislation to help landowners protect land for nature, forever.

In her spare time, alongside her obsession with creating wildlife habitat, Sarah is passionate about rescuing animals and positive animal training. Sarah and Andy live together with their family of 26 cows, 3 horses, 2 chickens, 4 dogs, 4 goats and a tarantula called Rosie.

Sarah's awards

2018: Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal
2017: Welsh Government ‘Emerging Legend’ and Legend Ambassador for the Year of Legends
2017: Honorary Vice President of the Royal Entomological Society
2016: Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards: Most Exciting New Business/Owner
2015: Plantlife International Meadow Maker of the Year (Wales)
2015-2018: Trustee, Council Member & Outreach & Development sub-committee Member of the Royal Entomological Society
2015: Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society
2015: UnLtd Build It Award – for the UK’s top social entrepreneurs with a track record of social impact
2014+: Senior Research Associate, University of Oxford Department of Zoology
2014: Royal Entomological Society Wallace Award for the best entomological thesis written in the English language
2012: Hay on Earth Green Dragon’s Den Award ‘Sustainable Innovation in Business’
2008: Professor Sir Richard Southwood Scholarship in Insect Ecology
2006: University of Oxford Varley Gradwell Travelling Scholarship.