Our first Llyndy Isaf scholar has recently moved to the farm that will be her home until next September. In a unique arrangement with Wales Young Farmers Club, we will provide an annual scholarship for a young farmer to gain valuable conservation-farming experience.
Caryl Hughes, from Dyffryn Ceiriog near Llangollen, beat stiff competition from fellow Wales-YFC members to win the opportunity to farm and care for the extraordinary 614-acre upland farm in Snowdonia for 12 months.
Since arriving last month, she’s wasted no time getting to grips with caring for the landscape and habitats whilst preparing to take on a herd of breeding Welsh black cows and a flock of hardy Welsh mountain ewes.
We caught up with Caryl recently for an exclusive update, and here’s what she said:
“One of my main priorities was to start a new flock of Welsh mountain ewes. I didn’t have to look far for them, because I knew that my colleague, neighbour and mentor, Arwyn Owen, Farm Manager at nearby Hafod y Llan farm had some to sell. I figured that if they can survive on the slopes of Snowdon, they should be ok for Llyndy Isaf, so I’ve purchased 100 for the farm, which will be the beginnings of our new flock.
“Managing any farm starts with the knowing your soil. So I’ve been taking soil samples so that we can decide how best to keep fertility in the better fields. I’ve also been doing habitat surveys with Helen, our Nature Conservation Advisor. It’s been fascinating to learn about the rich diversity of species on the farm and what sort of grazing I need to apply to enhance the wildlife of the farm”.
“This truly is a unique spot, and I’m really looking forward to learning how to produce a healthy environment as well as quality livestock to sell.”