The Llyndy Isaf farming scholarship programme offered by the Trust in Wales in partnership with Wales YFC enters its second year by welcoming a new scholar, Tudur Parry.
When asked about his hopes for the scholarship Tudur said: “I was brought up on a cattle farm, so I hope to be able to develop that aspect of the business. I’d like to improve my sheep husbandry skills too and have already planned to enrol onto a sheep shearing course. I’m keen to make the most of this opportunity.”
The 13-month paid scholarship is designed to provide the scholar with valuable experience in managing and running a farm, including responsibility for the farm’s annual budget, administration and stock. Training is a vital part of the experience and is tailored to meet each scholar’s specific needs. Support and guidance is less than a mile away, in the form of experienced Hafod y Llan Farm Manager, Arwyn Owen, who acts as mentor to the scholar.
Caryl Hughes was the first to take part in the scholarship programme and had to start from scratch, purchasing a flock of sheep and establishing a small herd of cattle. Reflecting on her experiences she said: “I’ve enjoyed it so much, I can’t believe it’s been a year, it’s flown by! The work has been really varied – only days into the scholarship I was helping organize a helicopter lift of 1000 posts for the boundary fence. I’ve been on several training courses from sheep shearing to beekeeping! It really has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m sure Tudur will do a great job.”
In addition to all the daily farming duties she’s had to deal with a lot of media attention as well. “Because the project is so unique and I was the first scholar, who also happened to be a woman, there’s been a lot of press interest. I’ve been interviewed by Countryfile, Woman’s Hour, the BBC and Heno to name but a few”, said Caryl. “It’s helped develop my confidence and it’s also been a lot of fun – only a couple of months ago Welsh actor Matthew Rhys visited the farm and I taught him to shear a sheep!”
Caryl and her sheepdogs, Mist, Shep and Jess, will be moving onto pastures new knowing they helped play a very important role in the history of Llyndy Isaf. To mark her contribution at the farm Caryl planted an oak sapling in January, in what will become a tradition for all the Llyndy Isaf scholars. “Given the special nature of this place, we wanted to ensure it was looked after in a special way and we’re really pleased with the progress we’ve achieved through the scholarship programme. The partnership with Wales YFC has proved invaluable”, said Trystan Edwards, the Trust Snowdonia and Llŷn General Manager. “We’re so pleased Tudur has joined the team, I’m sure he’ll have a lot to offer to the farm and will build on the excellent work Caryl has achieved.”
Iwan Thomas, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman added “as one chapter ends, another begins and we’d like to congratulate Tudur on becoming the second scholar. We look forward to seeing Tudur continue the great work at Llyndy whilst also leaving his own stamp on both the scholarship and the farm. The scholarship has been a great opportunity for Wales YFC to work alongside the National Trust and other organisations to nurture the talents and provide opportunities for the rural youth of Wales.”