Tudur Eifion Parry - Llyndy Scholar 2014-2015

July 2015

I am very grateful to Wales Young Farmers Clubs and the National Tryst for the special opportunity to receive the Llyndy Isaf Scholarship for 2014-15. I had heard about the Scholarship whilst I was a student at Aberystwyth University, and I’d visited the farm during an open day whilst I was at college. I decided to apply for it and I was very proud when the announcement came from the Young Farmers’ stage at the Llanelwedd Show that I had won. As I had graduated in Agriculture and Countryside Management from Aberystwyth University the previous week, it was a valuable opportunity for me to combine my interests in farming and conservation. I started working at Llyndy Isaf on the 1st of September 2014. Caryl Hughes was the first Scholarship winner in 2013-2014, and I was fortunate enough to work with her for a month and benefit from her experience and enthusiasm before starting to work the 614 acre farm in Nant Gwynant on my own. An interesting and different experience that I had during my first few weeks was taking part in the National Theatre of Wales’ production of The Gathering on Snowdon’s slopes. I help out at Hafod y Llan, a nearby farm which is also owned by the National Trust, and I appreciate the guidance and support that I receive from Arwyn Owen who manages the farm and from the rest of the staff. I am responsible for managing Llyndy Isaf farm and looking after the budget, day-to-day administration and the animals. By now, there is a flock of 160 Welsh Mountain sheep including ewes and ewe lambs here, and there is also a small herd of 14 Welsh Black cattle. Although the land is rugged and challenging, I appreciate the opportunity to make decisions and experiment a bit. The day-to-day work varies from maintaining fences and stone walls to conservation work for agri-environment schemes and looking after the stock. The spring was also a busy period here when the sheep started lambing at Llyndy. This was a strange experience for me as we only have store lambs at home on Gwindy Llecheiddior farm. But the lambing season was very successful on the whole, and the good weather in April helped somewhat, and I only suffered a few losses to foxes more than anything. The four in-calf cows/heifers calved effortlessly, and they are making good progress. Offering opportunities is an important part of the Scholarship, and I have already attended hedge laying and heather burning courses, and I intend to attend shearing, ATV, tractor and animal medicine courses. After the busy lambing season ended recently, I had the opportunity to sow the lower fields at Llyndy with oats and peas, swedes and red clover as part of the Glastir scheme, and I hope they will grow well so that the next scholar can use them as forage next winter. By now, all the ewes and lambs except ewes with twins are up on the mountain at Llyndy, and they will be there until shearing time in the middle of next month. I still appreciate the opportunity to attend club nights at Dyffryn Madog Young Farmers Club on occasional Thursday evenings. Don’t forget that other clubs are welcome to arrange a visit to Llyndy Isaf. I take pride in the opportunity and challenge that come with winning the Scholarship, and at the same time, I appreciate the support that I get from the National Trust and Wales Young Farmers Clubs staff who are responsible for the Llyndy Isaf Scholarship.