Llyndy scholar winner

WINN ER: James Evans (left) wi th FUW deputy president Brian Thomas

WINN ER: James Evans (left) wi th FUW deputy president Brian Thomas

THE latest Llyndy scholar was announced at the Royal Welsh Show as 25-year-old, James Evans, from Builth. James will start his 13- month paid scholarship in September, following a one month handover with the current scholar, Owain Jones. FUW deputy president Brian Thomas was pleased to offer James a year’s free FUW membership. He will then take on the management of the 614 acre upland farm, in Snowdonia for a year. James who has experience in farming sheep and cattle in Radnorshire was looking forward to the new challenge ahead, “I can’t wait! I’ve been helping out on farms since a young age, but I’ve never had the chance to manage a farm myself before,” he said. The scheme, now in its fourth year, was set up by one of the UK’s largest agricultural landlords and conservation charity, the National Trust, in partnership with Wales YFC, in a bid to encourage and support young people into the farming industry. The emphasis of work at Llyndy over the past three years has focussed on laying the foundations and getting the basics right. When Caryl Hughes, the first scholar began, she had her work cut out setting the place up, repairing the boundary fence and buying in stock. The second scholar, Tudur Parry, drew on his beef cattle background to expand the herd of Welsh Black cattle and purchase a bull, whilst also gaining valuable experience in sheep farming. Owain Jones, the third scholar, has been expanding his work to help out at Bryn y Bont, near Nantmor, to trial low impact conservation grazing for a hay meadow project. Mentor Arwyn Owen said: “Its important young farmers are given the space to experiment with new ideas and diversify. The scholarship is a great opportunity for a young person to get practical experience managing an upland farm.” The terrain and climate make Llyndy Isaf a challenging place to farm and since there are several Sites of Scientific Interest, there’s a strong emphasis on conservation farming with the farm taking part in the Glastir Agri-Environment Scheme. James is interested in drawing on the experience of other National Trust projects such as Parc Farm, on the Great Orme and the shepherding project at Hafod y Llan, to see how he can strive for a good balance between production and conservation during his scholarship. He’s also expressed an interest in building on the previous scholar’s work by trialling some of the latest schemes offered by Wales YFC at Llyndy. Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman, Carys Vaughan said: “We are delighted that the appeal of farming Llyndy Isaf is spreading across Wales. James brings an interesting skills set with him and is brimming with new ideas. We look forward to seeing him develop into a highly skilled, competent farmer.” “I’m really looking forward to moving up to Snowdonia, getting stuck in and calling Llyndy Isaf home for a year,” added James. The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, who congratulated James during the Royal Welsh Show, said: “One of my priorities as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs is to develop the next generation of farmers, including those not traditionally from a farming background.”

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