Caryl Hughes, Llyndy Isaf farm manager

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Caryl Mair Hughes
Llyndy Isaf Scholarship – Farm Manager

My name is Caryl and I’m the first Llyndy Isaf Scholar. I have a BSc degree in Agriculture and Animal Science from Aberystwyth University and have spent time working on farms in New Zealand and on my family beef and sheep farm in north-east Wales near Llangollen.

Llyndy farming scholarship

The scholarship is provided by the National Trust in partnership with Wales Young Farmers and gives the opportunity for one young person aged between 18 to 26 to run a 614-acre hill farm for one year.

I decided to apply for the scholarship because I was unsure where I wanted to go within the agricultural industry. Having recently qualified with my degree, I wanted to make the most of it, so I jumped at the opportunity of this scholarship. After 12 months, I hope I will know where I want to go within the industry, managing other farms or maybe not even seeing a sheep ever again.

Settling into my new role on the farm

Since starting the scholarship at Llyndy Isaf,  I have purchased more than 120 Welsh mountain ewes, three Welsh mountain rams and six Welsh black heifers. I’ve been doing vegetation monitoring to assess the conservation status of key areas on Llyndy, which will allow the National Trust and future scholars to compare results and identify the changes happening with different management.

I’ve sampled soil on some of the improved land at Llyndy, which will allow me to make better use of these areas with good nutrient management and hopefully grow other pastures such as red clover ley, spring cereals and root crops.

Day-to-day jobs

Working with the local National Trust team and the Welsh government, I have completed the Glastir application and submitted the options for the capital works and land management targets for the coming years. I’ve also had to make decisions on how to enhance the farm shed to house cattle and have been working with other staff, contractors and helicopter pilots to organise a heli-lift to re-do the mountain boundary fence.

You can find me at Llyndy Isaf most of the time. If I’m not there, I’ll probably be at Hafod y Llan farm in front of the computer doing paperwork or out lending a hand with the shepherds and my mentor Arwyn.