Meet the hill farmer

Tudor Parry, a hill farmer who manages Llyndy Isaf farm in Snowdonia

Tudur Parry managed Llyndy Isaf farm, a special place we care for in Snowdonia, from 2014-2015. His role is part of our year-long scholarship programme run in conjunction with Wales Federation of Young Farmers.

'I’m 22 years old and I grew up on a farm. My parents have a beef cattle farm that’s been in our family for generations. I’ve had an interest in farming and the landscape for as long as I can remember. My two older brothers never really wanted to farm, so it feels nice to be keeping farming in the family.
'I found out about the scholarship during my second year of university. I went to an open day and thought it sounded amazing. 
'I’m responsible for managing a 248-hectare (614-acre) upland farm and looking after the budget, the administration and the stock. The land is rough and challenging but I get the chance to make decisions, experiment and leave my mark. I also have the help and support of experienced people.
'I love the traditions associated with hill farming. We follow the old farming calendar, so we bring the sheep down from the mountains in September for the winter, and take them back up in May. It’s amazing to follow a routine that hasn’t changed for generations. 
'Hill farming is predominantly about rearing sheep but also about managing the landscape – preventing soil erosion and overgrazing. There are over 1,600 sheep at Hafod y Llan and three full-time shepherds.
'My work varies with the seasons. There’ll be some long days during the spring with lambing. Work begins at first light with a check on all the lambs born during the night. You have to be very vigilant, constantly monitoring the ewes and lambs for any issues. I will also wean and vaccinate the lambs. 
'I enjoy working with livestock, but I also get great satisfaction from the conservation work – fixing footpaths and clearing scrub; it’s nice to feel like you’re giving something back. 
'Snowdonia is amazing – you’re right in the middle of huge mountains and you get some spectacular sunsets. There’s also a lot of woodland and wildlife – I often spot herons, otters and peregrines.'

About the scholarship

In 2012 the Trust teamed up with the Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC Wales) to offer an annual paid scholarship. 
The application window runs from March to May and is open to members of YFC Wales. The successful applicant is announced at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July. The 13-month scholarship starts 1 September and there is a one-month handover period. 
This article was published in the National Trust Magazine in Spring 2015.