Story of ‘Snowdonia Shepherdess’ broadcast on BBC One
Airing on Monday 13th August at 7.30pm, as part of BBC One’s ‘Our Lives’ strand. The programme will follow the story of the young first generation farmer, Teleri Fielden, as she learns the ropes during her first year managing a challenging National Trust upland farm in Snowdonia.
The half hour programme tells the compelling story of Teleri’s highs and lows at Llyndy Isaf farm and follows her through her first year managing the 600 acre farm. It will share her journey through an exhausting lambing season, training her young sheepdog Roy to gather her sheep and learning more about the impact of careful grazing on plants and water vole habitats. Teleri’s story is documented through the annual farming calendar and viewers can follow her every step of the way.
Twenty-seven year old Teleri from Meifod, Powys said, “It’s been a whirlwind of a year, I still can’t believe I’m living and working at such an amazing place as Llyndy Isaf. The National Trust team, particularly the shepherds at Hafod y Llan farm, have been a font of knowledge and patience. My sheepdog, Roy and I have both learnt so much.”
Teleri explained, “I haven’t been brought up on a farm, so activities that might come as second nature for practised farmers are relatively new to me and as such can be a bit more challenging.”
The annual scholarship was set up in 2012 by the National Trust in partnership with Wales Young Farmers Club (YFC), to support the next generation into farming by helping young farmers to gain practical experience of managing a nature friendly farm, with a mixture of sheep and cattle. Teleri became the fifth farming scholar at Llyndy Isaf in September 2017 and has had to adapt quickly to farm life and the challenges brought by a long hard winter.
Hafod y Llan Farm Manager and scholar mentor, Arwyn Owen explains, “There’s a strong emphasis on training, but it’s also quite unique in that the scholar is part of the National Trust team and can call on the expertise of our ecologist or shadow the experienced shepherds.
From passing her trailer driving test to being nominated for Welsh Woman Farmer of the Year, Teleri has worked really hard to hone her farming skills and we’re all really proud of what she has achieved.”
In addition to carrying out daily tasks on the farm, Teleri also takes part in a governmental forum looking at ways to encourage the next generation of farmers into the agricultural industry, for which she has jointly been awarded the 2018 Brynle Williams Memorial Award.
Teleri continues to champion farming and recently provided tips for young people on how best to access farming during a Q&A session at Countryfile Live.
Teleri added “I’ve always wanted to be a farmer, and whilst I have some experience of working on farms in France and Wales, I haven’t had the chance to manage a farm before now. It’s been a steep learning curve but so worthwhile. It makes me confident that one day I’ll be able to manage my own farm.”
After five years of running an annual scholarship, both National Trust and Wales YFC have decided to trial a three year programme with Teleri, more akin to an apprenticeship, which will help develop the farmer as well as the farm.
Dafydd Jones, Rural Affairs Chairman for Wales YFC commented:
“Wales YFC are very proud of the partnership we have developed with the National Trust. The Llyndy Isaf farm and its unique characteristics is a fantastic challenge for any YFC member, which Teleri has embraced by putting her own stamp on the farm. The documentary has also done a great job to portray the harsh realities she’s had to face during her first year at Llyndy.”
Teleri concluded, “Roy and I are absolutely thrilled to be staying at Llyndy Isaf for another two years. I’m really excited to put everything I learnt this year into practice next year and hopefully help develop a few projects on the farm.”
To see Teleri in action, tune in to BBC1 on 13th August at 7.30pm.