Parc Farm: Wildlife and farming on the Great Orme

Project
Dan Jones and his sheepdogs on the Great Orme

If you could look at the Great Orme from the air, you’d see a large bright-green square area at its centre.  This is Y Parc, a farm carved out of the mountain in the 1800s and enclosed by a stone wall. Within the wall, the farm has been improved for modern farming, but all around it lies some of the best wildlife habitats in Wales.

When the National Trust bought the farm in 2015, we also acquired the rights to graze sheep over the whole headland.  This means that we are working beyond our boundaries to help improve the habitats of the entire Country Park.

Y Parc is the engine room that provides conservation grazing for the whole of the Great Orme.  With our tenant, Dan Jones, we’ve teamed up with the Conwy Council Country Park team, PlantLife and other conservation organisations to bring back traditionally shepherded sheep flocks. 

For Nature

For thousands of years, shepherds tended flocks of hardy native sheep across the Great Orme.  This age-old way of life, combined with the geology and extreme climate, created the wonderful wildlife that makes this place special.

But modern farming has resulted in the loss of two things on which the wildlife depended: the hardy sheep and the shepherd.  As a result, coarse grass, thorny gorse and non-native plants threaten to upset the delicate balance of nature.

With 600,000 visitors a year and poor fences between the Orme and the town, bringing back a shepherd sheep flock isn’t going to be easy.  Follow this project page to find out how Dan the tenant farmer and our Ranger, Doug Don, are working with our partners and the community to overcome these challenges.

For People

We need places like the Great Orme.  The stresses of modern life make it essential that we can escape to wild places and let mother nature restore body and soul. 

Now that Y Parc is owned and managed for public benefit, we would like to make it more accessible and become a venue for community and educational activities.  By achieving this, it could become a valuable addition to what is already on offer in the Country Park.

To help us achieve this, we would like to replace the unsightly farming buildings with a new multi-purpose base, linked to the rest of the Country Park with a new farm trail. 

How can we help you?

If you’re a walker, visitor, National Trust supporter, councillor, teacher, community leader or just love the Great Orme, you’re invited to help us deliver our vision for Y Parc. We're holding drop-in days on 8 September and 30 October (11am-4pm) at the Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre - contact us to find out more: parcfarm@nationaltrust.org.uk  

If you can’t make the drop in days, we’d still like to hear your ideas for the farm. You can find out more in our leaflet here Y Parc/Parc Farm (PDF / 0.9873046875MB) download  and please give us your thoughts by filling in our questionnaire online: Y Parc/Parc Farm questionnaire (DOCX / 0.0341796875MB) download

Latest updates

08 Sep 19

Community helps plan the farm’s future

About 50 local residents and visitors provided valuable feedback at a drop-in consultation day at the Country Park Visitor Centre. This is the first of a number of meetings and events to help develop a long-term vision for Y Parc.

Parc Farm community drop in day on the Great Orme

08 Jan 19

Repairing the walls

Doug the Ranger has returned from his Christmas break to find that part of the wall has been vandalised. With the help of local volunteers, Doug repairs over 6 metres in a day.

Dan Jones, tenant farmer for Parc Farm on Great Orme, North Wales

09 Jul 18

Bioblitz on the Orme

Trever Dines of Plantlife and Sally Pidcock Country Park Head Warden joins Chris Packham to identify as many species as they can in a day. Trevor alone manages to find 333 species!

Examining plants on the Great Orme