Rural farm holds keys to unlock big gains for nature in Snowdonia

Published : 13 Dec 2016 Last update : 04 Dec 2017

Carrog, a 78 acre farm at Cwm Penmachno, near Betws y Coed, was purchased by the National Trust in December 2016, with the aim of restoring nature in the area and helping create a landscape that’s more resilient to future changes.

The farm could play a significant part in wider land and water management within the Upper Conwy Catchment. And we aim to combine this work with ensuring that the farm is let to a local family who can run a successful farming business whilst helping to restore the farm’s natural habitats.

The farm falls within the area of the Upper Conwy Catchment, where we’ve already been working alongside tenant farmers, partners and local communities on ground-breaking conservation work. Dewi Davies, our Upper Conwy Catchment Project Manager said:

“The fundamental aim of the project is to improve the quality of water and land within the catchment, as well as helping to slow the flow of water through it. This will alleviate flooding and ultimately benefit people and wildlife in the area. We’re interested in applying our learnings so far from the successful work in the Upper Conwy Catchment at Carrog.”

“We recently introduced the wider team and the project to the local community at a well-attended open day in the village. The residents were supportive of our ideas for the farm and it was a great chance to discuss ways we can work together. ”

We believe there is scope at the farm for restoring a previously modified section of river, creating seasonal wet meadows, improving the network of existing hedgerows and extending the wooded ffridd habitat. Since there are currently no footpaths on the farm, there’s also the possibility of opening up access, so that people can enjoy this part of the valley.

Carrog was once a sheep and beef farm, but more recently the land has been let out just for sheep grazing. We are committed to traditional hill farming in Snowdonia and our aim is to let Carrog out as a complete farm once our initial works are finished, ideally to a local family who can farm the land in a way that also helps restore the area’s natural habitats.

In the meantime, we will continue to let the farmhouse and land out separately to limit impact from the proposed works, which could be disruptive to a long-term tenant looking after both the land and the house.

Trystan Edwards, National Trust General Manager for Snowdonia said: “This is a small farm but it is in an area with so much potential given the right direction. In the next few months we’ll be carrying out surveys which will help inform and develop a plan for Carrog, and we very much want and welcome local support and involvement in helping shape the farm’s future.”