Caryl Hughes (23) a young farmer from Wales has won the keys to an iconic one million pound farm in Snowdonia in the first ever National Trust Llyndy Isaf scholarship.
Caryl, from Dyffryn Ceiriog, near Llangollen, beat off stiff competition to win the opportunity to farm and care for this iconic 614-acre upland farm in Snowdonia for 12 months from September.
The farm, Llyndy Isaf, on the shores of Llyn Dinas near Beddgelert drew international attention in 2011 when a million pound appeal to rescue it was spearheaded by Welsh Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys and supported by Catherine Zeta Jones.
Caryl who will move into the farm with her dog Mist said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I intend to take full advantage of.
“It’s not every day you get the chance to farm a 614-acre farm, especially not at the age of 23 and especially if you are female.
“I’m a bit nervous of taking on Llyndy, it is a daunting challenge, especially because it hasn’t been farmed for a number of years, but I’m really excited about it and all the new experiences and opportunities I’m going to get over the next year. I’m really looking forward to working with the National Trust and getting to know the whole team and all of the Trust’s work – especially in agriculture.
“The scholarship appealed to me because it was a type of farming that I am familiar with and I’m eager to learn more about. I enjoy the variation that farming offers – from being out on the mountain in rain and thunder to sorting out paperwork. In my opinion everyone should see that farming is really important – without farming we have no food for the country.
“My priorities will be to re-establish a flock here with good grazing management to retain this natural environment around us. That’s Llyndy’s unique quality and challenge all in one.
“Ultimately, I’d like to think that someone else will offer me an amazing job with a massive big farm at the end of it. I’m sure I will look back on the scholarship with pride, and the skills and experience I gain will live with me forever.”
The scholarship was organised in partnership with the Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) and aims to encourage the next generation of farmers.
Jonny Williams, Rural Affairs Chairman Wales YFC, said: “The Llyndy Scholarship is a unique and innovative opportunity, groundbreaking within the agricultural industry. I am extremely confident that Caryl will be an outstanding candidate and role model for all young farmers throughout Wales and beyond.
“I would like to thank the National Trust for providing Wales YFC members with this opportunity for years to come at Llyndy Isaf.”
Trystan Edwards, National Trust General Manager for Snowdonia and Llyn said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a young farmer to experience what it is like to run an upland farm.
“We are all really looking forward to working with and mentoring Caryl over the next 12 months, to help build her confidence and skills in stock management, business, and practical management through formal and informal training as well as work experience.”