Farming for experience - deadline for applications is approaching

Owain Jones at Llyndy � National Trust Images

Owain Jones at Llyndy � National Trust Images

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The annual farming scholarship programme run by the National Trust in partnership with Wales YFC is seeking its fourth young farmer to take on the management of Llyndy Isaf, an iconic upland farm at the heart of Snowdonia.

If you think you’re up for the challenge, the deadline for applications is 6 May 2016.

The successful candidate will start in September, working alongside the current scholar Owain Jones, for a month before taking on the management of the farm for a year. During the scholarship they will live at the farm, which is located on the shore of Llyn Dinas and receive a £17,934 salary.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for a young farmer to build their confidence and develop their skills in stock management, business, and practical management, through formal and informal training as well as work experience,” said mentor, Arwyn Owen.

What does the scholarship involve?

It allows the scholar to experience the annual cycle of management at a farm - from gathering the sheep down from the slopes, to dosing and checking stock, selling and buying at local markets, lambing and shearing. The successful candidate will manage a herd of 17 Welsh Black cattle and a flock of 180 Welsh mountain sheep.

There’s also practical maintenance to be undertaken - work on fences, gates and walls, as well as invasive species control. There’s a strong emphasis on conservation farming and working within Glastir.

In addition to this, the successful candidate will get experience of working for the National Trust, and be part of the Snowdonia team, where our farm manager, shepherds, ecologists and rangers will be on hand to offer support.

“This is a unique opportunity for a Wales YFC member to live and work in the Snowdonia National Park. The scholarship is now in its fourth year and has benefitted from three excellent scholars in its infancy. It is pleasing to see each scholar develop excellent agricultural skills and to follow them on their journey after leaving Llyndy Isaf,” said, Carys Vaughan, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman.

“The work can be really varied, one day I might be taking stock to market and then I’ll be carrying out a radio interview. I’ve had the chance to complete my trailer towing certificate and attend a Vet and Med course which has been really useful,” said current scholar, Owain Jones.

“What I’ve enjoyed most is the responsibility, the chance to call the shots,” added Owain.

If you’re interested in learning more about the scholarship programme, you can follow Owain on Twitter @LlyndyIsaf, visit www.yfc-wales.org.uk or get in touch with Wales YFC (01982 553502/helen.evans@yfc-wales.org.uk) for more information on becoming a member and applying.