By Hannah Binns
The National Trust’s search for a conservation farming hero to take on its £1m farm for a pound a year is finally over.
Dan Jones, 38, from Anglesey, has been named as the conservation charity’s new shepherd for the 124 acre Parc Farm in North Wales.
He will pick up the keys to the farm in October, where he will take a nature first approach to farming alongside his wife Ceri and son Efan.
Following the publication of the conservation charity’s new ten-year vision, aimed at taking a ‘nature-first’ approach, the National Trust took action to buy Parc farm, as well grazing rights (an additional 720 acres of the Great Orme) in May last year.
This decision stopped potential plans to develop the farm’s fragile limestone grasslands into a golf course, preserving habitats of wild cotoneaster and two subspecies of butterfly, the grayling and the silver-studded blue that exist nowhere else on earth.
William Greenwood, National Trust general manager, said: “In taking on Parc Farm, we made a commitment to do all that we can for this incredible landscape” and went on to talk about the importance of getting the grazing right to ensure a healthy and beautiful landscape."
Earlier this month, the trust also called on the government to put the recovery and future resilience of the natural environment at the heard of the funding system that will replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
With just over six and a half weeks until Dan, Ceri, Efan and their five working dogs move in to Parc Farm on the first of October, Dan mentioned he was “’ooking forward to farming in a different way to make a difference for nature’, calling it his dream farm and expressing his shock at being chosen.
He added: “With the tenancy at just a pound, it allows us to be able to farm far less intensively, focus on improving the habitats, share more of what we’ll be doing with visitors and still produce great food.”
One of Daniel’s first actions as the new tenant of Parc Farm will be to buy his new Orme flock, which will be paid for by the trust’s partner, conservation charity, Plantlife.