Great Orme Shepherd advocates traditional farming methods for sustainable food production and conservation
The Great Orme - a limestone mountain that rises 207 meters above sea level, with views right across the Irish Sea and Anglesey in the short distance, attracts over 600,000 visitors a year.
But the Great Orme is more than just a tourist attraction. It is home to National Trust tenant Shepherd Dan Jones and 650 sheep. Dan has been the custodian of Parc Farm for the past 5 years and looks after not just the 145 acres included with the farm, but helps to manage a total of 900 acres, which have grazing rights for 416 ewes plus followers.
A traditional upland sheep farmer, Dan farms in a nature first way. Food production is done in a sustainable, natural way here. It is non intensive, and goes hand in hand with looking after the environment.
As the Great Orme is recognised as a country park, a SSSI and an IPA (Important Plant Area) it is managed by the local council and Natural Resources Wales, whom Dan works with closely. He also works with the National Trust and Plantlife Cymru who have bought the hefted sheep flock for the farm.
The land here would not flourish or support the variety of species that it does if it weren't for custodians of the land like Dan Jones. Working with the RSPB and implementing specific grazing strategies has seen a welcome increase in certain species too.
Attracting over 600,000 visitors a year, The Great Orme and Parc Farm, are the second most visited natural attraction in the country, second only to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). That gives shepherd Dan a great opportunity to educate people from different backgrounds and show them how things are done here.
When it comes to sustainable food production, whilst caring for the environment, farmers like Dan Jones are leading the way and the sheep on the hills play an essential part here, in terms of food security and conservation.