Conservation, food production and social media - Snowdonia farming couple make their mark

Nestled in the Snowdonia National Park, a few miles from the historic towns of Beddgelert and Penrhyndeudraeth, is Hafod y Llyn Isaf, a National Trust farm. The 110 acres holding is home to husband and wife team Teleri Fielden and Ned Feesey, 100 sheep and 20 cattle.
The land here is mostly rush pasture and species rich floodplain meadows, as it’s only 3 meters above sea level. Formerly part of the estuary, before the cob was built in Porthmadog, the soil is sandy and presents the young farming couple with some challenges.

Not from a traditional farming background, Teleri and Ned had to prove themselves to their landlords, the National Trust, to be accepted as the tenant farmers here. Through hard work and determination, the couple have secured a 10 year farm business tenancy. Before moving here, Teleri was farming at Llyndy Isaf at Nantgwynant on a scholarship between the National Trust and the YFC. It was meant to be a one year scholarship to help young farmers get a foot on the ladder but she stayed for 3 years running the 600 acre hill farm, with Welsh mountain sheep and Welsh black cattle and a lot of conservation work.

The farming system is important to Ned and Teleri, with the focus being on conservation whilst producing sustainable, nutritious food. The cattle play a crucial role in the land management and conservation aspects here on the farm and the breeds were bought in from other farmers also involved in conservation grazing. To further improve the farmland for biodiversity and help combat climate change, the National Park has supplied Ned and Teleri with saplings for hedgerows and extra individual trees along boundaries as well.

Conservation and looking after the land play a crucial role here at Hafod y Llyn Isaf, however, Teleri and Ned are also keen to ensure that food production doesn’t fall by the wayside. The couple embarked on a direct selling venture, which includes their own lamb and beef boxes. Teleri draws on her marketing experience to add value to their products and builds strong relationships with customers, by telling their farming story on social media.

Thinking about how they can improve the farm and land, whilst producing nutritious sustainable food is what keeps Ned and Teleri on their toes - they are determined to improve the land for the future.


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