Clwt yr Arian is run by Mark and Jayne Hughes in the beautiful Clwydian Hills AONB. Clwt yr Arian is run along traditional lines with both livestock and forage crops. In recent years some of our grazing pasture has been designated SSSI due to the abundance of rare alpine flowers and grasses that thrive on the limestone pavements characteristic of this region. We therefore do not farm as intensively as in other areas. Most of the feed we give to the animals is grown on the farm with only supplementary foodstuffs bought in. The buzz word in the agriculture industry is diversification, with this in mind we have specialised in traditional and rare breeds with the plan to supply breeding sheep and pigs to small holders, hobby farmers and commercial farmers alike.
We keep and breed a number of types of rare and traditional sheep. The Badger Face Welsh Mountain is a sheep with a long history. Sheep with the now familiar “badger” markings have been seen for as long as sheep have wandered the mountains and hills of Wales. We breed Torddu colour patterns all originating from society registered stock. They produce quality lamb, hogget and mutton offering flavour, taste, succulence and unbeatable eating quality produced from ewes fed mainly on grass.
Soay are unlike any other sheep with very varied characteristics and a long history! The Soay has the most primitive appearance of any British sheep breed and takes its name from the island of Soay in the St. Kilda group. Soay means “sheep island” in Norse which suggests that there have been sheep on the island since at least the time of the Vikings. They are similar to the mouflon seen wild in Corsica, Sardinia and Cyprus. They are intelligent, nimble animals with excellent mothering habits, always with quirky behavioural traits and lots of fun to watch. They are excellent conservation grazers and so will help support our SSSI grasslands! The coloured fleece is sought after for many craft uses and their carcass produces lean meat of a delicious flavour! The Soay is in decline and is considered at risk by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST)and so we are pleased we can play a role in the breeds preservation!
The Boreray, also known as the Boreray Blackface or Hebridean Blackface, is a breed of sheep originating on the St Kilda archipelago off the west coast of Scotland and surviving as a feral animal on one of the islands, Boreray. The breed was once reared for meat and wool, but is now used mainly for conservation grazing.
It is one of the rarest breeds of sheep in the United Kingdom. The breed is classed as "Category 3: Vulnerable" by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, because 500–900 breeding ewes are known to exist. It had previously been the only breed classed in "Category 2: Critical".
The Whitefaced Woodland sheep is very hardy and able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain. It is one of the largest hill breeds and is a powerful, well balanced sheep. As the name suggests the face and head are white as are the legs. Both ewes and rams are horned with rams having heavy spiraled horns. The Whitefaced Woodland originated in the Pennines on the borders of Derbyshire and Yorkshire from the blackfaced Linton type of mountain sheep. The Cheviot and the Merino were also used in the breed’s development.
The Oxford sandy and Black pig has existed for around 300 years being one of the oldest British pig breeds. It is believed that the breed originated and early development took place in the Oxfordshire region at least two centuries ago. The Oxford Sandy and Black have twice reached the possibility of extinction within it history.The Oxford Sandy and Black is an attractive breed with striking pale sandy to rust colouring with black patches, pale feet and lop ears. They should have a long snout with slightly dished face. The breed is medium to large sized. They produce meat of very high quality and flavour. It finishes quicker than many traditional breeds and they are less inclined to run to fat. They are a multi-purpose breed which produces succulent pork, high quality bacon and ham.
We love people to visit, give us a call to check we are not in the fields: fencing, mowing, tedding, baling, lambing, farrowing, dog training or sleeping - you get the idea!
Clwt yr Arian, Eryrys, Wales, CH7 4DJ