Consumers are increasingly demanding that their food be produced to high environmental standards.

Fortunately, Wales has the climate and landscape to produce lamb with the least possible impact on our planet.

Dubai receives about 95 millimeters of rain per year. London benefits from 615 millimeters, but the Welsh Highlands, where sheep farming is central to the way of life of many communities, has between 2,000 and 3,000.

This, combined with the landscape – lots of hills but few high mountains, and a climate that rarely gets too hot or too cold – means ideal conditions for growing grass to raise sheep.

Welsh lamb has long enjoyed a global reputation for its quality and taste, and is now gaining more and more customers for its environmental record too.

Recent independent studies have shown that Welsh Lamb ranks among the lowest in the world for greenhouse gas emissions, and farmers such as Huw Alun Evans and his family are a part of that.

Huw Alun and his sons Huw Ynyr and Rhys farm at Hengwrt near Dolgellau in the scenic Snowdonia National Park. Agriculture in harmony with nature is part of their philosophy.

“We farm within the natural capabilities of the land, using native stock, without overstocking and without pushing the farm,” says Rhys Evans. “It is important to work within the limits of the natural production capacity of the farm, without buying concentrates and fertilizers in bulk.

The Evans family are involved in a number of projects to ensure that Welsh lamb is produced in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.

Currently, a project is helping upland farmers measure nature and biodiversity on their farms.

Dripping streams and small ponds dot Hengwrt Farm. The variety of plants and flora is varied in the meadows, grasslands and mountainous areas of the farm. Heather, wild orchids, dewdrops, sedges and wild thyme to name a few, attract bees, insects, birds and small mammals.

Rhys Evans said: “If you have thriving biodiversity and environment, the state of your natural resources is strong and that’s what gives you the foundation to produce food. We are convinced that our biodiversity is good at Hengwrt, but we need to measure it so that we can maintain and improve it further.

With the next generation of Welsh farmers so committed to looking after their land, Welsh Lamb will continue to be the choice for discerning customers who are aware of the environmental impact of their food.


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