The West Arms

Life in the valley: Winter on the farm

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This January we caught up with young farmer, Llion Crawshaw, who works with his family at Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef, to find out what life is like on the farm during winter.

31 year old Llion, who is qualified in both agriculture and mechanics, was born a farmer and has been farming all his life at Dolwen.  

What happens on the farm during winter? Does work slow down? 

“Life and work are relentless when you work on a farm no matter the season, in fact, we have even more work if it snows. One big challenge is to get the sheep to feed if there is heavy snow, so we have to use another method, such as quad bike. It can also be pretty dangerous due to conditions. During storm Arwen, a tree came down across Council Road in Llanarmon, everyone from the community pulled together to help get it removed as it was completely blocking the highway. 

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“January and February on the farm consists mostly of feeding the sheep and cows. Most of the cows are in sheds for the winter, some of the heifers are outside with a shed for shelter, to come and go as they please. All of the sheep remain outside with some extra feed of hay or silage given plus feed buckets. Obviously checking of stock is a daily occurrence. Here`s hoping we don`t have too much snow! 

We will be calving anytime now, and have already had an early calf, Mum was a bit keen with the bull! 

What is it like working with family? 

“Working with my family is all I have ever known. It has its ups and downs, as any family business, but mostly get on fine.  

What are you looking forward to most in 2022? 

“In 2022 we look forward to building on our lamb and beef sales, and continue to strive to be more efficient. We hope to caplitalize on our Great Taste 3star Award for our Welsh Lamb Shoulder in 2021, which was a great achievement for us, and also will be entering further products into the award. 

What is your favourite place in the Ceiriog Valley? 

“I love it here at Dolwen. You’ll often find me with my 3 Cairn terriers out and about on our grounds, which has some stunning scenery – and sometimes I can be heard shouting at naughty Norman, as his obedience needs some work, he could do with a lesson from Sam and Jasper at The West.” 

You can enjoy a plate of the latest cuts of meat fresh from Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef’s farm at The West Arms.  Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef can also be delivered straight to your door (free if you live within a 25 mile radius). Find out more here. 

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