Cefn Gwlad

A family farm providing inspiration for the future

There is growing concern about the future of the small family farm in Wales - but the first programme in the new series of Cefn Gwlad on S4C offers hope in one area at least.

Dai Jones, Llanilar visits the Lynch family farm near Llangwm in Denbighshire in Cefn Gwlad, the iconic S4C series which moves to a Friday this year, starting with this programme on Friday, 10 January.

Gwion and Meinir Lynch are both highly respected Welsh authors but they also run a vibrant family farm. Welcome to Bryn Ffynnon.

Dai Jones says, "It was Meinir's dad, the late Trefor Jones, who farmed this land, but he brought up four daughters and was not sure what would happen to the farm. But Meinir and her husband, Gwion have five children, three sons and two daughters, who are all eager to keep the family's farming heritage. It was an honour to meet such an enthusiastic family in a beautiful area where the Welsh way of life is very much alive and kicking."

This is mainly a portrayal of the five children - the three sons, Siôn, Tudur and Guto and daughters Saran and Lleucu. All the children are keen to live and work on the farm where they have pedigree Welsh Black cattle and Welsh mountain sheep.

The farm has grown and developed over the years. It is now an organic farm and the Lynch family have bought an adjacent smallholding and rent land from another one nearby.

The eldest son Siôn works full time on the farm and as Dai meets them in June 2013, the second son Guto is about to leave his job as a maths teacher to also work full time at Bryn Ffynnon. The youngest son Tudur is set to become a teacher, while the eldest daughter Saran seems destined for the teaching profession too. The youngest Lleucu is a student with a passion for art.

But what brings them together is their love for the farm and the hustle and bustle of local life. The three lads play rugby for the big local side Bala and all five are keen members of the Young Farmers' club, local societies and choirs.

"We're all very proud of the farm and all want to live at home - we may well end up fighting each other for it in the long run," jokes Siôn.

Their father, Gwion Lynch adds, "I've come to the stage in life where the children tell me what to do! But small family farms are disappearing one by one and we need systems in place to safeguard the small family farm. The decline of rural life goes hand in hand with the decline of the small family farm."