Huw Roberts, Gyrn Cefn Gwlad


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Huw Roberts, Gyrn

Dai Jones, Llanilar sy'n ymweld a Huw Roberts, a'r teulu ar fferm y Gyrn, Llanuwchllyn. Dai Jones, Llanilar visits Huw Roberts and his family, at Gyrn Farm, Llanuwchllyn.


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-I'm in the Llanuwchllyn area...

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-..in the shadow of Aran Benllyn.

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-I'm visiting Gyrn Farm...

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-..the home of Huw Roberts, his wife,

-Linda, and their children.

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-Huw specialises in Welsh Black

-cattle and Welsh Mountain sheep...

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-..among other things.

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-October 2016

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-What an impressive view!

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-It is, isn't it?

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-I should appreciate it more.

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-You grew up in this area.

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-Yes, I've always lived at Gyrn.

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-Pant Saer was Dad's home.

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-He bought the place when the estate

-was broken up in the early '60s.

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-What estate?

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-What estate?

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-The Glan-llyn estate.

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-It owned both farms.

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-Dad was able to buy Gyrn

-as well as Pant Saer.

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-You keep Welsh Black cattle...

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-..and if I may say so,

-they're very fine cattle.

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-Dad kept dairy cows

-until the late '60s.

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-The Welsh Black herd

-has been here ever since.

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-I'm trying to breed a decent type.

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-You've inherited the type of

-agriculture that suits this area.

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-You breed Welsh Mountain sheep

-and Welsh Black cattle.

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-The landscape dictates the type

-of farming that's open to you.

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-Gyrn is 1,100 feet above sea level.

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-You have to keep sheep and cattle

-that will survive.

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-We're looking out over Llyn Tegid.

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-I've driven past it

-thousands of times.

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-It looks wonderful from here.

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-It looks wonderful from here.

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-You can see why tourists come here.

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-Do you go away at all?

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-Are you a keen traveller?

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-My holidays begin this week -

-at the ram sale.

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-That's my holiday!

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-Will you be wearing shorts?!

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-Just ram sales

-and the Royal Welsh Show.

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-I don't leave home very often.

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-I don't leave home very often.

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-Why should you - it's like paradise.

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-Yes.

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-Yes.

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-In every sense.

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-That's right.

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-Come and see this heifer.

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-What would we do without bikes?

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-What would we do without bikes?

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-We'd be lost without them.

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-Trefor, my neighbour, says if you

-want to find me, find my bike!

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-What do you think of her?

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-What do you think of her?

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-Nice - young, but nice.

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-Tell me about her.

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-She's six weeks old.

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-Penwernhir Seraff is her sire.

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-She looks quite nice.

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-That's a good calf.

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-There's Neuadd blood

-on her mother's side.

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-She has good bone

-without being too heavy.

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-She walks nicely.

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-Look at the way she moves.

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-Have you ever shown cattle?

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-No, never.

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-It's something I should try, really.

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-The Royal Welsh Show

-is the place for Welsh Black cattle.

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-That's right.

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-Well done - I've never

-been much of a walker.

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-I'd be lost without the bike.

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-Yes, thank goodness for the bike!

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-Reaching higher land at Gyrn

-would be hard work, otherwise.

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-The views towards Aran Benllyn

-and Aran Fawddwy are incredible.

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-The grass is thick.

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-It's years since I re-seeded

-but it's still quite good.

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-Shall we stop here?

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-You're not scared, are you?!

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-You're not scared, are you?!

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-No, I'm not scared!

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-But I'm quite heavy.

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-But I'm quite heavy.

-

-Look at that view.

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-It's amazing.

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-We're looking out over Cwm Croes,

-Tynmawr and Nantllyn...

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-..and Nant y Barcut and Cwm Ffynnon.

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-Coed-y-pry,

-the home of OM Edwards, is nearby.

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-Sir OM also owned a small building

-over there.

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-I believe he wrote poetry there.

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-I was thinking about your father

-working at Nant y Barcut.

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-He worked there for seven seasons.

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-How far away was the village?

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-I think it's over six miles away.

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-He had a lot of respect

-for Jack's father, Treb.

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-He learned a lot.

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-The difference is clear between

-unimproved land and improved land.

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-Yes, it's clear.

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-Dad had a saying - "Starved soil

-leads to starved people."

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-Dad worked hard to improve the

-land, and I try to do the same.

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-While I live and breathe,

-I won't let the land deteriorate.

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-Our main purpose as farmers

-is to farm and to raise stock...

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-..and to feed people.

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-Right.

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-Hold on tight.

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-We need more weight at the front.

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-Don't grab hold of my hair -

-I don't have much!

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-I've never been comfortable

-on the back of a bike!

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-On such a steep slope,

-my stick proves useful.

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-The wind is getting colder.

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-Here's another amazing view.

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-Does this land belong to you?

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-Does this land belong to you?

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-Yes, it's part of Rhydfudr mountain.

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-The land is ripe for improvement.

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-I've applied lime to it.

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-The land lower down

-is better than this part.

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-It's good, dry land.

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-It provides good grazing,

-both in summer and in winter.

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-But foxes are a blight.

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-I may lose up to 30 lambs

-in the lambing season.

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-It's a terrible problem,

-despite efforts to hunt foxes.

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-You must have skin like a Wagyu cow!

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-This wind is terribly cold,

-and I'm in short sleeves!

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-Or skin like a mule!

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-I didn't like to mention mules!

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-At least you can eat Wagyu cattle!

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-In fact, lunch would be a good idea.

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-In fact, lunch would be a good idea.

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-Yes, it's time for lunch.

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-Off you go, then.

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-I hold on tight

-as we head back to Gyrn for lunch.

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-Fresh air gives us a good appetite.

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-On the lower slopes

-below the farmhouse...

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-..there are Welsh Mountain rams.

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-These are due to be sold

-in Dolgellau.

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-Stand!

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-Steady.

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-Stand!

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-Are they all yearlings?

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-Yes, they're all yearlings.

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-What bloodlines do you favour?

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-What bloodlines do you favour?

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-Coedladur, mainly.

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-That's the biggest influence.

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-I try to stick with a certain type,

-without straying too far.

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-You don't gain

-by casting your net too wide.

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-Landscape also influences

-the type of sheep we keep.

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-Everyone favours their own type.

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-That red colouring

-is prevalent in this area.

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-I know a verse about that -

-let me recite it.

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-"Red stands up to washing,

-red holds its colour

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-"Leave the red alone,

-red will endure."

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-There's a lot of truth in that.

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-This area is renowned

-for its poets and singers!

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-I didn't write that verse!

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-I didn't write that verse!

-

-It doesn't matter!

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-You recited it well!

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-Welsh culture

-flourishes in this area.

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-Huw may not be a poet or a singer...

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-..but his roots go deep

-in these beautiful hills.

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-This is Pant Saer, my father's home.

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-My Aunt Madge lives here.

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-Your father lived here

-when he was young?

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-Yes.

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-This is where Dad grew up.

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-This is where Dad grew up.

-

-His sister must be quite old.

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-Madge is 94 years old.

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-Madge is 94 years old.

-

-Really?!

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-When your father moved to Gyrn,

-he didn't travel very far.

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-He spent his whole life

-in this paradise.

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-People say this is one

-of the best views in the area.

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-Let's go and meet your aunt.

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-Let's go and meet your aunt.

-

-Yes, let's go.

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-Does she know we're coming?

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-Does she know we're coming?

-

-I think she does.

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-Is this your sister?

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-Is this your sister?

-

-Yes - Margaret.

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-How are you, Margaret?

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-Not bad at all.

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-Not bad at all.

-

-We've come a long way.

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-I'm well, thank you.

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-You're enjoying the views, are you?

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-You're enjoying the views, are you?

-

-It's a beautiful day.

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-For you, it's a familiar scene.

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-You've arrived in heaven!

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-We couldn't wish

-for anything better.

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-Your aunt is quite old.

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-Auntie Madge

-has lived here all her life.

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-I don't think she ever left,

-though she went to Llysfasi College.

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-That must have been a long time ago!

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-She has lived here all her life.

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-Who could blame her?

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-We can probably learn a lot

-from your aunt.

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-Who knows what she'll tell you!

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-Who knows what she'll tell you!

-

-Let's go and meet her.

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-After you.

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-I've been told that Auntie Madge

-is quite a character.

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-Mind my feet - they're big.

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-Watch you don't fall on top of me!

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-Those feet carry a lot of weight!

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-I won't take any nonsense from you!

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-I'm 94 years old.

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-I'm a little younger - I have

-a few years to go before I'll be 94!

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-A year or two, perhaps?!

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-As far as I can tell!

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-Did you sing with any choirs?

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-This area is well-known for choirs.

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-Yes, right from the start,

-as soon as I was able to sing.

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-I sang with the Band of Hope.

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-Thank you very much.

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-Can you multi-task?

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-Aren't you having a cuppa?

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-Aren't you having a cuppa?

-

-I've just had one.

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-You've disrupted my routine.

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-I was fine until you came!

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-I was fine until you came!

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-Would you like another one?

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-You must remember Huw as a boy.

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-Yes, and I remember

-nursing him a lot.

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-Were you a nurse?

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-I acted as his nurse.

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-He was a weak little thing.

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-He cried all the time.

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-That's the truth.

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-You played a part in raising him.

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-Why just a part?

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-Why just a part?

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-I haven't finished, yet!

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-That's why!

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-He needs a little more work -

-he's not quite ready!

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-It takes a lot of work!

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

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-We're not far from Llanuwchllyn,

-looking down on Llyn Tegid.

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-Gyrn Farm is the home

-of Huw Roberts and his family.

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-The best way to traverse

-these mountains is on a bike.

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-It's windy,

-but at least the sun is shining.

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-How old are these cattle?

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-About 40 months old.

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-Bred from Charolais

-and Limousin bulls?

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-Yes, all of them.

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-Do you use AI?

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-Do you use AI?

-

-Yes.

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-So you can choose the best bulls.

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-Yes, and Rhys, my neighbour,

-works in AI.

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-They have good bone.

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-I hope they'll be ready for selling

-in March.

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-Late February or early March.

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-Late February or early March.

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-Another six months to go.

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-I hope they'll fetch a few pounds.

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-What's the highest price

-you've received?

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-The highest price I've received

-was 1,485...

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-..for two Charolais steers...

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-..back in 2012.

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-Where do you sell?

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-Where do you sell?

-

-In Dolgellau, as stores.

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-It says a lot

-about your Welsh Black cows...

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-..that they can produce

-such fine calves.

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-You couldn't wish

-for a better cross.

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-You aren't confined

-to Welsh Black bulls.

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-I can sell these calves

-a little earlier.

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-If Welsh Black cows

-can produce such good calves...

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-..there's no reason to change.

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-What will you do with the money?!

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-What will you do with the money?!

-

-I have plenty of uses for it!

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-Shall we move on?

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-It's getting colder.

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-Gyrn is a family home for Huw and

-his children, Robert and Lowri...

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-..and Huw's wife, Linda.

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-I worked in Spain for six years.

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-I met Huw after I returned.

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-My parents moved to Llanuwchllyn,

-and that's when I met Huw.

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-You were very fortunate.

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-Yes, I think so!

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-Well said!

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-Do you come

-from an agricultural background?

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-Yes, both Dad and Mam.

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-When they came from Meifod

-to live here...

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-..Dad worked at various farms,

-liming fields.

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-He worked across

-the whole of Meirionnydd.

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-Most people know him as Idris Calch,

-and I'm known as Linda Calch!

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-That's what people call

-the whole family!

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-Lowri, you attend a college

-that's not too far away.

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-I'm at Harper Adams,

-a 90-minute journey away.

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-I come home at weekends.

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-I come home at weekends.

-

-Home is such a comfortable place!

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-I think so.

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-Your mother says

-you're just like your father.

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-So she says, though I'm not so sure.

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-No?!

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-Robert, the son, is also at home.

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-Farming is in his blood.

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-He's exactly like his father.

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-Are you shifting muck?

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-You can't beat it!

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-No.

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-Robert, are you keen on tractors?

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-Yes.

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-It's nice to have an easy job.

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-It's nice to have an easy job.

-

-That's right.

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-Where is your nearest

-Young Farmers' Club?

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-I go to Maesywaun, above Bala.

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-My sister goes to another club.

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-My sister goes to another club.

-

-Glannau Tegid.

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-That's in Llanuwchllyn.

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-Are they lively clubs

-with lots of members?

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-There are lots of small clubs

-in Meirionnydd...

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-..so we work together.

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-I won't keep you -

-you've filled the spreader.

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-It's nice to meet you.

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-Good luck at college.

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-Do your best.

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-Do your best.

-

-Yes, thanks.

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-Huw's greatest love, after his

-family and his farm, is football.

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-The local club stands at the heart

-of the village.

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-Caradog Evans

-is Llanuwchllyn's Arthur Picton.

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-How did the club begin?

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-You have a good pitch.

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-There was nothing, to begin with.

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-Our pitch was on the other side

-of the bridge.

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-We bathed in a nearby ditch

-after playing!

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-There were no dressing rooms.

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-We changed into our kit

-at the Eagles...

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-..in the stables

-or the tithe barn at the Eagles.

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-In a barn!

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-We had just one bucket of water.

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-The team won just three games

-in its first season...

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-..against JCB, Penycae -

-I don't remember the other team.

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-But there was lots of enthusiasm.

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-We had enough supporters

-to fill a bus on Saturdays.

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-The bus would stop in Bala

-to drop off two or three of you...

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-..so you could go and socialise.

0:17:210:17:23

-Your memory is a little too good!

0:17:230:17:26

-I remember receiving a phone call

-about Dewi breaking his leg.

0:17:270:17:31

-Dewi was tackled

-and we heard a sharp crack.

0:17:310:17:34

-"Hmm, I think my leg's broken!"

0:17:350:17:37

-There was a game

-just before you stopped playing.

0:17:390:17:42

-Llan were losing by five goals.

0:17:420:17:45

-You were sent on as a sub.

0:17:450:17:47

-You were sent on as a sub.

-

-That's right - my last game.

0:17:470:17:49

-He took the spot for a free kick.

0:17:490:17:52

-I don't know what you said

-to the referee...

0:17:530:17:56

-..but he sent you off immediately!

0:17:560:17:58

-Yes, my last game!

0:17:580:17:59

-Yes, my last game!

-

-You hadn't even touched the ball!

0:17:590:18:02

-How important to the area

-is the team and the facilities?

0:18:020:18:06

-Very important -

-they play together on Saturday...

0:18:060:18:10

-..and we train once a week.

0:18:100:18:12

-We raise money for the club.

0:18:130:18:15

-The club brings lads together

-at least three evenings a week.

0:18:160:18:20

-It's very important.

0:18:210:18:22

-It gives them something to do

-in a small village.

0:18:230:18:26

-There isn't much time

-for football these days.

0:18:280:18:32

-Huw is busy.

0:18:320:18:33

-He has several irons in the fire.

0:18:340:18:36

-Selling seeds is his latest venture.

0:18:360:18:39

-It's a good crop.

0:18:420:18:43

-An excellent crop.

0:18:430:18:45

-There's nothing better than rape

-for fattening lambs.

0:18:450:18:49

-Rape from an early sowing.

0:18:490:18:51

-This was sown in late July.

0:18:510:18:53

-It has grown well.

0:18:530:18:55

-It's substantial.

0:18:550:18:56

-Do sell lots of seed?

0:18:570:18:58

-I've been selling seed for seven

-or eight years, for Oliver.

0:18:590:19:04

-I enjoy it.

0:19:050:19:06

-I've been interested in seed

-for a long time.

0:19:060:19:10

-Have you learnt a lot?

0:19:100:19:11

-Yes - the Glastir scheme

-covers lots of crops.

0:19:120:19:15

-I sell things like swede seeds,

-which were new to me.

0:19:150:19:20

-Growing crops is a lot cheaper...

0:19:200:19:23

-..than buying concentrates

-for finishing lambs.

0:19:230:19:27

-How good are you at office work

-and keeping records?

0:19:270:19:31

-I'm not very good at working

-with a pencil and paper.

0:19:310:19:35

-But you have to keep

-on top of your work...

0:19:350:19:38

-..and carry out tasks promptly.

0:19:380:19:41

-These are excellent fields.

0:19:420:19:44

-They're very nice fields.

0:19:450:19:47

-They're very nice fields.

-

-I have news for you.

0:19:470:19:48

-An order?

0:19:500:19:51

-An order?

-

-I'm soaking wet!

0:19:510:19:52

-Let's move on!

0:19:520:19:54

-Back on the mountain, traditional

-farming methods remain in use.

0:19:590:20:05

-But there's no need for shepherds

-to walk long distances.

0:20:050:20:09

-Huw and Robert like their bikes.

0:20:130:20:15

-Here they are, Welsh Mountain sheep.

0:20:220:20:25

-They're nice, fair play.

0:20:250:20:27

-They're fairly consistent.

0:20:270:20:29

-They're fairly consistent.

-

-Do you use Welsh Mountain rams?

0:20:290:20:31

-I use Bluefaced rams

-with poorer ewes...

0:20:310:20:35

-..about 200 ewes.

0:20:350:20:37

-The rest are bred

-with Welsh Mountain rams.

0:20:370:20:41

-Do you sell the lambs as mules?

0:20:410:20:44

-Female lambs, yes -

-I sold them in Ruthin this year.

0:20:440:20:47

-It's a good cross.

0:20:480:20:49

-Yes, and male lambs

-attain a good weight.

0:20:500:20:53

-You also sell some sheep

-when they're four or five years old.

0:20:530:20:57

-Yes, I sell ewes at that age.

0:20:570:21:00

-With Welsh Mountain sheep,

-tails are an important feature.

0:21:000:21:04

-Tails must be long,

-with an outward flick at the end.

0:21:050:21:08

-This isn't always achieved.

0:21:080:21:11

-Does lambing take place outside?

0:21:110:21:12

-Does lambing take place outside?

-

-Yes, outside.

0:21:120:21:14

-When does lambing begin?

0:21:140:21:16

-At Pant Saer, lambing begins

-around 20 March.

0:21:160:21:19

-At Gyrn, lambing begins

-around 5 April.

0:21:200:21:23

-Lambing is almost over at Pant Saer

-by the time it begins at Gyrn.

0:21:240:21:28

-Finding the right rams

-can be difficult.

0:21:280:21:31

-I need fat lambs

-as well as ewe and ram lambs.

0:21:320:21:35

-It's a lot to expect.

0:21:350:21:37

-You'll be selling the rams soon.

0:21:370:21:39

-You have fat steers to sell, too.

0:21:410:21:43

-Breeding takes a lot of work.

0:21:440:21:46

-It's something

-that takes years to achieve.

0:21:470:21:50

-You have to work

-to achieve anything.

0:21:500:21:53

-I've been doing this for 30 years,

-following on from my father.

0:21:530:21:58

-It's the work of a lifetime.

0:21:580:22:00

-Yes indeed, the work of a lifetime.

0:22:010:22:03

-The next generation

-is ready to take over...

0:22:040:22:07

-..and continue the work.

0:22:070:22:09

-The family has deep roots

-in this beautiful part of Wales.

0:22:170:22:21

-It doesn't surprise me

-that Huw never wants to leave.

0:22:220:22:25

-Huw Gyrn is a proud man,

-and a man of his own square mile.

0:22:260:22:30

-S4C subtitles by Trosol Cyf.

0:23:030:23:05

-.

0:23:050:23:06

Dai Jones, Llanilar sy'n ymweld a Huw Roberts, a'r teulu ar fferm y Gyrn, Llanuwchllyn. Dai Jones, Llanilar visits Huw Roberts and his family, at Gyrn Farm, Llanuwchllyn.