A smallholding in South West Wales

Glynelwyn About Us

Mandy and Derek

What started as grazing and stabling for our horses on West Sussex Downland, went through some changes since we began with total dedication to competing in horse driving trials, both at club and national level.

First came a few chickens near the stables, and this soon led to a few sheep to assist with grazing.

Then came the pygmy goats, Winkie, Poppy and Smudge. Unfortunately, they prefer to stay nice and dry in their house rather than foraging where we want them to. Each time we put them in a field, they jump out and come down to the yard!

We then added to the flock of sheep, concentrating on rare breeds, Soay and Castlemilk Moorits, all wethers and purely for 'mowing'.

However, we then thought it would be good to get a few ewes and rear our own lambs. We were self sufficient in eggs from the chickens, but were obtaining meat from friends who had rare breeds, so the next obvious step was to have our own.

We first bought in some Cheviot x ewes with lambs at foot (for the freezer), and then hired a Suffolk ram to put to them.

A brief foray into purchasing some Dexter cattle, however, proved to be a step too far when the owner was unable to load them in our trailer. But how exactly we started on pigs I am not quite sure ..... it just happened!

It coincided with a year off from horse competitions and a bit more time to do other things. The first step was to obtain some Welsh weaners to rear for meat, and along with these came 2 Kune Kune pigs, Barley and Marble, as 'pets', who have a very happy existence with us.

Next along were some Saddlebacks and then the Gloucester Old Spots, one of which was kept to breed from. Having settled on the Gloucesters we also added Berkshires to our herd of rare breed pedigrees.

And so the start of a highly addictive attachment to pigs ...........

We have also started to grow vegetables and produce country wines, and what started as a 'hobby' has now turned into more of a dream of our own 'Good Life'.

All that was left was to find somewhere idyllic to fulfill our dream, and we have now found our paradise in S. W. Wales at Glynelwyn.


PS After 16 wonderful years on our Welsh smallholding, we have finally decided to make life a bit easier for us to be able to enjoy some time away from the smallholding on the odd occasion to indulge in dog agility with our border collies and trail running which we have both become adicted to. On top of this, we have actually been able to have a weeks holiday for the first time since we have been here!

To be able to do this, we have cut back on our flocks of longwool sheep and the associated 'Faithmead Yarns', we also bred our last pigs last year and now will go back to buying in weaners for ourselves. These will of course be our favourite Berkshire pigs.

The goat herd has also been cut back and we only bred one female this year.

With fewer sheep, we have also stopped renting an 8 acre field local to us which was required for additional grazing and from which we produced our winter haylage each year.

It has been a wonderful adventure since 2008, and we feel we have achieved so much in that time, from breeding and showing award winning sheep, being the Welsh winner of knitwear fleece in 2017, providing weaner pigs for people, as well as both pork and lamb for our customers. Our goats have been sold to breeders from all over the UK as well as for pets and for urban farms. We have been featured in books, had numerous photos taken of our different livestock, and appeared on a BBC episode of 'Farmers Country Showdown'. Our farm was also used for a PR shoot for Freesat who wanted to show Freesat working in a rural location.

NB Keep watching our News page for the latest updates! .... and of course ......  Glynelwyn Facebook