Wales

Great Orme farmer 'angry' over farm mismanagement case

Dan Jones
Image caption Dan Jones said he had been left with a large legal bill

A farmer cleared of breaching regulations said he was angry and frustrated the case against him was ever brought.

Daniel Jones, 40, of Anglesey, said he had been left with a legal bill running into tens of thousands of pounds.

The case against the Great Orme farmer brought by Conwy council, following a complaint from the public about dead sheep, was dropped last week.

The council said it "made the appropriate decision to withdraw".

Mr Jones had faced a charge of failing to properly dispose of three dead sheep, nine counts of not informing the authorities of sheep arriving on Parc Farm and one of failing to keep proper records.

The Farmers Union of Wales (FUW), which supported Mr Jones during the case, has written to the chief executive of the council asking him to investigate how the authority dealt with the matter.

Mr Jones was chosen in 2016 from 2,500 applicants for the tenancy of the National Trust's Parc Farm overlooking Llandudno.

"I had to sell 300 of my sheep and I had to borrow a lot of money off my family," said Mr Jones, who only expects to be able to recoup 10% of his legal costs.

"I think the worst thing for me was the way it affected my friends, but more importantly, my family."

'Could have been avoided'

"We do realise that there are rules, we do realise that farmers have to keep to those rules," said Gwynedd Watkin, executive officer of the FUW in Caernarfonshire.

"But, if there are questions that need to be asked, assistance should be given first and, if a farmer is co-operating with all those investigations, there should be no inclination as to any kind of prosecution taking place.

"It's a situation that could have been avoided."

Mr Jones said he was more determined than ever to fulfil his 10-year tenancy with the National Trust.

Conwy council said "enforcement rests with local councils".

It added when it received complaints it had "a duty to investigate".

"A prosecuting authority is also under a duty to continually review the evidence as a trial proceeds and, in this case, the council made the appropriate decision to withdraw."

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