Villagers oppose grid to keep sheep off streets

Sheep walk in the road
Image caption A sign that translates as "No second grid here" in the centre of the village of Y Fron

Villagers are battling to be allowed to remain close to the local sheep community, saying the animals are "a part of who we are".

Snowdonia National Park Authority is backing plans to install an extra grid to keep the woolly wanderers out of the remote Gwynedd village of Y Fron.

But locals say life will be "unbearable" due to the noise of cars passing over the grids.

Campaigners insist the community has always shared the village with sheep.

When these fleecy free spirits fancy a flavour of the hurly burly of village life, they often wander off from the common land surrounding Y Fron and the villages of Carmel and Groeslon and on to the mean streets.

Campaigner Jim Embrey says he welcomes the village visitors.

"The village has always had sheep in it - it's a part of who we are and what we're about and it's one reason we chose to live here," he said.

Locals also fear becoming "a gated community" as a result of the planned grid.

Image caption Sheep wander into Y Fron off the common ground surrounding the remote village

A planning application on behalf of the Uwch Gwyrfai Grazing Association has been made to Gwynedd council to install a grid on a road into Y Fron.

A letter signed by more than 50 people opposing the application says this will create unacceptable noise from traffic, which includes lorries from a nearby slate quarry.

Mr Embrey said: "There are houses six and 13 metres away of where the proposed grids are going to go, so for people living in those houses, life will be virtually unbearable. Their wellbeing will be destroyed by these grids."

Image caption The noise cars make going over the sheep grids is the main complaint from residents
Image caption The village of Y Fron is surrounded by common land where sheep graze

But Rhys Owen, of Snowdonia National Park Authority, said not all villagers welcomed the ovine intruders.

"The amount of disturbance the sheep generate within the village itself, hitting over trash bins and fouling in gateways and on footpaths - it poses quite a bit of local friction," he said.

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